Design A Website
| Tips for planning websites
To design a website you should read these pages for you as a website owner, to gain some basic insight and knowledge about websites and the internet in general, and to gain knowledge to design a website.
We hope that we will shed some light on myths and help you to understand the basic streaming of websites through the internet, marketing, advertising and other helpful key-elements that can make or break the success of your web profile.
Every time a visitor comes to your site, they take a particular path. Their eyes move in quick motion, hopping from one hotspot to the next. If you don't know how your visitors are traveling, your conversion rates will suffer dramatically. Fortunately, there is a company who has performed in-depth testing for you, revealing the common behaviors of people viewing web pages.
The company is known as Eyetrack and they began studying online behavior in 1999. Because of these studies they have been able to help web masters to improve their site designs, headlines, font sizes, navigation, article formats, and even their ads.
They track eye movements as a visitor travels through a website and how they scan any individual page. With this information, they have created heat maps to show where visitors focus most of their attention. On these heat maps, red areas are the most popular and blue areas are the least popular.
You can see some examples of heat maps at PoynterExtra.org. You can also find a complete summary of the EyeTrack results
To design a website and before beginning wading through all the "ins and outs" of how to design a great website, you should be aware of where your site is located in google's index. There is one important factor called "Page Rank", also referred to as PR which is viable to have a good prominence in Google's search engines. Google measure this rank on a scale from 1-10, which is highly relevant for your website to reach high search results. If you do not hit at least "3" on this scale, you should seriously learn more here or contact us for SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
Your visitors are certainly not reading your website word for word. They are scanning and picking out relevant information that they feel is important. Fortunately, you can attract your visitors to certain content simply by placing it in the right spots.
"The headline", for example, is often the first element that people see on your site. To draw people into an article, you must have a compelling headline that speaks directly to your visitors needs and wants. In fact, a change in the headline on a sales page can produce a 1,900% increase in sales. This is certainly an element that should not be taken lightly.
You might also want to begin your articles with a boldface introductory paragraph. 95 percent of readers in the Eye track study viewed all or part of the introduction when presented with an article to read.
On the Internet, where information abounds and the majority of people are paralyzed by information overload, most appreciate the addition of an introductory paragraph that summarizes your article. Once they have come to the actual content, however, how do you get them to continue reading? There are a few formatting issues to keep in mind when designing the layout of your article.
You will definitely need to use short, snappy paragraphs. Eyetrack III research found that shorter paragraphs received twice as many eye fixations as those with longer paragraphs.
Most people also seem to focus on the left side of the page and look for related words that might entice them to read closer. Therefore, you will want to include some important keywords on the left-hand side of the page so that readers can quickly see them out and be pulled further into the material.
The Eyetrack III research discovered that smaller type encourages focused reading rather than scanning. Very interesting. In general, their testing found that people spent more time focused on small type than large type. The larger type resulted in increased scanning of the page. Of course, you don't want your visitors to be squinting to try and read your text. The key is to find the appropriate balance that will encourage readers to focus on your text more than they scan.
It was also found that underlined headlines discouraged readers from viewing the following text. Overall, visual breaks (such as a line or rule) discourage people from looking at items beyond the break.
Now, on to one of our favorite web design topics...
Eyetracker found that navigation at the top of a homepage performed best, meaning that it was seen by the highest percentage of test subjects and looked at for the longest duration.
Your navigation is best placed on the top or left side of the page. Why? Simply because this is what people are used to. If you go along with the crowd, people are much more likely to effectively browse your website.
So, what about ads? As you have probably heard, many people ignore ads. The online world has a massive case of banner blindness. However, good placement and design can often improve your results.
For example, ads in the top and left portions of a homepage receive the most attention. Ads on the right side of the page don't do as well, which is why the banner on this page is on the left ;-). In addition, ads that are placed next to important editorial content can really help attract attention to the ads. These ads perform best when they are truly integrated into the actual content of the page.
Images receive much more attention if they are larger. For example, one of the test pages in the Eyetrack III test found that a postage-stamp sized image was viewed by 10 percent of the participants while an average sized photo (about 230 pixels wide and deep) drew the attention of 70 percent of the people.
Research also showed that clean, clear faces in images attract more eye attention on homepages. So, if you are using small images within your advertisements, you may want to enlarge them a bit if you want people to be drawn to them.
On the other hand, people seem to avoid ads when a visual barrier is placed between the ad and the content. These breaks can consist of either white space or a border. Ads that blend into the look and feel of the page draw the most attention. In addition, text ads were also found to receive the most response.
By now, you may be wondering what these studies have shown about search engines. Exactly what do people look at when they are presented with a list of search engine results? Well, that is an excellent question and one that has been studied extensively.
The basic layout of a web page, the basic structure of key elements and information should be in a "F" shaped scan pattern in which the eye tends to travel vertically along the far left side of the results and then scan to the right occasionally if something catches its attention. This seems to be the most successful layout for web pages.
So, enough, we wanted to let you know about these important "design a website-tips", before starting to design a website project.