Professional Web Site Design

By: Marci Crane

Professional web site design is important but you don't have to be a licensed professional to get an online space that “says” professional web site design with confidence!

The following design tips will help you to achieve the look alike professional web site design that your business or personalize website has been waiting for.

Professional Web Site Design Tip #1: Take Time to Plan
Any time you design, you have to plan. Planning doesn't have to be complex. It may consist only of telling yourself exactly what it is that you want to communicate to your website visitors and drawing >2 pencil thumbnail sketches. I know a designer who draws several thumbnails, chooses his favorites and then expands on those images, etc.

Professional Web Site Design Tip #2: Keep Learning
Once you learn the “tricks of the trade” (or basic web design) it's important to keep progressing. The concept of continued education may seem obvious but it's common for even professionals to get into a rut. Take a surf around the Web and click and scroll until you find various sites with designs that are intriguing, clean and unique. Take a look at each favored site's source code. You may find that reading code written by others can help you become a better designer yourself.

Professional Web Site Design Tip #3: Use Comment Tags
Your comment tags (i.e. ) can be valuable when it's time to reevaluate and/or revise your code. Utilizing them may seem unnecessary at first. After all, when you code a design for the first time you usually know where you are headed, but years down the road your once-upon-a-time clear train of thought might not be so readily apparent. It's like returning to your 9th grade math book when your teen needs help. Sure, the problems are simple, but “re-learning” and explaining the concepts is a new field of expertise. So, make any revision processes simpler by using the comment tags. Even professional web site designers could probably improve in this discipline.

Professional Web Site Design Tip #4: Screen Resolutions
The resolutions of your website visitors' screens will vary (i.e. 640 x 480, 800 x 600, and 1024 x768) so it's important to choose the resolution that will work best for the most users. Larisa Thomason, a Senior Web Analyst with NetMechanic, Inc. says the following1 in regards to picking your pixels:

“Study your log files to determine the most popular browsers and browser versions.”
“Become familiar with the major assistive technologies used by visitors with disabilities.”
“Test your site in multiple browsers, versions, screen resolutions and operating system combinations.”
“Reference online user surveys to learn more about demographics, browser, and screen resolution preferences. Surveys from WebSideStory and BrowserNews indicate that 800x600 is the most popular resolution, with 1024x768 close behind:”

Professional Web Site Design Tip #5: Not Too Flashy
Let's face it. Most online visitors are just regular Joes and Janes who wear regular Keds and Levis. When you design a website make it visually clean and appealing to the people who will be viewing the site. Sure, it's fun to create flashy, flying objects that virtually explode in people's faces, but most people just want to read your text and get to the heart of the matter. Let them do exactly that with professional web site design that doesn't shout for attention.

Of course. If the purpose and plans of your website do for some reason need to say “flashy” by all means....take the horse by the reins.

Professional Web Site Design Tip #6: Proceed with Caution When Using White Space
Leaving white space on your website can be visually appealing but leaving chunky white spaces here and there between graphics can cause visual distress. You might consider aligning the graphics (if possible) and taking a step backwards to see how each segment of the visual aesthetics flow into each other. If you're not sure ask someone with a design background what he or she thinks.
For more information, search for articles on “professional web site design and SEO” or on “conversion rate enhancement and professional web site design”. These topics are popular and useful for today's online domiciles.
1 http://www.netmechanic.com/news/vol4/accessibility_no24.htm

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