Top-10 Tips for building your Website
you are currently building your website
and have no idea where to start, or
have if your website badly needs a
re-vamp then the MarketScapes guide
to designing a successful web site
will be useful.
Know your target audience.
audience will have certain expectations
when they visit your site. The visual
design, navigation and content should
reflect the needs of the target audience.
For example a site aimed at technical
professionals should be very functional
with short paragraphs of concise information
that will allow them to find what
the want quickly. A site aimed at
trendy teenagers on the other hand
may benefit from flash graphics and
navigation that would not make sense
to people outside their peer group.
Think very carefully about content
of the challenges in designing a good
website is to think ahead as much
as possible with regards to the final
content before the process of designing
begins. If people come up at a late
stage and request alterations, e.g.
more buttons which had been previously
over-looked, or the inclusion of new
areas in the site, which may result
in going back to the drawing board,
then the design will suffer. All sites
should have an immediately apparent
navigation mechanism when you arrive
at them. This should be decided upon
early on in the design process and
this navigational mechanism should
fit the general visual design yet
be flexible enough to allow for all
possible new content that may be added
to the site in the future. In terms
of "Visual Appeal" the design should
create interest for the visitor. But
at the end of the day "style" should
not completely take over from "function"
you're your site doesn't load fast
enough or is too "busy" or "involved"
then surfers will quickly lose patience
Check out competitor sites.
you decide exactly what you want,
it's always a good idea to look at
you're your competitors have done
or even what companies in similar
industries have done. Take inspiration
from the good ones but most of all
learn from the mistakes of others.
Design a prototype.
picture is worth 1000 words. Even
if your site designer produces a very
detailed site specification nothing
focuses the mind better than a working
prototype. Agree general site design
guidelines with the designer first
and then agree on a deadline for a
prototype review consisting of a few
of the main screens. This will allow
you to visualise the overall visual
design, content, architecture and
Ensure that the entire site is easily
navigation is critical. The focus
of a site should be to allow the user
to navigate through its information
easily and quickly. During the design
process develop a clear "site architecture
or map" as well as a plan as to how
the content will be delivered through
the site, what content goes on which
pages. The user should be able to
get to anywhere on the site within
a few clicks and should be able to
visualise the "site architecture"
after spending only a small amount
of time on the site. In the case of
large sites breaking the site down
to create a number of sub-sites should
allow plenty of scope for straightforward
navigation. Despite this many sites
suffer from poor use of links from
start to finish. Some sites fall into
the trap of having ever-changing index
bars on each page that exacerbates
this problem further. Consistency
across all navigation bars is a conventional
aspect of website design that users
have come to expect. The consequence
of breaking "the rule" is confusion
Ensure that the site loads quickly
at normal modem speeds.
will leave a site very quickly if
it doesn't load quickly. Various analysts
have estimated that the average users
patience lasts between 4 to 10 seconds.
Large image files, Java applets or
Flash Graphics can all slow down the
load time. If you are incorporating
any such elements, test load times
and do away with any unnecessary bits
that may slow the load time down.
Ensure that your site gets a good
the users what they think about the
site is the best way to assess usability.
This is also a valuable source for
future design & development. The site
should be tested by "normal" users,
rather than tech-savvy developers
or testers during its development.
Functionally dynamic sites.
major aspect that has greatly enhanced
the experience of the user online
has been the ability of the user to
customise / personalise whatever sites
they choose to visit. For example,
the ability to change background colours,
font styles / sizes, language, arrangement
of images etc. This can be taken a
few steps further with personalised
content and collaboration.
branding and your message may already
be well supported in your traditional
media publications from brochures
to off-line advertising. Your development
partner should be able to deliver
that branding across the Internet
medium just as successfully.
Make your site future-proof.
sure the design of the site is scaleable.
Always ensure that you are taking
the future into account when designing
your web site. Considering most web
projects will have a phased approach,
you will probably want to expand on
the functionality and deliverability
of the site over a period. Therefore,
it is critical that some foresight
is considered when designing your
site and that the design will allow
you to introduce new sections at a