5 Most Fundamental Web Design Commandments of the Contemporary Era

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Are you in the process of designing a befitting website for your small business startup or are you in the middle of agreeing to a website makeover? You need to pay attention to the following vital points in order to get the most out of your virtual business leads and sales machine.


When it comes to website design, extra attention should be paid to every minute detail to ensure it performs optimally and serve its purpose very well. Here are seven important rules of thumb to observe to make sure your website performs well.


1 Do not use splash pages


Splash pages used to be the holy-grail – the very first page you see when you arrive at a website. They normally have a very beautiful display graphic with words like “welcome” or “click here to enter”. In fact, they are just that — pretty vases with no real purpose.


Who uses splash pages anymore in this age and time? Unless you are in the adult industry, they have pretty much outlived their usefulness.


It is a shame that the attention span of the average internet user has shrivelled to seven seconds max.; do not give your site visitors a valid reason to click the “back” button and navigate away, very quickly, from your website!


Get them promptly to your value proposition upfront without the splash page.


2 Do not use excessive banner advertisements


Even the least technology-savvy people have trained themselves to ignore banner ads; so you will be wasting valuable real estate placing banners ads on your site – unless you are running a blog.


Rather than rely on banner advertising, instead I will suggest you provide more valuable content and weave relevant sponsored links into your content, and let your visitors decide what to do rather than feel pressured to buy the commodity displayed in the banner.


3 Have a simple and clear navigation structure


Put in place a very simple and straightforward navigation menu that even a young child can use effectively.


Stay away from complicated Flash menus (that will not work on smartphones and other mobile devices).


Go easy on the multi-tiered dropdown menus – use them only if they are absolutely necessary.


If your visitors do not know how to navigate your site or pretty much puzzled trying to figure out a way around your site on their own, they will leave your site ASAP.


4 Give the user a clear indication of where they are


When visitors are deeply engrossed in browsing your website, you will do well to noticeably hint them which part of the site they are in. That way, they will be able to browse relevant information or navigate to any other section of interest of the site easily.


And do not confuse your visitors either, because confusion, for most website visitors and users alike, pretty much equates to “abandon ship”!


5 Avoid playing audio and video content automatically on your site


As much as possible and no matter how important or beneficial the message you are trying to pass across in the audio visual content is, always leave the decision to play media content entirely to the site visitor – unless it is inevitably necessary (for example in the case of video-based opt-in and sales pages).


If your site visitors are going to stick around a long time on your website consuming your thought provoking content, you will do well not to annoy them with some lame audio looping on your website.


Regardless of your default media content auto-play settings, always keep your videos short (not more than 90 seconds), sweet and straight to the point.


Controls of longer form video and audio content should, entirely and rightfully, stay in the hands of your site visitors. Do not try anything sneaky that will get them to tongue-lash bash and blacklist you.


And remember not all site visitors are created equal; some will visit your site on snail-like “4th world” connections, it is not in your best interest to alienate or anger them.


However, if you insist on auto-playing audio visual content, make sure they have a measure of control over it – volume adjustment and muting controls would work fine.


Do you have any vital website design directive that the modern technology-savvy blogger and webmaster should heed to get the most out of their virtual real estate? Now is your turn to have a say.

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