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MAIN Arrow to Computer AgeTechnology Arrow to Technology - Internet Internet Arrow to Web Site Design Web Design

web page layout examples
Examples of traditional page layouts
used in web site design.

According to the statistics, 1,000,000 new Web sites go live every day. If you want to compete in that traffic, you'd better do learn how to design a site that visitors find easy to understand and intuitively navigate.

Sadly, (or luckily, depending on how you look at your competition) you'll often find lots of badly design sites around the Web that fail to follow the rules of the road.

The good news is that anyone willing to learn good web design by example can build a site that will make audiences want to come back again and again.

The elements of good web design

Basically, a few of the topics you'll want to get familiar with to become an ace site designer include:

Fast loading pages - If your visitors grow impatient, they will abandon your site for another that delivers the goods quickly and easily. So, avoid design elements such as slow-to-load java applets, megabytes of Flash animation, or anything else that puts a drag on instant gratification. 40k pages are ok. 30k pages are good. 25k pages are better.

Clean navigation - A map of your site that doesn't change with each page means simply linking to major sections of your site that give visitors a clear focus on how to get around. Especially on your homepage, proper signposts signal to your audience that there will clear sailing up ahead.

Readable typefaces - This is no time to get creative. Stick to the tried and true typefaces such as Arial, Verdana and Times Roman - and be consistent. When it comes to size, follow the traditional newspaper format that features bigger type for headlines, and increasingly smaller type for subheads and content.

Color - Best bet? Focus on one color, along with a few others that complement it. Use color sparingly and appropriately. Orange and lime green might be good for selling Halloween decorations but way out of line for an auto repair service site.

Breathing room - Put enough space around your design elements, such as navigation, copy, and images. Be sure to break up content into readable chunks, and don't be stingy with bullet points.

Even if you use a pre-built template for your site's design, you'll still need to know the traditional rules to make visitors want to flock to your site.

Just up ahead, check out highly recommended sites that will help you get up to speed on the all-important subject of good web design, along with related marketing tips on how to build a site that gets noticed by visitors, and the search engines ....

More information about web design & tutorials around the web:

- The World Wide Web Consortium site and required reading for anyone contemplating Web page design. The standard for recognized best practices...

Digital Point Forum - HTML & Website Design - Busy community forum with helpful exchange of information on html, css and web design tips, including website critiques.

Cool Home Pages - Design Tips & Tricks - Check out information on how to make a good first impression, including classic examples of well designed homepages with tips on major priorities, color, layout, photography, and other factors that go into a well designed front page.

Web Pages That Suck - One way to learn good design is to see bad sites in action. You'll find plenty to learn from here. Updated rants on sucky graphics/navigation and what to do about it from Vincent Flanders, the godfather of user-friendly web design.


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