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Whether you have a small business, are in charge of a large corporation, or run a personal blog site, your website generally speaks volumes about your brand and what you’re representing.  With that in mind, if you’re designing your first website, or revamping a current one, here are some best practice “do’s” and “don’ts” of web design:

DO

Keep a Consistent Interface Design

One of the most important cardinal rules of web design is making sure you have a consistent interface that will work well with your users.  This should remain consistent throughout all of your website’s pages. Your sites overall look should remain consistent with color schemes, fonts, writing styles, and navigation.  The better the consistency, the easier the user experience.

Focus on Usability & Navigation

Users want to be able to interact with your site in a seamless way so they can quickly find what they’re looking for, without having to click multiple links or visit different pages.  Make sure your navigation is clear, using no more than 7 top-level navigation choices, and keeping any sub-level navigation clear and well organized. Additionally, always remember in the world of the “web”, the quicker, the better; make sure your users can get where they need to go with no more than a few clicks.

Pay Attention to Links

The links on your site play a vital role in its success.  A few best practices here are utilizing color change links once they’re visited to avoid visiting the same link multiple times, as well as, of course, testing all links to make sure they work.  Broken links can quickly discourage your users, and prompt them to leave your site early and discount you on Google’s search rankings.

Optimize for all Devices

It’s safe to say that your users are coming from all different devices, and there’s nothing worse than a website that’s only functional with the use of a desktop.  Make sure your website is device friendly, that way, whether your users are utilizing a tablet, mobile device, desktop, etc., they have the same experience each time.

 

DON’T

Sacrifice Usability

The design of your website should never interfere with the US design.  Avoid things like busy backgrounds, unnecessary content overload, or any factors that can hinder a users readability.  While you want your site to be beautiful, it’s always important to consider usability before anything.

Open Internal Links in New Tabs

Going back to the importance of your websites link functions, always remember that internal links shouldn’t be opened in a new tab.  Opening internal links in a new tab eliminates the user’s ability to quickly use the back button, and on a mobile device, this can really hinder the user experience.  Always make sure your internal links open in the same tab.

Clutter With Fonts, Colors, and Images

You want your website to have a unique look, however, as previously mentioned, you want to maintain a consistent, clean interface.  Avoid using multiple font types, and generic stock images. Additionally, stick to a consistent color scheme that doesn’t overwhelm users with tons of bright, flashy colors.