When you build a website, your goal should be to make it as effective as possible. You should aim to attract your audience and to give them a reason to re-visit. That means your website has to provide your audience with a good user experience. Frequently, that means simplicity in design and relevance of content. Here are some suggestions on what to think about in improving the design of your website.
Web users like pages to load quickly. Waiting even 10 seconds for an image to load can seem like an eternity if the user is just staring at his screen while waiting for the load to finish. Some users do not even bother to wait and just move on to another site. You should not let this happen to your website. If you include images, optimize them for the web into the smallest size possible without sacrificing quality. It can make a huge difference in how long your page takes to load.
When you are selecting graphics for your content, make sure that you choose the ones that support the ideas that you want to convey. Irrelevant graphics add no value to the content and may even distract your readers from the main focus. So, select images and graphics that reinforce your ideas, and position them where they will have the most impact.
Avoid using images that are animated. Many people find blinking graphics especially irritating. These lend nothing to the quality of your website and may even make your website look unprofessional. Therefore, avoid using them.
Most web users prefer simplicity when they peruse a website because they can find things easily. Websites that have a fancy design may look nice, but the purpose will be defeated if the fancy design proves to be too distracting. Most people prefer a standard layout, such as having the navigation at the top or to the left of the page, so that they would not have to hunt around the page for the next link to click on.
Avoid using too many font types in your website. That can make your website look inconsistent and unprofessional. Use two font types at the most, and use standard font families. This makes the text a lot easier to read. You want your audience to be absorbed into your site’s content and not be distracted. Instead of using a different font type to emphasize on parts of your text, use a bold face.
Basic layout principles for print also apply to web design. One of these principles is the strategic use of white space on a page. White space makes a page easier to read and helps the reader visually organize what he is going to read. Do not display a large block of text that occupies most of the screen space. Format the paragraph into two columns, and leave enough white space between the columns.
If you apply some of the tips mentioned here, you will improve the user experience of your website. When your readers get a positive experience from perusing your content, they will be more likely to come back for more.