Monday, January 3, 2011

Layout and Web Design

One of the most important parts of your Internet site is the way that visitors react when they first see it. You can control this with what you put on the homepage but, just as importantly, by what you don't put on the homepage. When it comes down to it, web designers oftentimes have to get their clients to be a bit less inclined to throw all the information they can at their visitors on the first page.

The layout of your page should include enough negative space that the various content elements are easily distinguished from one another. One of the worst things you can do is to have a layout that leaves visitors confused as to which text goes with which links. Having too much image content or flashy animations, can also be a bad move. These can enhance a page but there are very few occasions where it's appropriate that the site be completely defined and driven by these elements.

Most designers will encourage you to use technologies such as widgets on your page. These allow your page to provide a lot of functionality without you having to pay for custom programming, unless you need an element that is specific to your site alone. Keep an open mind with these technologies, as well, but don't go overboard. When there are too many choices, people tend to shut out all their options out of overstimulation. The most important part of your page layout is that it draws the visitor deeper into the site and that it gets the most important messages through.

If you check on a designer directory, you'll see that some of the companies specialize in content. You'll need to have content for your site to have a point, in the bluntest terms. This means that you'll need information on your site that makes it something more than a sales brochure in digital form. Your designer can probably come up with some good ideas for how to fill up your pages. Don't be afraid to put forth your own ideas, as well.

A good designer directory is an excellent place to start searching for companies. Check their portfolio and see how their sites look. Pay attention to the very first page. If it makes you feel dizzy looking at it because it's so busy, you may want to consider a different shop.

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