Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Web Designers Design Brief

When first contacting web designers about your website or online project, it's very important to have a written brief. Without some kind of brief, it can be difficult for web designers to fully understand the project and what it entails.

Spending time writing a clear and consise brief will make your project run a lot more smoothly and quickly than without. The more detailed you can be in the brief about both graphic design and functionality of the site, the better. For example, it's always a good idea to include in your brief any existing logos, branding colour palletes, copies of current business cards, corporate fonts to ensure the graphic designers are aware that there is already a brand identity that must be adhered to. Secondly, if the site is to be redesigned, the more guidence you can give your web designers on what style of design you like, the better chance of success you have of having design developed that you like, first time. It's helpful to let your designers know of 3 or 4 websites you like the layout and design of and specify what it is you like about them. Perhaps the colours, whitespace, clean, uncluttered feeling or perhaps a busy site with lots of text and images. These sites generally do not have to be industry related, only seen from a graphic design point of view. Lastly, supply your web designers with 3 or 4 of your competitors websites so that they can see what you are up against.

It's also crucial to give your potential designers a sitemap. A list of the pages that are going to be required such as Home, About Us, Our Services, Contact Us, Media Library etc.. in addition to this, any special functionality that is required such as online payments, a user registration area to access a document library perhaps, ecommerce facilites are just a few of the functionalities that may be required. Giving this kind of detail to your developers will allow them to study the project in detail.

Once your developers have a solid idea of your design and development requirements they can spend some time researching ideas for the site and if time allows research some of the latest technology on the web that could be used. Once ideas have been discussed, your web developers should be able to give you a good idea of the cost of the project and estimated timescales for design and development.

Should you wish to move ahead with the project from there, you will have a good foundation for the project and should feel confident that both parties understand the project in detail. Your web designers should be able to design and develop a first class site on-time and on-budget.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Effective Web Design

In order to design an effective web page, you must attack it in an organized fashion.

First, decide what the goals of the website are. For example, will your website advertise a product or service, inform the public, or serve as a blog for your personal musings.

Next, based on the goals, determine who your core web audience will be. Your web design should speak to your websites goals and drive traffic from your core audience to the site. Before you begin using any web design program, I recommend getting out a pen and several blank pieces of paper. On one piece of paper, draw out a tree structure, where each branch represents a different page on your web site. For example, you may start with your home page and then have a page that goes into more detail about the purpose of your website or provides contact information.

Look at the tree you have made and take a step back.

Do you need more pages or have you overcomplicated the site with too many pages. Make adjustments accordingly. Once you have identified all the potential pages in your website, consider how you will want your audience to navigate from page to page. Will you incorporate a tool bar that goes to each page or require the user to click links from one page or another? Consider if there are some pages where your audience will want to get to easily or more regularly versus pages that might contain only specialized information. Identify the most important pages and use those for your navigation.

Next, start by designing a template by drawing it on a piece of paper. The template will appear on every single page. At a minimum, it should include whatever navigation you have chosen for your site, along with an area for page content.

The template will help serve as a guide for the look and feel of your page, so you may want to do several drafts.

Now that you have designed your template, start to build each page's content. This may be a good time to start using web page design software. Remember to consider other people's copyrights when designing your page. In other words, do not steal images or content from others. Once your page has been built, consider different ways to monetize it. Will you sell ads or search for sponsors? Or perhaps you just intend this to be a non-profit endeavor. These days there are many services that provide easy ways to make money on your website.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Web Design - Principal Elements

There are six basic elements for a good web design that are the simplicity, the visual balance, the proportion, the contrast, the fluidity and the harmony.

Let's start with the first one. The simplicity is the most important principle when we talk about web design. After all, the World Wide Web wants to make things simpler and it also wants more accessible public information. Visitors should not struggle too hard in order to get to your website content. If possible try to use "three clicks rule", which means that no information should be more than three clicks away. If you hide the information from menu after menu, you will only frustrate your visitors or you will oblige them to move to something else (click, click, click, click, click, forget it!).

The visual balance is another important principle of web designing. Many inexperienced designers feel the need to fill every pixel of information. Every element of web design has an optical influence in print language that is called ink density. Web page should have a header and footer section; this creates visual parts of your site and it makes it easier to navigate in and the colour shade should be the same. Well this positively is not the best method of communication. Ink density is required that any Web page to create a balance from the beginning to the end. In addition to that, do not underestimate the value of white spaces.

Proportion is should be also important principle of web designing. The human eye tends to favour the different proportions of length and width. It is more pleasing for the eye to view a rectangle in a proportion than a perfect square.

The contrast is very simple to explain the public will come to a close to listen if you shout from the beginning be sure someone will pay attention if you just whisper and suddenly shout really loudly. Other advice would be to avoid using a single type of "treatment" for your text. For example: use either bold or italics but you are advised not to use both of them together. Another mistake is to create very dense text documents ignoring the inclusion of white spaces; it makes the readers see a gray wall.

Be careful also about the fluidity. The visitors tend to scan pages quickly first and then decide to read what interests them. The first looks are fixed on unusual forms and then the visitors begin to analyse the text. A good web page leads the visitor to the desired point.

Last but not least, your site must be balanced. In other words, the pages must complement each other, to show that go hand in hand. You can do this by keeping the same structure and the same rudiments on every page.

All the six principal elements of web design are equally important and complement one another. To create the desired experience for the visitors you are advised to maintain a balance of all these elements.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Web Design - Effective Tips

When start to create a dynamic web design every website should follow some vital tips. With the creating of the web design you should confirm that your visitors are facilitated and they enjoy browsing through your web page. Your web design should enhance your web site and should not take more than 14 to 15 seconds to load. Firstly you should take notice that your website should be load your page quickly your web design is not to load your page quickly, your customers might loose interest.

Foremost you need to create a web page that is loading fast, if your web design is not set to load your page quickly, your customers might loose interest and your website would not be looked at. Your web design should enhance your web site and should not take more than 14 to 15 seconds to load.

Secondly to facilitate your users, your web design should be structured. You should be clear to make that possible website navigation. All the vital links should be placed highly, preferably on the very top, to catch your customers eye. They should not go through the trouble of fishing for things on the web page. You should set your web design in a manner that all the information has sufficient links to make your web site better organized and reliable. You may also use tools like footers for the important links. Your web design should be set for all resolutions that computers are recently available in. A dynamic web designer would consider this and design the site in terms of percentages rather than pixels.

Moreover, your web design should also set your website as compatible for browsing. Your website should look good on Netscape and as well as on Internet Explorer. Your web design should look attractive on both these browsers; although it can be a bit strenuous but patience will ease your task. The first glance of the web design of your web site should be able to hold your customers attention and should make them read on. As a result you are advised to use readable and professional font type. Avoid using fancy fonts and Arial and Verdana look good. In addition, neat and clutter free web designs give the appearance of a well worked out web site. Usage of large images usually takes time to load and customers may not like that. In your web design using creative tables and charts and eye tempting icons will tip your visitors and enhance their interest.

Using fewer graphic and leaving blank white spaces will leave your websites more spacious and neat for your customers. Dont leave your web design without checking for the disconnected links. You may check for broken links with the help of a web browser.

Your website should contain fresh and up to date content with visual highlights. To make your web design even more attractive you also need to market your site, promote it and to make it accessible to your customers. You should include copy rights and privacy policies. Making your site interactive also helps and using a simple domain name will help different people to remember your website. So, web design is very important and you have to take care of it to create a good website.