5 Rules to a Good Website

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Have you ever visited a website and in a mere few clicks you have become lost and have no idea where you are?  Often, you have navigated deep into the interior of the website through various layers, and sometimes, it’s hard to go back, or find your way back to the home page.  Ease of navigation is paramount in website design and will ensure that you have visitors to your web page.

A website should be easy to read.  The text should be a familiar size and should be consistent throughout the webpage.  Text that is in FULL CAPS has the appearance that you are yelling at someone.  Text that is too small makes your readers strain and will ensure that you will lose your readers.  Text in various colors makes your website seem inconsistent and will also make it hard to read.  Background imagery, graphics, special effects and background colors also need to be considered as this can distract readers and take away from the original focus of the website.

The layout of your website is key.  Websites should be laid out to be transparent, easy to read and attractive.  A website should be able to be seen in one page and hyperlinks take readers to one or two more layers, but that is as far as they should go.  This will avoid the readers becoming buried in the website.  Hyperlinks should be a consistent color so that the reader will know what it is and what it will do.  This will again lead to consistency in the website.

How will your readers find your website, among millions of websites on the internet?  This is a particularly important measure in website design.  It makes little to no sense to work hard on a website only to have no viewers.  Search engines, advertising, marketing strategies and links from other websites might all be ways to help direct traffic to your website.

The content in your website is up to you, but one thing is crucial in the website; contact information is key.  Have you ever visited a website, found something that you liked and then you couldn’t then find how to contact the company?  The contact information should be easy to find on the home page. 

The website should download quickly, or visitors will quickly lose interest.  Hyperlinks should be tested and kept up to date to ensure they work.  Content topics should be labeled and should be kept to a minimum.  Less is better in website design.  Having a query form or an easily identifiable question and answer place is key for those searching for more answers than your website provides.

The key to website design is functionality. If your website (or parts therein) do not work, then users will lose interest.