Tips for Better Site Design
Follow these pointers for excellent site design:
Minimize the number of graphics on every page to keep loading times to a minimum.
Make all graphic files as small as possible for the same reason.
Include your logo at the upper left corner of the page, to meet user expectations.
Link every appearance of your logo to the home page.
Title each page with keywords that clearly describe the content. Don't use "Home Page."
Group your pages according to user expectations rather than company expectations.
Write copy that instantly tells of benefits to the user.
Keep fluffy self-promotion to an absolute minimum.
Make explanations short, with links to additional background information.
Use italics and underlines sparingly, to maintain good visual clarity.
Use headings and subheadings to break text into smaller blocks.
Keep words small and avoid technical jargon whenever possible.
Make certain that your Shopping Cart (for e-commerce sites) is extremely easy to use.
Offer a search engine to help people find information quickly (if you have a large site).
Offer a free monthly e-mail newsletter if your site offers expertise in a popular topic.
Make sure all links on your site function perfectly to avoid annoying 404 errors.
Avoid flash introductions, which are generally considered annoying hype by busy users.
Flash is excellent as an interactive tool for delivering information, however.
Feature your contact information prominently at the same place on every page.
Show all major navigation links on every page. The left column is often the best place.
Make it easy for users to tell friends and co-workers about your site.
Include a Site Map to give users a quick glance at the entire site.
Establish credibility by joining privacy and security groups and posting those logos.
Offer easy access to personal customer service via phone, e-mail or online chat.
State your return/refund policy clearly and link to it from every page.