Web Design Tips - Useful Tips for Effective Web Design & Development By Webwalas :
USE Readable fonts - This is a very BIG question for Webdesigners because I have seen almost 80% websites do not care about their visitors. Either they use very small fonts or very big. Nowadays there is a craze about Flash and HI-FI designing but Designers always forget that if somebody cant read then there is hardly any use of having a site which is almost near to Modern art. I have seen designiers use fone color near to their Webpage color and it is hard to read, there has to be contrast between background and font. You should be very carefull about it because if you are unable to tell people what your site is all about then there is no use of such a design.
Be Careful in Using Splash Page - Yes, they're called splash pages. They're generally laughed at in the web industry. They serve no useful purpose and are best avoided. These days they tend to have a nasty flash animation on them, which makes the twice as laughable. If you put a skip intro button underneath, people will skip it, if you don't, they'll probably leave your site!
The splash page's origins are in print. Print designers are used to having covers on their publications. Covers are mainly used to grab the attention of a person. As print designers moved to the web, they bought their old habits with them, forgetting what the actual purpose of these habits were. As a result, a lot of web sites have a non functioning attention grabber. It's daft because a user will never see it unless they are already at the site, and their attention has already been grabbed!
Fast Loading web site designs - This is the number 1 tip that every web designer should follow. You might design a web site that looks fantastic but few people are going to see it if it takes a long time to load. Your designs should be optimized for the web and should not take more than 15 seconds to load. Remember, you might have a great design but very few people are going to see it if it takes a long time to load.
Make Clear Navigation - Once a visitor has come to your site you need to make them go through your site. To do this you need to have clear navigation. Make sure all your important links are at prominent places. Preferably right on top - that's usually where a visitor first looks. Make use of menus on the right and the left. Try to link to as many pages of your site. Let your information be accessible from all parts of the site. You never know what a visitor may be interested in. Try to also use the footer for your important links.
Your Page Should Fit to All Resolutions - Today, there are computers with all kinds of resolution. They range from 640 x 480 to 1024 x 768 and go even higher. Your job is to design your site for all these resolutions. The best way to do this is to design your site in terms of percentage and not pixels.
Browser Compatibility or Cross Browser Design - Make sure your site is browser compatible. Your web site should look good in Netscape as well as in Internet Explorer. Don't stop designing your site as soon as you find that it looks great on IE. Usually Netscape gives some problems, especially when you try doing complicated HTML designs. But don't give up too soon, usually with patience these problems can be easily fixed.
Try To Minimize the use of images - I believe that sometimes simple designs are the most effective for the web. Keep your site simple but neat. Don't clutter your page with big, bulky images that take ages to load. Instead use tables creatively and design eye - catching icons that will draw a visitor's attention to a particular section of your site. Tip - Visitors are usually more interested in content than in design.
Use of white space - Try not to clutter up your page with too many images, backgrounds and colorful fonts. Again use the Keep It Simple principle by minimizing the use of graphics and using a lot of white space. White space gives a sense of spaciousness and overall neatness to a site. Notice the white space in our site.
Always Check for broken links - Always check for broken links within a site before uploading it to your web server. In Dreamweaver you can check for broken links by right clicking on any file in the Site Files Window and then clicking on Check links - Entire Site. If you don't have this facility you need to upload your site and then check it using online tools like Net Mechanic.