Some of the important design elements that the a website designer might consider while and before designing a web site –
1. The layout – The most important decision is presenting information in such a way such that the visitors do not get lost. A website that only focuses on looking good, might be ignoring the user- friendly aspects. The right combination of beauty and brains is what will finally clicks with the visitors. Without intimidating and by focussing upon a user’s experience, a website can not only attract, but retain visitors.
2. Images – The number of images being used in the website purely depends upon the nature of business. If it is a products specific website, images of products are a must. The important thing to keep in mind is image optimization. Images need to be optimized so that they are visually appealing and download fast.You might consider using alt texts, since it indicates the nature of image. Sometimes images take long to download, it helps to have an alt text describing what the image is about.If the website is service specific, just a few images for design purposes can be used. The best judge of how many images to use and where, is the website designer, but the SEO . An SEO specialist needs to ensure that the site has the right balance of images and texts. Too much of text will make it unnecessarily verbose and sometimes boring and too much of images without enough text might not be enough to persuade a visitor to take the required action. It has to be the right combination to attract and retain visitors.
3. The Content – This depends on the website. If it is selling products, then the products should have the images and should contain product specifications. In this case there is not much of a need to write but there should be enough call to action words, testimonials to serve as persuasive elements. When a website is all about services rendered, there is usually quite a bit to write about. The need to write is more since one has to talk about the services, and convince the visitors to try out the services. Very long texts need to be avoided. There can be visual relief provided, or these texts can be placed in separate sections.
4. The Navigation Buttons – Another important feature of Web design is taking a decision on the navigation buttons. Very often we have websites that have the navigation in images. It certainly looks good but from the SEO perspective the search engines should be able to access the links in the navigation buttons.If the links are not accessible to the engines, all the pages of the website will not be able to get indexed. There are various ways of providing an alternative navigation panel.One of the alternatives is to provide textual links as well. That way you are ensured that the search engines can access all the links and so do your visitors (in case the images do not download properly)
5. Sections that are Updated often – This is another important aspect of web designing. Frequently updated sections can be highlighted more. A designer can create a section on the home page reflecting fresh content from the frequently updated sections. Visitors like to see new things and so do the search engines.
6. Home page– Designing for the home page is perhaps the most thought about, not only does it work as a doorway, it needs to be able to guide visitors to where they want to go. The designing elements of the home page are therefore very crucial. If a home page needs to be designed in flash, make sure you provide a static version of the home page for visitors who do not have flash installed.The idea is to reach maximuim visitors.
7. Region specific – If your business is spread all across world and you have retailers taking care of the sales of your products, you might want to consider optimizing your website design for regional visitors. Providing a search box will help the visitor quickly find a retailer near his/ her area. If your website offers area specific discounts, special offers and any other customozed features…they can be customized when designing for regional specific target market.
These tips will definitely help you be a step ahead of your competition in attracting and retaining visitors to your website.