Website Design Part 1

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Website Design Part 1

  1. 1. Website Design<br />Understanding the Basics<br />
  2. 2. Core Principles<br /><ul><li>Know your audience and why they are coming to your site
  3. 3. Think usability above all else.
  4. 4. No one is reading your website.
  5. 5. Measure your results.</li></li></ul><li>The Homepage<br />Users spend an average of 30 seconds on your home page. Here’s what you need to communicate in that time:<br />What site they have arrived on<br />What benefits the organization offers them<br />Something about the organization and it’s products/services<br />Choices and how to get to the most relevant section<br />
  6. 6. <ul><li>Do you Know Where You are?
  7. 7. What are the benefits of this organization to you? (WIIFM)
  8. 8. Can you tell me something about recent developments?
  9. 9. Do you know how to get to relevant sections?</li></li></ul><li>Page Elements <br /><ul><li>Basic Page Elements that Users Look For:
  10. 10. Perceptible menus, with some graphic or color delineation, across the top and usually on the left
  11. 11. A Home button in or near the menu on the far left of all pages except the homepage
  12. 12. A logo in the upper-left corner of all pages (clickable to the home page)
  13. 13. An open search field in the upper-right corner of all pages
  14. 14. A shopping cart icon in the upper-right corner of all pages
  15. 15. A login/out feature in the upper-right corner of all pages.
  16. 16. Utility navigation at the very top or very bottom of pages that is subtle and visually weaker than the main/global navigation</li></li></ul><li>
  17. 17. Utility Navigation<br />
  18. 18. Sections and Headings Save Time<br />Headings that describe the information below them save users time<br />Offer white space, borders, and color to help users see the sections and the topics<br />Chunk information<br />Provide headings for each section <br />Be careful not to make the headings look so big or colorful that they look like an add or promotion<br />
  19. 19.
  20. 20. Interlude – Sound Smart Definition<br />Information Architecture – <br />The combination of organizing, labeling, and navigation within an information system<br />The structural design of an information space to facilitate task completion and intuitive access to content<br />The art and science of classifying and structuring websites to help people find and manage information<br />Source: Rosenfeld, L and Morville, P (2002). Information Architecture for the World Wide Web (2nd Edition) Sebastapol, CA: O’Reilly Media, Inc.<br />
  21. 21. Navigation<br />Navigation should be consistent, simple, and persistent<br />Branding and marketing in menus confuses people<br />A link is a promise. The link name sets the user’s expectation for what is to come<br />Use the most specific words you can for links. Try to avoid using links titled “more”, etc.<br />Links should change colors when clicked <br />Use breadcrumbs<br />
  22. 22. “Yahoo” Style navigation may satisfy your various coworkers, who all think their stuff belongs on the home page, but there is a reason why Google is the preferred search engine<br />Avoid Branding in Navigation. It doesn’t make sense to your user<br />
  23. 23. Fundamental (and boring) elements<br />Contact Us – only 2% of users ever look at the contact us section of a website. However, contact adds credibility to your organization, and helps users who can’t find the information they are looking for<br />Privacy Policy – users almost never look at the privacy policy, but it adds to your credibility and should be included in the utility navigation<br />
  24. 24. Images<br />
  25. 25. Characteristics of “Good” Images<br />High contrast and high quality<br />Cropped, rather than overly reduced, when necessary to fit a small space<br />Not excessively detailed; easy to interpret<br />Highly related to the content on the page, exciting<br />Smiling and approachable faces<br />People looking at (or at least facing) the camera<br />Clear instructions or information<br />
  26. 26. <ul><li>Smiling Face, looking at the camera
  27. 27. Medium quality, contrast
  28. 28. Highly related to the content
  29. 29. Easy to interpret</li></li></ul><li>Characteristics of Ignored Images<br />Are low contrast and low quality<br />Are too busy for the space<br />Look like advertisements<br />Are not related to the content or only slightly related<br />Are boring<br />Include people or objects that are generic or obvious stock art<br />Are cold, fake, or too polished<br />
  30. 30. <ul><li>Picture does not include faces
  31. 31. Is not related to the program, and is not easy to interpret
  32. 32. Is boring</li></li></ul><li><ul><li>Generic and obvious stock art
  33. 33. No relation to the program
  34. 34. Faces are not looking at the camera
  35. 35. Picture is only slightly related to the content
  36. 36. Picture is boring</li></li></ul><li>Do’s and Don’ts of Web Design<br />Do make sure that links change color when visited<br />Do NOT have a link open in a new browser window – you’ll only frustrate your customer (exception: PDFs and other documents)<br />Do NOT include vaporous content and empty hype<br />Do make sure you content is scan able and easy to read<br />
  37. 37. Do NOT use Flash<br />Do keep videos and other multimedia elements short<br />Do include videos that enhance your content.<br />Do NOT include videos simply because you can<br />
  38. 38. Do limit the amount your user has to scroll<br />Do NOT use splash pages<br />Do make sure your content is current and valid<br />
  39. 39. Typography – The Basics<br />Use sans serif fonts<br />When in doubt, use Verdana<br />Limit the number of font styles (and color)<br />For a general audience, use 10-12 point font<br />For a senior audience use 12-14 point font<br />Black text on white background is the most readable, followed by blue text on white background<br />
  40. 40. Writing for the Web<br />Content should be the focus of your design. Content and headers are noticed first – even before images.<br />Make sure your content is scan able<br />Highlight key words<br />Use concise and descriptive titles and headings<br />Use bulleted and numbered lists<br />Use simple, conversational language<br />Tone down marketing hype<br />Summarize key points and pare down.<br />
  41. 41. Measure & Test<br />Always measure your site and test your users against your expectations<br />For measuring, use Google Analytics or a similar program to find out what pages are being most looked at, how long people are spending on each page, and where they are coming from.<br />Conduct regular usability tests with your users. Don’t simply rely on surveys. Ask your users to conduct certain tasks/find certain information and watch how they go about doing it. Is your site set-up to be usable?<br />

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