Building a good website relies upon much more than just a pretty and visually balanced interface, that interface must also be self evident, easy to use and useful. We will not focus here on minutia but on the gestalt, the big picture, so here are four design concepts to help improve any website.

1. Simplicity.

Your users should not have to think long and hard about how to operate the features within a website once they are there. Everything should be self evident in the way it is to be used. If you do not think someone will understand what something does, make sure to write an explanation to avoid confusion.

2. Understand the prevalence of impatience with website users.

People are naturally and generally impatient, so don’t squander their attention span. Call attention immediately and only to what is centrally important to the aim or aims of the website. If at all possible avoid length forms, polls and sign ups. Get to the call to action and be done with it.

3. Focusing attention.

A large problem that many very well made and easily navigated websites have is not calling proper attention to the focus of the site. There is a flip side to this and that is calling far too much attention. This is often done by highlighting things with yellow. Now there are always exceptions but, as a general rule of internet design, or any kind of text design – avoid yellow! It is ugly and hurts the eyes to read!

4. Write well or get someone to write well for you.

It isn’t enough to have all the other pieces of a website perfect and then just type up any old paragraph. There is no place that people read more than on the internet so make sure you writing (or employees writing) is flawless. Avoid ugly fonts, overuse of bold, underlined and italicized text and never use ALL CAPS! It’s not just unprofessional, it’s annoying.

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