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Smart Design, an Explanation
By : Lisa Schmeckpeper

As many of you already know designing your own website can seem easy with all the programs & tools available to us today. A quick surf of the web will show you many examples of what is produced when the inexperienced experiment with the complicated task of designing a website. Sometimes I shake my head & think what were they thinking? Can they really think that looks good?

While everyone's tastes are different and although I may not pick big purple buttons to go with my lime green background & yellow text a good design goes far beyond mere color picking. If the design is hard to read (as yellow text on lime green would be) a visitor is forced to leave or withstand a migraine for the next 8 hours! Smart design incorporates the proper placement of information, good use of white space, & well coordinated graphics but it is much more than that.

Smart designing is the key to keeping visitors at your site. If a visitor stays long enough your message should get across & that increases your chances of turning that visitor into a customer. If a site is poorly designed the visitor will become frustrated, confused, & finally fed-up enough to leave.

A Web Site Should Ideally Have:

* NO broken links or dead ends

* The navigational bar or Web Site directory should be easy to understand and attractive

* Design should be attractive in 640X480 & 800X600 resolutions

* Text only versions of any forms should be made available to visitors who are using browsers that do not support forms This also extends to the use of frames in a web site which we highly recommend not using unless there is a text only alternative

* Custom colors should all be loaded onto your Web Site so that visitors without high-end computers can still view your Site as you intended

* You should always use Alt Image tags on all graphics for those visitors who are "surfing text-only" Graphic file sizes should be reduced to decrease load time. There are many impatient "surfers" out there who won't wait for your oversized logo or collection of unimportant clip art to load. Experts say a page must load within 15-20 seconds or you may lose visitors.

These are the basics to designing a smart website. If you think you can keep all of these aspects in mind as you develop your website then you have a running chance at it being an acceptable design to your visitors. While this doesn't necessarily insure it's success (proper promotion will decide that) you wont lose visitors within the first 30 seconds. The longer they stay the better chance you have of getting the sale.

For the inexperienced web designer trying to develop a website that "follows all the rules" can take a long time and a lot of trial & error. If you don't have the time to devote to doing the website right then I suggest not trying to do it yourself. Don't convince yourself it doesn't matter what you put up because your product is so great (that's what everyone else thinks about their product!). The days of the public accepting shabby websites is over. There are far too many choices out there today. They will just do a simple search & find your competition.

You must factor in the costs of your time, energy, & even lost sales of designing the site yourself. If you are starting your business part-time that may mean you have a "real day job".

** Are you turning down overtime so you can rush home to work on your site?

** Are you staying up until the wee hours (as most of us webmasters do)?

** If your website could be designed properly in a week through a webdesigner would it be worth the month or two you would spend trying to piece it all together?

One of my clients said to me recently, "I'll let you do what you do best & I'll stick to what I do best". A very wise idea!

If you decide that you don't want to embark on the task of designing your own website or you have & it was a disaster, we can help. We offer Free, No Obligation website consultations. Come fill out a request for your free consultation at: http://www.lrsmarketing.com/website.htm

 

 

About the Author :
This article was written by Lisa Schmeckpeper of LRS Marketing and originally published in their free newsletter, Website Success Monthly. To receive a free copy of this informative e-zine just send email to subscribe@lrsmarketing.com or visit their website at www.lrsmarketing.com. Copyright 1998 [LRS Marketing]. All rights reserved.

 
 
 
 
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