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Designing Web Usability: The Practice of Simplicity

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Page Design

  • Make sure the design of your pages has the same theme throughout the site. Ensure your identity is recognisable on each page so people know they are on your site.
  • keep the logo simple (definitely not animated) and at the top left of every page where it is most effective
  • explain your site with a tagline - a brief statement telling people what your organisation does - and place it near the logo
  • first impressions count so choose colours and fonts carefully - they have a huge impact and can easily put people off
  • get to the point - tell visitors who you are, what you do and what they’ll gain from the site
  • be credible, back up facts - specify where information came from

Your site has to be quick or visitors will not stay. It should take less than 10 seconds for your site to load, any longer and you will lose traffic. Every aspect of each page must be designed with speed in mind.

  • keep your homepage under 50K in size (35K each extra page)
  • don’t use too many graphics or multimedia effects and keep them small when you do
  • optimise your images properly– optimisation is a method of reducing image file sizes yet retaining its essenc
  • use CSS - cascading style sheets - to reduce the page file size but ensure the page still looks OK when CSS is turned off.

Keep the design simple. Don’t clutter the pages with colour or movement – it only takes emphasis away from the content.

  • use white-space to separate sections, it makes the text more prominent and is easy on the eye
  • avoid ‘flash’, ‘java’ and ‘javascript’ intro’s, not everyone has the correct plugins installed – many of those who do skip the intro anyway
  • use one design throughout the site, keep navigation, fonts and colour consistent
  • group similar items together in sections, don’t mix them up all over the page

Website Design Resources


Jakob Nielson

How to design a good church website



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