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Why Choosing Form Over Function Kills Your Site

user friendlyUser FriendlyNever put form over function. Why? Because it's crucial that visitors actually are able to USE your site. Everything you do must be designed to be as easy for the visitor to understand as possible. Everything should be functional first.

If you put form before function, you sacrifice your visitor's best interest for your own preferences. By definition, putting form over function means you sacrifice function and you make it harder to perform whatever task is supposed to be performed. You give up ease of use or simplicity in order to make it look nicer. Basically, you wind up with a lot of icing and no cake.

Don't get me wrong. Form often accentuates function, just like icing accentuates a cake. Something that is visually pleasing, and often increases the usability by making it more attractive, or by using visual elements to increase understanding. Creative design can often be used to make a task easier to perform. It can entice the visitor to take whatever action you want them to take.

However, on the web, there are frequently contests between form and function. Designers make choices between whether to make something look nicer or make it simpler and easier to use. For example, these are common ways of sacrificing function:

  • Using an uncommon style of links that makes it hard to recognize the links.
  • Putting a textured background behind the copy, even though it will make the text harder to read.
  • Choosing a font color that doesn't have enough contrast with the background color.
  • Using a font face that is difficult to read.
  • Using an uncommon name for a common link. For example, "Talk" instead of "Contact us".
  • Placing elements in unexpected places. Like putting the logo on the right side of the page or placing the main navigation along the bottom of the design.
  • Using a splash page on the site because it looks neat, even though it keeps visitors from getting to the real information in the site.
  • Using a lot of fancy images that make the page load more slowly.
  • Opting for a totally graphical design with no copy on the main page, regardless of the fact that visitors won't have a clue what the business is all about until they get further into the site.

upset manUpset ManThese are all examples of choosing form over function. Unfortunately, if your design looks great but is hard to figure out, your visitors will be gone. They don't come to your site to admire the looks; they come to use the site--to find information or to accomplish a task. Anything you do to stand in their way is a no-no.

Most of the time, a visitor's attention span is about as long as snake fur. They have no patience. If you complicate their lives, they're outta here. Other sites are ready and waiting to meet their needs, so there is no reason they should struggle through your site. If you opt for form over function, you're likely to opt yourself right out of sales. Not good.

When you're designing your website, don't think about looks first. Always make function a priority. Think about what's going to be easiest for your visitors to use and understand. Then create an attractive presentation to accentuate it.

Please do not hesitate to contact us for a free quotation, or more information.

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What Makes a Site Lucrative?

group people asking questionsGroup of People Asking QuestionsPeople ask too many things about websites. They ask about the key points to remember in order for their website to conquer the Web as well as to boost their sales. They ask about the right colors to use, layout, content and the likes. So many queries but it all sums up to one thing - a profitable website.

To boot, in order for your website to be lucrative, it must exude total equilibrium with all its elements. What do I mean with total equilibrium? Well, it's simple. It involves six crucial rudiments - organization, focus, design, navigation, technology and marketing. Short of one rudiment means your website is incomplete and lacking. One by one let us discuss their essence.

Organization

A design must be detail-oriented. Just like a piece of art, each detail must contribute to the overall projection of the whole. Nevertheless, it must only have what it needs and nothing more. It is with semblance to the maxim in clothing that it is better to be underdressed than overdressed. This is because it can tend to lead the visitors astray. They may not be aware of where to go or where to look at. This is the reason why it is always safe to keep it simple and in order yet not tedious. Follow the basic rules and your readership will surely soar.

website goalsWebsite GoalsFocus

All sites have goals. In order to achieve that goal focus is necessary. Objectives must be met in a way that the target audience can relate and look forward to working hand in hand with you.

Design

Design must be simple with web safe colors. Design is something that will not punish the eyes of the readers, something that will not look shameful but a memorable and professional epitome of both art and function. It is advisable to use toolbars on homepages however, it must not be more than ten. Another thing that you should consider is its size. Ordinary home page has a standard 17" size without any scrolling involved.

Navigation

Easy navigation means quick routing. That way visitors can transfer from one page to another without any difficulty. Giving burdens to visitors may mean annoyance and will most likely result in poor cooperation and realization of your goal.

Technologywebsite marketingWebsite Marketing

It is noteworthy that a website should use accurate technology in order to meet its objectives and dynamics. It must be recent and up to date so that your target readers may not find it passé and rotten. You can utilize all possible resources as long as it will rebound to the benefit and efficiency of your website.

Marketing

Lastly, the domain name must be easy to recall. It can bear the company/business name or something that will easily be connected to your products or services. It must have a one-to-one marketing practice - an abode that will make clients comfortable and at ease. It must also be something that will make visitors come back for more!

Contact us for a free quotation, or for more information

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What Is The Color Of Your Website?

color emotion brand guideColour Emotion Brand GuidePsychology behind the colors that can make or break your website’s success.

Did you know that the values associated with colors can have a significant impact on your website’s success? And did you know that you can change your visitor’s feeling, mood and reaction by using different colors on your website?

Some professional web designers do not realize the impact that a single color can have on their project when designing a website for their clients. In reality, the meaning of colors will send the first message of your website to your visitors. You don’t have to be a genius to find out why since it is obvious that the first thing they (visitors) see is the color of your site!

I have studied one hundred visitors to evaluate their patience for uploading a web page. First, I tried a plain black background page and the average waiting time was up to 2.47 seconds. Then I tried a plain white background page and the average wait time for uploading the web page increased to 4.89 Seconds.

The reason is just fear. People are afraid of black and darkness, and they feel vulnerable when they see a plain black page. I won’t go in detail about this subject in this article, but if you would like to know more you can always visit our site at http://www.websitedevelopmenttech.com and get more information about color psychology.

color wheelColour WheelWhat color should you use when designing your website?

Before answering this question you should do some research about your target audiences and find out about their character, behavior, mood, emotion …etc. I’m not asking you to go and find each individual and interview them to find out their feelings and emotions. All you need to do is find the answer of these two questions:

1. What is the market segmentation that you are targeting?


a. Age
b. Gender
c. Culture
d. Geographic location

2. Why are they coming to your website?

Let’s take a closer look at these two questions.

all age group coloursAll Age Group ColoursA. Market Segmentation:

a. Age: What is the most appropriate color for the age group that your website is targeting.

b. Gender: Men and Women have different taste and they react differently to colors. For example, the color pink is more appealing to women.

c. Culture: Colors mean different things to different cultures around the world. People associate colors to special events in their culture. For example, white is the symbol of purity and virtue in some cultures while in others white is associated with mourning and grief.

d. Geographic Location: Sometimes geographic location can change people’s interpretation of certain colors. For example, people that are living in a desert area tend to be more passionate toward bright colors from yellow to orange vs. people that are living in the mountains

B. Why are they coming to your website?

colour schemeColour Schemea. That is a very important question which determines the mood and feeling of your visitors. For example, people go to a lawyer’s or a doctor’s website because they have a problem and they want to be FIXED. This means they are not really excited or happy about that issue. Although, this may not be the case all the time there are some exceptions such as plastic surgeons, patent attorneys…etc.

As a designer, once you know your target markets then you can decide what color to choose to get the best possible outcome for your site. Sometimes you may end up changing some colors that you thought would be interesting to your visitors.

Remember, no matter how much you know and how hard you try, there is no guarantee that you can make it the first time. That is why it is important to monitor the results of your website and know how visitors are interacting with your site so you can change your mistakes and learn from it.

Please do not hesitate to contact us for a free quotation

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Why I Switched to A Tableless Design

/tableless website designTableless Website DesignSince I made the switch 6 months ago to a tableless design on my main site, I’ve noticed some interesting things:

* My search engine rankings have dramatically improved

* My bandwidth usage has dropped about 50-75%

* I can now make changes to the look and feel of my site easily by just changing the one file, the stylesheet.

Let’s look at why my search engine rankings improved. Now that I have less un-index-able code on my pages, the search engines can now crawl my site quicker. Less code, more content, therefore a better ranking. Makes sense, doesn’t it?

Bandwidth costs money, and unless you have a really good hosting plan with lots of bandwidth, then your larger files will take up more room on your server, and take a lot longer to load. Tableless designs use up considerably less bandwidth and are more accessible.

Every once in a while I may want to alter the look of my site. I like to change font colours, link colours, menu items, etc…Before I started using tableless designs, these changes took me hours to do. Now I just open up my stylesheet, make the changes I want, and in a few minutes I have my site updated with the new look and feel. It’s so easy!

responsive web factsResponsive Web Design FactsFor a client who wants to make their own changes, tableless designs could literally save them thousands on tech costs.

Most of my clients still want sites with tables. I now give them the choice of either style. After all, the customer needs to be happy, right?

Some people have the misconception that utilizing tableless designs means having a boring and less graphical site. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Take a look at one of my favourite websites: http://www.csszengarden.com/. At that site you can really appreciate what can be accomplished through css-based tableless designs. Beautiful!

So make the switch to a more profitable, usable, and accessible website!

Contact us today for a free quotation, or more information

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What Is Web Usability?

huge consumer electronics storeHuge Consumer Electronic StoreWeb Usability. It sounds very simple. "It’s just how to use the Web, right? I already know how to do that." That’s not exactly right. In fact, Web Usability is the layout, construction, structure and navigation of your website. Does that sound simple now?

Web Usability - A Real World Comparison

You can compare a website to an actual store. Let’s say you walk into one of those big retailers, looking for a new baseball glove. Now, you’ve never been there before. So, you first need to find the Sporting Goods section. This store is huge. And with all the shelves and displays up front, you can’t see the layout of the remaining 80% of the space.

The store might have a guide/map up front for you to check out. Then again, if it’s the chain I have in mind, they probably don’t. Instead, you’re going to wander around looking for signs. You also might use past experience in stores to make an educated guess. For example, you probably would look for the Pharmacy in the same area as the medicine and vitamins. That’s where they usually put it.

 store guide mapStore Guide MapNotice I didn’t say anything about asking someone who works there? That’s because it wouldn’t fit our example. Websites don’t have disgruntled slackers or underpaid clerks roaming around. Your sense of where you are and where what you want to go is dependent on the web designer. The hierarchy and site layout is created by them – and used by you.

Easy To Use = Easy To Profit

The ease of site use by your visitors is the same as the visitors to our store. How easy is it to find different sections of the site? Is there an easily located sitemap for them to consult? Do they have a sense of where they are in the site and how to go back to a page they visited before? Without using the browser ‘Back’ arrow?

example sitemapExample SitemapA frustrated customer might keep going back to the ‘real’ store in our example just because they’re the only game in town. Or they have the best price. But those advantages are few and far between on the Web. Chances are there is a viable competitor ready to take your frustrated visitors only a click or 2 away. And people do leave web sites when the get frustrated.

In a nutshell, Web Usability is making your site easily navigable, understandable and intuitive. It’s marketing, whether you realize it or not. Why? Because it’s a part of your image, your presentation, your place in the mind of the prospect. That’s why it is so crucial to success. Especially online, where you face a world of competition. Keep your visitors on your site and you’ll keep their business there, too. Now, that is as simple as that.

Please contact us for a free quotation, or to discuss your website requirements

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