Web Design Tip Part 2

The last post I made about web­site designs tips was refer­ring to the ini­tial things needed before start­ing a web­site.  Domain names, Web­site Host­ing , and Con­tent. To be sure, many already have that taken care of.  How­ever many peo­ple want to under­stand the basics before mov­ing on.

This post will focus on a few things that will help make  the web­site devel­op­ment process more fruit­ful and less painful.

I hear it all too often from other devel­op­ers that they are approached to start a web­site devel­op­ment project and they get the project started but then devel­op­ment halts because of there not being any con­tent to apply to the site or that the site plan is very sparse.

If you are hav­ing trou­ble com­ing up with con­tent there are con­tent writ­ing ser­vices that spe­cial­ize in this type  of thing.  I have been approached by sev­eral writes that are look­ing to assist with these ser­vices so let me know and I can con­nect you.    That is the easy route.  Alter­na­tively you  can always do a search on your com­pe­ti­tion and ana­lyze their web pres­ence to get ideas.  You by no means want to copy  their con­tent ver­ba­tim.  This will lead to get­ting your web­site penal­ized or even banned by many Search Engines.  Why?  Because the search engines have a vested inter­est in get­ting their cus­tomers the best con­tent pos­si­ble.   You dont have to take my word for it just search the term:  effects of dupli­cate web­site con­tent.     So qual­ity fresh con­tent is a great idea.    You can get valu­able ideas from your con­tem­po­raries by review­ing their infor­ma­tion , and  tak­ing notes.   I like to look at the best that I know of.   You can also get excel­lent site struc­ture ideas this way.

Site struc­ture is basi­cally your infor­ma­tion archi­tec­ture .  Inter­face design­ers will often use wire frames dia­grams to setup how a sites flow might be setup.  This is a crit­i­cal step the setup and design of a web­site.     The flow of infor­ma­tion should be fairly log­i­cal or else it can frus­trate and con­fuse you vis­i­tors.   Larger sites , those with more pages , can uti­lize drop down menus to arrange infor­ma­tion strate­gi­cally so that infor­ma­tion is easy to find and where one might expect.   For exam­ples – Links under the about menu could include  > Con­tact Infor­ma­tion > Biog­ra­phy > Loca­tion (s) > Mis­sion Etc…
Arrang­ing infor­ma­tion this way will make it easy for your users to find what they need with­out uti­liz­ing a search func­tion.    On this note a site map  is always  a great idea since it can act as a cen­tral link loca­tion where all of the pages on your site can be found.

You may have heard that con­tent is king.   Get the con­tent on your site that your users are look­ing for and make it easy for them to find  and they will appre­ci­ate your efforts.   It would be nice if  many of soft­ware appli­ca­tions would do the same thing…
Cheers

Dwayne


About the author

 Web Design Tip Part 2 I’ve started design­ing web­sites while at Uni­ver­sity of Hous­ton dur­ing my first Pho­to­shop 3.1 expe­ri­ence in 1996 on a Mac­in­tosh com­puter. I built my own com­put­ers (Win­dows PCs) with the help of a friend and have been dig­i­tally involved ever since. I am both Win­dows and PC lit­er­ate but grav­i­tate toward OSX. I’ve grad­u­ally got­ten back to my roots as a tac­tile artist / designer by work­ing more with tra­di­tional medi­ums like draw­ing, paint­ing, and mixed media.

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