I have written in the past about the 3 must ask website questions, but what are the 5 most important features of an effective web design? What must be considered before a website project begins and how do you implement those features into your website?
1. The Header: Here is an example of an effective header:
We designed this header for Hill Country Jellystone and as you can see it clearly “tells the story” about what you can expect at the campground. The header reflects family, fun, water, weather, the outdoors and, besides the park ranger (which was placed to show safety), everything in the picture as it is shown is exactly what you can expect from the campground. The well designed Header also shows the phone number and address for quick reference. For more examples of our Web Designs, click here: Web Design in San Antonio
2. The Navigation: This is probably the best example of the best use of navigation: www.jacci.com You will notice that when you mouse over her navigation it asks a question. This gives the feel that the client wants. That said, just because the feel is right doesn’t make it perfect. It, also, has to work and by that, I mean navigate. If a person had difficulty finding what they are looking for or if it isn’t easy, they will simply leave the website.
Here is a good example of a navigation we incorporated into the Web design with the header included:Notice how the Navigation just “fits” into place. I love this website. You can check out the Texas Press Clipping Bureau here: Texas Press Clipping
3. The Layout (Architecture): We get this from potential clients, “I have this wonderful website idea. I want to incorporate a social media website into a coupon site and then merge it with the local nightlife scene.” After a brief budget discussion, the form of the website starts to evolve into what web developers call “The Project”. This is when the developer is putting the website together in his/her head to come up with the scope of the project, the plan and the estimate of how much time it will take to complete the project.
A client of ours needed over 80 websites to be built (or a system in place) and needed to have the websites built as needed and preferably (down the road) by non-web developers. We scheduled a meeting and determined that what this entity needed was a system for organizing people into teams and allowing those teams to communicate. Out of that we developed: Volunteer, Communication, Organization, Training (VCOTS). The point is that initially one can never be sure how they would like the flow of the website to be incorporated, but usually after a discussion or two, it will become clear and then the process can begin.
I prefer a web design layout that is easy to read with clear information. Most websites today use the “dashboard” look. I like it because it works and if you want more information you and always read more on the next page. Of course…it’s always up to what is best for “The Project.”
4. The Photographs: Use photographs that convey what you want to say and use them instead of or as a way complement your message. Here are some images from a photo rotator from a website we built for an Accounting Firm: Armstrong, Vaughan & Associates: Notice how the two photographs really tell you something about the firm. Photographs placed as the Header above the Navigation Bar really tell a story.
5. The Content. Say what you mean and mean what you say. Make it easy for people to find your information. Make it easy for them to contact you. Make it easy!