I can vividly remember the first time I was exposed to the internet. I was about seven years old and my dad had just bought the family computer. We had one video game and access to the internet through a local internet provider, which I cannot remember the name of. What I do remember was the obnoxious noise it made every time it attempted to connect and wondering why in the world someone would design a device that annoying. There weren’t many sites we could visit and the internet was used more for messaging than searching. Fast forward a few years to the time I was in high school and the internet completely revolutionized itself and was a much closer resemblance to the current model. The annoying dialing had disappeared and the speed had increased substantially to the point where you wondered if it could go any faster. Fast forward a decade and this invention runs nearly every aspect of my life. I use it for work, pleasure and even my schooling takes place on the web.
The most remarkable thing about the web is not its speed but its girth. And by girth I mean the shear amount of websites available to the public. Everything imaginable is now available to us through the internet and we can even create our own sites if we choose to, something that was nearly impossible in previous years due to the cost. The ability to create a website for free with simplicity will only increase the amount of websites at our disposal.
This week I created my first ever website and learned quite a great deal in the process. There are five key points that I would like to share that I found to be particularly crucial when designing an effective website.
- Focus on aesthetics. Appearance before content??? Not necessarily appearance is nearly as important. Color scheme as well as format are crucial. Before our minds ever recognize and digest content, they are processing the colors and shapes of the home page. I would recommend Go Daddy’s stance on website design, “keep it simple, keep it clean” Go Daddy Tips. This way your audience can then focus on the most important thing, your message.
- Create a message that sets your website a part from all others. What are you offering your viewers? What’s your niche? Using my own website design as an example I was offering viewers a chance to reinvent themselves through a healthier lifestyle. I know what you are all thinking, there are countless health sites and this is true. My site was centered round nutrition and exercise but making it easier on the viewer by providing daily meals as well as workout routines, all available at the click of a button.
- Make sure your site can be navigated with ease. Going back to Go Daddy’s recommendation of keeping everything simple, I wanted icons to be clear and lead exactly to information. Referencing my website, the viewer can easily see the nutrition section, click on it and be presented with four meal options, which they can they choose to print out. Never assume that your audience is tech savvy, make tabs clean and efficient.
- Multiple pages with multiple options. People want choices. No two people are the same, so try and provide as much variety as possible and constantly update it so your information does not become obsolete or redundant. The website I created will provide 4 meals a day, a chicken meal, beef meal, fish meal and veggie meal. In the fitness tab, the viewer has three different cardio options as well as three weigh lifting options. All updated daily.
- Is your website mobile ready? We’re all on our phones, all the time it seems like. Website traffic through mobile devises is at an all-time high, take the pain out of mobile viewing and make sure it’s mobile viewable Mobile Connection.