Friday, July 27, 2007

Website Design: Keep it Simple

Keep it Simple One of the keys to a quality web site is simplicity. You've heard of the KISS principle? Keep It Simple Silly. This applies doubly for websites. Design Web Friendly It is inexperience than can make you want to use every bell and whistle, every feature and every new trick. It is nice to be able to create complex frames and tables, use large busy fonts, use flash and animated GIFs, but will end up with too many features competing against your message.

It's more than likely your audience is quickly going to be overwhelmed, rather than impressed. Just because you can create a flashy effect, doesn't mean you should. Ask yourself if the flashy addition is improving my page, my design. Decide if there is actual value in the addition and does it add with this technique? Is this the best way to communicate my message? A simple design doesn't necessarily mean uninteresting and dull. Lots of people confound fancy effects with effective communication. Keeping it simple means you should think about how people will be using your pages. Then present your information to them so it matches their requirements and expectations. Earn their attention Use technology and effects where appropriate and where they make for more effective communication. You're not designing web sites for yourself to look at. You're publishing a web page because you expect someone to stop by and visit it - your audience. The more you know about and understand your audience, the more effective you can gear your communication and marketing appropriately on your site.

Does your audience still use dial-up service that still relies on slow modems? Then be aware of file sizes and download times. Are they expecting to hear your band's music clips? Then you'd better think about an audio format. Ease of use is critical in web design, so above all else your site easy to navigate. Many small factors can quickly add up to create easy paths through your site. For example, one thing you can do is keep the number of choices small, that way people are less likely to become lost in a long list of options. Simple in design is simple design. Did you know that the average human mind sees five or fewer items as one group, but when it encounters more than five items it has to divide them into smaller sub-groups to process them? It makes sense, then, to try to keep your selections arranged in groups of five or less. That makes it easier for your readers to quickly see the options and select one.

Article written by Jason A. Neal.
graphic design seattle
seattle graphic design

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