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10 things you may not have thought about when designing your website

Posted In Products Review, Technology Reviews, Webmaster - By Techtiplib on Wednesday, September 4th, 2013 With No Comments »

Web designers can get caught up thinking about how a website looks. Here are a few things you may not have thought of.

Typography and Google Fonts

There are so many amazing font combinations available through Google Fonts. You now don’t have to worry about using boring typefaces on your website, or designing special graphics to go in place of normal headers.

Data protection

If you’re going to be collecting data in any way from your website (even cookies) you’ll need a data protection policy in place that complies with all laws and clearly states what you are going to do with any data you collect.

A good option is to let visitors to your website opt in or out of things like mailing lists. This breeds loyalty unlike getting an unsolicited newsletter.

Data ProtectionWebsites are not print

If you’ve designed for print in the past, you’ve probably picked up some techniques that just don’t work on the web. Fonts, for example. In print you would use Serif ones because those little tails on the ends of the words space letters so they are easier to read on a page.

On the web, however, those types of fonts just get lost amongst images and headers and other little florishes. A Sans Serif font is going to be much easier to read on a screen.

There may also be little design techniques that would look great in a magazine, that are hard to replicate on the web. Speak to your developers before getting your heart set on an idea.

UX

While you want the website to look amazing, it’s pointless if it’s completely unusable. Think about navigation, especially, as it’s the part of a website that often gets overlooked. You want concise, clear menu buttons that reflect the type of site you are designing.

For example, news sites are complex things. There’s so much information to be found and, as a result, you’ll need a navigation that reflects this so users can delve as far into the site as possible.

If, however, you are building an ecommerce site, the navigation needs to be simple to get customers through the buying process in as few clicks as possible. Make sure all the categories are clearly laid out and put less popular page links (such as: about, press, corporate and contact) in the footer so they are out of the way.

Complexity

If you are solely a designer then there can be times when you don’t agree with your developers. The reason for this is if something looks beautiful and simple to a designer, it might not be that simple from a developer’s point of view. Even ‘simple’ changes have knock on effects on other parts of the website.

SEO

There are so many factors that influence where a website ranks according to Google. Where possible, you should make it easy for good SEO practices to be put in place. Much in the way the Yoast SEO plugin for WordPress does.

Images

An image-heavy site might look beautiful but if it’s slow, you aren’t going to have users sticking around for too long. The speed of your website also affects SEO. Google doesn’t like websites that take a long time to load.

Copyright

A lot of things bloggers and designers forget about is copyright of the images they are using. Even if you’re buying them from stock sites, it doesn’t mean you have the correct license to use them on a website.

Check the fine print on stock sites to make sure the license on that image covers the purpose for which you are using it.

If you are using images licensed under the Creative Commons Act, you will need to credit that image to the owner. This isn’t really practical when you’re using an image as part of your design but it’s a great way to get images for individual pages and blog posts.

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