professional web design newsletter

HOOVER WEB DESIGN NEWSLETTER June 2002, No.5

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IN THIS ISSUE:

~What's New on the Website?
~Elements of Effective Web Design



What's New on the Website?

  • Web Template Search Engine - This new search engine will allow our customers to search for web templates with ease because it searches our web templates exclusively. Previously customer had to use our site search which brought results from our entire web site. From the template search results, you can view the pages of the templates and purchase them with credit card or paypal. We are in the process of adding all of the templates to the database, but you are welcomed to test out the beta version on our template home page. Ecommerce, Personal, Celebrity and Wedding templates are included in the template search results.
  • Web Templates with Full Resale Rights - we've started a new web template reseller's program. Will will allow certain web sites to resell our web page templates. You can sell all of the web templates as a complete package or any one of the templates in the package individually. You can sell as many copies as you like, charge whatever price you want and keep every cent you make. Visit our reseller page to find out more.
  • Free Web Templates - we've added several new free web templates. Recent additions are templates with educational, technology and floral themes.
  • Advertise on our web template site - you can advertise on our web template site for as little as $6 per month.

Elements of Effective Web Design
from webdesign.about.com


It's been said before but I'll say it again: Just because you can, doesn't mean you should!

Everyone new to the Web seems to be afflicted with a love for whirling, spinning, and flashing Web pages. I remember the first time I made a gif animation. I wanted to put wall-to-wall gif animations on every page. It was fun! This tendency seems to exist for most of us as each new advancement in technology becomes available. So, a word of caution, play with the all the new toys - but use them wisely.

The following are elements I have found to be common to well-designed sites:

Simplicity
Study the site design of any large corporation. Scrolling text and gif animations are used conservatively or not at all. Too much repetitive movement is distracting and sometimes annoying. Try to keep scrolling text and gif animations to a minimum. In my opinion, you should also limit the number of times a gif animation will loop.

Simplicity in design should also be reflected in background choice. Busy, loud backgrounds detract from content and make text illegible. Too many colors or fonts can also be distracting and give the site a cluttered feel.

Consistency
Use one design throughout the site. Remember that to a visitor, a Web site is a physical place. It is confusing if pages within a site are not consistent in design. Color is sometimes used to identify different sections of a Web site but the design and navigation should remain consistent throughout the site. Choice of fonts is also part of the design. Be consistent in your use of fonts.

Identity
Keeping with the concept that a Web site is a physical place, consider the purpose of the site and reflect that purpose in the design. For instance, a Web site for a bank most likely will not look like a Web site for an amusement park. A Web site should reflect the philosophy and identity of the business or entity for which it was designed. Use of color and fonts again has a large impact on the 'look and feel' of the site. Choose these elements carefully.

Content
Have you ever taken the time to hunt down a Web site, waited for the page to load, and then not found the information you needed on the site? I am usually not only irritated by this but also inclined to never return. Make sure that as much information as possible is made available on your Web site. I have yet to see a site that had too much information.

User-Friendly Navigation
Navigation is one of the most important elements of your design - take time to lay out a logical and effective method of navigation. Consistency is again important. Spend time navigating your site. Ask the opinion of others. Do they ever have to hit the back button?

If you use graphics for navigation, provide alternate text navigation. One simple technique I particularly like is the use of small text navigation at the bottom of each page. I usually include top level links, links to other pages in a section of the site, and an email link. After putting all that good content on the site, you want to be sure your visitor's can find it!

Visual Appeal
Visual appeal at first seems to be a hard quality to define. Certainly part of visual appeal involves personal preference but another part is reflected in adherence to the qualities of simplicity and consistency. Visual appeal is also dependent upon the quality of graphics used in a site design. Spend some time visiting sites that you think are appealing. Notice the graphics on corporate and designer sites. You won't find any 'jaggies' on these sites! Images must be properly anti-aliased to the background of a site.

Compatibility
Make your Web site platform, resolution, and browser compatible. If the site is not compatible to all viewers, consider creating alternate pages for those without the capability to view the enhanced site.

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