There are various types of web design, from those constructed using website templates and ‘build your own own’ site building applications in order to complex content managed and web commerce web designs such as those utilized by big brand names like Amazon, eBay and Tesco. Some companies, also some big name companies, have unprofessional looking and badly designed websites. Some have amazing looking websites but because of their high graphical articles and minimal text content may take an age to load, are not user-friendly and do not provide what the visitor wants.
Good Website Design
Though many aspects of website design differ from site to site, many things remain the same throughout the majority of websites on the internet. Most notably is the navigation or menu. The way in which a website’s menu works and looks is very important, as ultimately, visitors to a website are looking for certain criteria that will make them either stay and interact or leave. This ability for a website to help keep visitors interested is sometimes referred to as stickiness. Visitors want an attractive visually thrilling experience, but perhaps more importantly, they need ‘ease of use’. Website user friendliness is a key factor for websites that want their visitors to stick around, make a good enquiry and ultimately complete a deal and order a product or support.
Easy to Use Web Design
Internet users tend to choose easy to use websites, because they do not wish to have to learn how to use a website every time these people find a new one. They should be capable to use a website after only a few seconds of looking around a homepage, anymore and they will leave and browse somewhere else. The need for fast user interaction is essential and therefore having a fast loading website is also important for a website to succeed. Even with faster internet connections such as broadband, internet users don’t want to wait around.
Just imagine, if you go to a shop on the high street and so are totally ignored by shop assistants at the counter for 5 minutes, even with you have made it clear you want help. There is a correlation here to how an internet user may feel, if they arrive at a website that has been poorly created, is difficult to use, unfriendly and slow to load. Making sure that a website continues to be well thought out and designed with the user in mind, displays a company’s exclusive selling points within easily recognizable eye catching calls for action and has an obvious, easy to use menu is key to the success of the claims.
Flash Web Design
With recent website design advancements, such as the introduction of Display animation and high definition video content, impressive websites have been produced to consider advantage of much higher levels of visual effects and interaction. However with this ‘high end’ web design, comes a price, more often than not, web designs which rely greatly upon Flash content are often absurdly slow to load. They often have an improvement bar, which slowly goes over the web browser to signify when the internet site will finish loading.
This is just like the progress bars that you may be familiar with if you are using video editing or 3D making software, or if you use games consoles where they are displayed whilst you wait for online games to load. Internet users on the whole do not want to wait 3 – 5 minutes to get a web page to load even if it does feature high resolution images, animation or video. They want fast informative content wealthy websites. If they wanted to watch an animation or video they would watch TV.
Good Flash Web Design
This is not to say that Flash animation is all poor news and shouldn’t be used in web design. If used subtly and in small amounts it can make a website more aesthetically appealing without slowing the load period down too much. Suitable uses with regard to Flash animation in web design are usually things such as; Flash banner advertisements, Flash video and interactive Flash forms for online questionnaires or company presentations.
Using Flash for an entire website design however , is not such a wise decision. It slows the user’s experience down because they have to wait for elements of it to load. Also, sites totally developed in Flash tend to use unfamiliar menu structures and features. This can confuse visitors who just want to quickly interact with the website and not become amazed by the way the menu animates. Just because you can do these things in Adobe flash, it doesn’t mean they have any genuine working value in the real world. They may look pretty, but if they are not practical and only irritate the visitor then they have no real value.
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Flash Web Design and SEO
Another argument against using Flash to create a whole website is it dramatically reduces the effectiveness of your websites’ Search Engine Optimisation. Flash web designs comprise of one main file within a web site which search engines find difficult to catalog. This is because the text within them is normally graphical text and therefore is not usually accessible by search engines. Some recent developments allow some text to be displayed for search engines in Flash websites, but this is nowhere near as effective as text articles within traditional HTML based web sites.
Don’t Write Off Flash in Web Design
Although Flash does have the limitations it also has its great points if used correctly. For instance; Flash animation is usually smaller in file size than traditional gif computer animation and because of the way it is made the animation flows smoother than gif animation too. Having said this particular, I would recommend only using Flash within small areas within a site in order to compliment other imagery that makes up the overall design. Finding a balance among minimal graphical elements, imagery, Flash and good quality informative text is the key to a successful user friendly website. That isn’t to say that web design needs be boring. By working with quality web design companies there’s no reason why you didn’t want to have a visually exciting, well designed, simple to use and successful website.
Visually Rousing Web Design
When visitors first reach a website, they want to be impressed and engaged with what the website has to offer. This is determined by the ways in which the web developer has laid out the website’s content text, images and features. Organizing elements such as imagery, text, images, flash and video in such a way concerning keep the visitor interested in the website is the key to good web design. If a website has poor design and does not grab the attention of the visitor in the first few seconds, then it may well be dismissed as just another average website. This ultimately means the visitor will go elsewhere to spend their time and, more importantly, money.
Good Web Design Layout
Considerable time and money is spent making sure that the right elements of websites are positioned in the right places. Companies spend considerable amounts of money conducting research into just how internet users use their websites. This type of research shows where their visitors’ eyes concentrate the most, which elements of the website they click on first and generally how they interact and use their websites. Most internet users will look primarily from the top left possibly across the page, or down the remaining hand side of the web page via an internet browser via a computer, mobile phone or TV set.
I would hazard a suppose, that they are looking for the company’s name or even logo, their main selling factors or slogans and then what the site has to offer in terms of what is featured in the menu. After which their eyes are probably drawn across the page content plus over to the right hand side. Successful web design usually takes this into consideration and can ultimately affect the way a website appears.
There are of course rather famous exceptions to this rule for instance one rather well known search engine has a web design which is quite different. The main focus and primary functionality in their web design is located right in the centre of the page. This nevertheless , isn’t any ordinary website with tens or even hundreds of pages of products and services to display, its main focus is its recognisable logo and of course the search box. It does however have a small minimal menu across the the top of web design, which flows from left to right. So even they have got taken onboard some of the research undertaken into internet users’ habits. In case you go looking at websites after reading this article, I can guarantee that most of the web designs you’ll see, will have a left hand menu and a described header bar with a company logo and slogan across it.