Most commonly overlooked website guidelines

Web design guidelines have evolved significantly over the last decade. Some basic guidelines however, are still as important today as they were a decade ago.

Here are some of the most important and often overlooked website guidelines

Easy to read – Your text content is the most important part of your site; make sure it is easily readable

  • High contrast between text and background.
  • Avoid using background images behind text.
  • Dark text on a light background works best.

Easy to navigate – This is important for your users but also vital for search engines

  • Keep your navigation clear and consistent.
  • Use text links for navigation and avoid using images.

Usability – Easy to Use

  • Make sure your site is easy to use.
  • Make functionality as clear and easy to use as possible

Consistency in design and layout

  • Don’t move things around too much as this can confuse and frustrate your users.
  • Keep your design and layout consistent to make it easier to locate similar things across multiple pages on your site.

Low weight – Fast download

  • Keep your pages light,
  • Compress images to keep the weight down
  • Note: whilst this may not seem like it’s as important now with everybody and their dog using broadband it’s still an important factor. People are still impatient and won’t wait forever for your pages to load. At the very least you should ensure that your page framework and site design loads up quickly and then either offset heavy media or gallery loading via AJAX or just ensure that the page can load completely before media or heavy JavaScript or Flash stops anything.

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