The good thing with this “newspaper” is that you can interfere with the design and customize what you see, the way you like it. You can eliminate sounds, make fonts tiny, take out the colors and stop any kind of movement or distraction. That is, if you have the time or knowledge. But what normally the average online user does, is turn pages as fast as he can until he finds the one that is readable, with attractive visuals but less distracting and what’s more, interesting.
Now that is clear how important speed is and how a few more seconds to load a webpage can drive off most users, let us note a few more ‘’rules’’ on proper web design:
Online users seem to prefer lively images and not cartoons. Recent eye tracking studies on the attention of online visitors to different elements of websites showed that pictures of animals, birds, people and most of all smiling babies got the biggest attention, while ads were the most neglected.
Web design is not just aesthetics. True web design consists of SEO too. If your webpage is not visible, compatible and friendly to search engines and social media networks then it just doesn’t exist.
What an e-shop or business page customer expects to find in your homepage, according to studies, is a visible search field, a contact link, a shopping cart, a help page link and log-in/ log-out fields. You should better not leave them out.
Users only read 28% of the text on a webpage, so you should make your texts more interesting and easy. The most common rules are: Use short text that can be easily scanned from users (bulleted lists, highlighted keywords or phrases, correct spelling, short paragraphs with headers, sufficient white spaces between paragraphs/ideas, content rich in keywords for search engines).
The more you try to draw attention the more you may drive users away. There are various elements that can draw attention in a webpage such as white space, videos, color, sizes, illustrations, bold text, 3-D effects, links, images, flash, form layout, pop outs. The amount of attention elements and thus, the aesthetics of your webpage is up to you and your designer. But keep in mind that although certain smartly placed elements can skyrocket your website there is a vital line you cannot cross. Beyond that line, each element you add does the exact opposite thing; drive users away.
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