Neglecting design is unforgivable in the online world. Having a good design is the difference between a good user experience and a frustrating one, which in turn makes the difference between success and failure for your site.

Good design is a main component of what made Facebook and Twitter rise above other social media sites. Using attention grabbing compositions keeps people reading. It also improves your site’s reputation. Hopefully these design tips will help you attract visitors to your web page and keep them there.

  1. Don’t crowd your page With Ads – Advertising may seem like a great money making method, but if you go overboard with ads, your site will look bad and users will be put off. Your sidebars should be places of content, not clutter. You don’t want to distract people into leaving your page, do you? If you decide to go the ad route, remember that less is more. Integrate the ads into your site’s appearance and try to only allow ads that are relevant to your content.
  2. Use Images Strategically and Professionally – Having high quality and professional pictures on your page can be a great boost to your aesthetic. Too many photos, however, and you run into the same problem as with ads. Too many pictures can overwhelm the viewer, and more importantly, they can make the site just look like a mess. Choose images carefully so that they add to your content, and not distract from it.
  3. Use a Professional Header Graphic – Your header graphic is at the top of every page a visitor sees. It affects their interaction with your entire website. So, you could say having a professional header graphic is fairly important to your user’s overall experience. If you aren’t a professional designer, this is one area where hiring someone is for the best. Make it clean and simple. You want to draw in visitors with a stylish and classy header, not bare down on them with clashing graphics and text.
  4. Use a Color Scheme That Highlights Your Content – The best color palettes for web sites are those with a few relatively similar colors. Complementary colors or colors close to each other on the color wheel help make sure nothing clashes, and that you don’t distract from content. You want your design to bring attention to the content in a positive way and not overwhelm.

Making sure you follow these rules for your site’s design can help improve your visitors’ experiences. Happy viewers makes for return visitors and more time spent on your site. By using a design that complements your content, your visitors will feel naturally drawn to it and they’ll be much more likely to stick around.

For more suggestions on web design, look at Sarah Arrow’s article at Sark e-Media.

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