Basics of Web Design Principles- Website Design Tips & Techniques

You spent countless hours designing a site with fantastic colors, attractive images and beautiful layout but it failed to click, did this ever happen to you? Many of the apparent reasons could be lack of planning or inappropriate design elements. A well thought site never fails to click. To avoid this kind of situation it is very important for a web designer to plan things in advance and foresee the impact of the site. Ask a couple of questions: 
Who is the target audience? 
What is the purpose of the site? 
What all functionalities are to be included?
If you have done your homework and have the capability to come up with a snazzy design, you will definitely make your first impression a lasting one.
Once things are planned, its time for the design elements to be taken care such as: 
Simplicity is the key here. Keep the layout simple and straightforward. This will help you to build a site that is user friendly and accessible. Place the things that are most important and functionally basic to the site s purpose at the forefront. Avoid clutter because it distracts the user. 
Navigation bars:
Keep the navigation of your site really simple. It is one of the determining factors to ensure traffic to the site. If a first time user of your site finds the navigation easy in the first couple of minutes of his contact, he will definitely come back. 
Place the navigation menus on top or left of the home page because almost all the sites on www follow this pattern. This is where most of the users are used to look for menus. Main menu should be placed on all the pages at the same place and try to keep the navigation same all through the pages. Avoid scrolling horizontal. If the site is relatively large, include a sitemap. 
Site that is visually pleasing is a sure shot. So, always use eye-pleasing colors. Don t let your personal choices take over the required color scheme that goes with the taste and purpose of the site in question. You might wonder but white spaces also make great impact. Use a lot of white space to emphasize a few things. Too much color, words or clutter may result in sensory overload of the user. 
No reader on net will make an effort to read the text that is not comfortably readable, even if your site is very useful and beautifully laid. So do not loose out on this front and follow some standard norms of font size and line length. 
Font size and type: 
Optimal font size is 12-13 pts. Use professional font types like Verdana, Arial, and Helvetica. These are system default fonts. Avoid using fancy fonts like Comic Sans and the ones that are externally added. Always use darker text on light background. Light text on darker background is hard to read and has a blinding effect. 
Graphics are a powerful tool to communicate. They can say a million words in lesser space as compared to the actual text. But use them judiciously because too many images increase the load time. So make sure that you optimize your images before adding them to the website. Use a  gif image  if it has smaller number of colors.  Jpeg  is advisable if there is more of text to be incorporated into an image. 
Download time: 
More the loading time, lesser is the number of audience to your website. So try to keep the page size as small as possible. Always keep in mind, there are many broadband users but greater numbers of the ones who have dial ups. So try to minimize the size of your web pages but still maintaining the quality of the images. 
This can be a very crucial factor since almost all the users of your website will be having a different combination of software and hardware available on their system. So it s advisable to check your site on as many as varied computers. And also if there is any malfunction or bug on your site, its better to know it yourself rather than people telling you (if someone is bothered at all).
Above mentioned points can enhance your website presence as beautifully as you ever imagined.
Hope you will find this article resourceful.

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