Sunday, July 1, 2012

Cool Web Page Design: Good Idea Or Bad?

Some people think that having a cool web page design means that more people will want to visit their website. If you are in the advertising or graphic design industry, there's a chance that this is true. But what about the rest of us? Is having a cool web page design something you should even consider?

What is your target audience?

If you are aiming at young people then there's a chance that a cool design for your website will be something they appreciate. But you will need to be spot on with the design - the younger age group can be very fastidious and unforgiving. Especially if your idea of cool is closer to their idea of their dad dancing at a disco. You get the idea.

Is your website design search engine friendly?

A lot of the cooler design ideas are at best difficult for the search engine spiders to crawl and index. Most spiders prefer plain text - do an image search for almost anything and you'll see how often Google etc get the wrong idea of what an image is about. They fail in a similar way with Javascript - which is often used for trendy site menus - and Flash. The search engines thrive on text and - within reason - the more of that the better. Keep this in mind when your website designer is trying to convince you about how cool and trendy the new site design will be.

How accessible is your site design?

Remember that nowadays web sites are viewed on all sorts of different devices from regular browsers on your computer through to mobile phones. As well as this, people with disabilities may also be using your site so you should make it as accessible as possible for people who are eyesight or hearing impaired.

Simple things such as navigation menus should be accessible to everyone whether they're using a mouse, a touch pad or a phone keypad. Doing this will also make your site more available to the search engines so not only are you helping your human users, you're increasing the likelihood of getting found in the search results.

Test it with honest people!

You want honest feedback on your website design. Most web users won't tell you that the red text on a bright green background isn't acceptable - they'll just click back. Test your site out with people who are known for giving you their candid thoughts even if initially that isn't what you want to hear.

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