Provide clear visual messages

A site’s structure that has many levels to click through can cause a user to become bored with the navigation. Keeping a simple system with easy to read pictures, and big easy words, will make the user more comfortable. Also, never use big, clumsy words if you can use a small, clear one. Never choose to confuse if you can clarify. Movement, color, position, size, and other factors help people judge items and make choices.
Web site construction is a multi-faceted realm of subjectivity. There are few concrete rules in development outside of getting the code right. The rest is a matter of individual style. Nonetheless, here are some basic suggestions worth considering.

  • Consider your target audience. Is this site business or personal?
    • Business
      • Visually, it should have a relatively tasteful style representative of the goods/services offered.
      • Content should be geared primarily towards said goods/services.
      • A well constructed FAQ section is a valuable tool for potential buyers and can eliminate tons of redundant common inquiries.
      • For large sites, a site map and/or a site search feature is also recommended.
    • Personal
      • Everyone has likes and dislikes that they want to share with the world. Wonderful. Now, tell us what's behind them.

        Lousy example: "I like toast." Boring!!!
        Better example: "Warm toast with sugar and cinnamon, the way Mom used to fix, gives me a comfortable, nostalgic feeling."

      • A "slam book" with thought provoking questions is far more interesting and interactive than any stale guest book. Just please spare your visitors the same old drivel such as: "How do you like my site?" and "Tell me about your first kiss."
  • Write in the same manner in which you speak, provided it is relative to your site content and target audience.
  • Give your visitors a reason to return, whether it be games, a club, chat, email or whatever.
  • Create well defined topic sections that can be easily maneuvered with either frames or a navigation bar.
  • Regularly check your links!
  • Use alt tags for image descriptions - there are more disabled people online than ever before... Help make it easier for them to enjoy your site!
  • Use meta tags for better search engine tracking.
  • Depending on the nature of your site, update it regularly, then re-submit it to the major search engines.

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