Web Design: Components That Make A Difference


Creating a hit web design definitely requires imagination in addition to some very basic components that can all make a huge difference in terms of your site’s ambiance, functionality and success.

Here are some web design suggestions any novice should take seriously---Why?  Because they work!  Though all can’t be covered, this is, at least, a start.

Optimize Web Graphics To Lessen Load Times:

Some visitors to your site could still be using dial-up internet connections or have cell phones that lack broadband-like speeds.  If this is the case, you don’t want to lose any of these potential customers who will say ‘adios’ if pages have sluggish load times.  One way to tackle slow load time is to pick the right file format.  For example, images that have solid colors are best saved as PNGs and GIFs.  Images with continuous colors (such as actual photos) are best saved as JPGs.  Also, limit the amount of images you use, and keep them to a minimum.

Here are a handful of excellent on-line tools for optimizing your images:

1---smush.it!--- automatically converts GIFs to PNGs.  PNGs weigh much less.

2---RIOT--- has image-editing abilities such as pan, zoom, rotate and flip.

3---PNGOUT--- has an impressive set of options to customize how files are compressed.

4---SuperGIF---can compress GIFs 50% or more, in some instances.

5.---PNGGauntlet--- can convert JPG, GIF, TGA, PCX and BMP to highly optimized PNG files.

Construct Navigation That Is Accessible And Easy:

Navigation is the heartbeat of your website.  Without it, your website and your business will die a quick death.  Don’t take navigation for granted; and keep these few considerations in mind when your navigation design is being created:

1---Placement—A good navigation system will be highly-visible/detectable as soon as a web page loads.

2---Technology—will it use JavaScript or just CSS?

3---Usability and Web accessibility--- Navigation should provide usability and accessibility without the need for client-side JavaScript or Flash since some users may not have availability to these technologies for whatever reason.  Also, make sure your navigation allows ease with reaching your site’s front page, or any top-level pages, from any webpage.

Utilize Fonts Minimally and Strategically:

Yes, there are thousands of fonts available, but here are a few basics, and keep it simple.

1--- Use web-safe fonts.

2--- Be consistent with font usage and pick those that are easier to read; and Arial and New Times Roman are classic, problem-free choices.  Definitely use headings that are different from regular text by using highlighting and larger font-size.

3--- Use font sizes at and above 12px, especially with paragraph text.  Make it easy on the eyes!  And speaking of easy on the eyes…

Use Colors Choices Carefully:

You don’t want to frustrate readers with low vision or those who might be color-blind or partially color-blind.  The contrast of the background with the foreground is important since non-compatible color combinations can be visually taxing on the person reading your text.  Black text on a white background is far more visually comfortable than red text on orange.

Here’s one more point…

Understand The Human Mind:

Research proves that within 10 seconds of viewing your site, a visitor will have made the decision to stay or leave….10 seconds!  As a result, everything discussed here has to come into play and mesh beautifully.  Fonts, colors, navigation, page load-time--- each component makes a difference, individually and collectively!


Karen is a writer in the midwest who covers various topics like web design in Austin.

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