Websites should be designed with common sense. No matter what the current fashion might be, your website should obey the ancient rule, ported to Web site construction, "Don't do to your visitors what you do not want to be done to you at a Web site."
Some Rules For A Site Design That Will Make The Site Usable And User-friendly
KIS: Keep It Simple–
Avoid fancy and annoying popup windows, background movies, floating advertisement windows, and complicated scripts that slow up browsers and can cause them to hang or crash. Likewise, avoid background music, which is usually annoying to visitors and can slow downloading of Web pages. A gifted and ambitious Web designer, left to their own devices, can make clever use of inline frames, scrolling windows, popup windows, and other gadgets to produce a Web page that nobody can read and that will only work in one type of browser. That is not where you want to go.
The Main Page Must Be Useful –
Don't put a big graphic or presentation on your main page and an "enter" button. Most people who get to that main page will never click the "enter" button or link, and search engines won't have any text to tell them what the site is about.
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Avoid Clutter –
This doesn't mean there cannot be a lot of information and links on a page, but the information should be grouped both visually and according to content. Special links or features can be put in different colored areas, Menus should have no more than 10 items, but may have sub-menus. Each section should have a meaningful header that tells the visitor what it is about.
Make It Easy To Get To What You Want Visitors To See –
The site should be designed so that the visitor can get to the most important pages by clicking a link from the main page, and can get to all pages with no more than two or three clicks. Studies show that people will usually not click more than three links. Be sure to include a search engine and a well-organized site map, and a simple menu system that allows easy navigation through the site. The site map should be linked from every page, and if possible, the search engine form should be visible on every page. Pages that are part of a subsection should always have a link to the top page of that section and the website's main page.
Consistent and Functional Layout –
The layout of the main page of a site may differ from that of interior pages. Still, the internal pages should strive for the same look and feel throughout, so that visitors know they are at your site and see where the menus and other facilities are.
Fast Performance –
Visitors will leave Web pages without viewing them if they take too long to load. No page should take more than 10 seconds to load if possible, and certainly no longer than a minute on an average Internet hookup.
Check regularly for broken links, wrong forms, and other errors using a professional tool or through the host statistics package.
People must be able to read your message easily. This simple rule is broken repeatedly by sites that have "artistic" watermarks, brown text on black background, 9 point text, and other aberrations that are favored by some Web designers.
Don't Waste Space –
The top part of the leading Web page is the most critical part of your site. If new visitors don't like what they see there or can't find what they want, they will leave. Don't count on people to scroll down, and don't waste the top part of the page on huge logos and other irrelevant graphics.
Sensible Layout –
Very narrow columns of text favored in some Weblogs and advertising – laden sites are annoying to read as they require visitors to keep scrolling down.
Use Graphics Well –
Graphics are essential assets for illustrating your point, and search engines like them, too, up to an end. However, large and heavy graphics slow downloading of the Web page and can obscure your message.
Browser Compatibility –
Make sure your pages are visible in the most popular browsers – Internet Explorer 6 and 7, Firefox, Safari, and Opera. You may be in for unpleasant surprises if you do not check, like jumbled up tables and black text on black background.
Provide Contact Details –
There must be a working email address for people to contact the Webmaster about site problems, as well as a way to contact marketing or other personnel about content or product issues. The contact page link or address should be available on every page of the Web site.
Simple, Correct Language –
Don't use a big word if you can use a little, simple one. Explain acronyms and special terms. Check for grammatical errors and typographical errors. Pages with numerous language errors tell visitors that you are an amateur and don't know your business.
Give The People What They Want –
No amount of clever design can make up for boring, inaccurate or useless content or shoddy or expensive merchandise. If you provide engaging content and merchandise that people need, and if you also design your site well, then you will be able to attract visitors.
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Custom Content –
Large Web sites customize the content according to their visitors. They may display language choices according to the IP address of the visitor. They may automatically show shoppers items that others with similar interests have bought (" Shoppers who ordered 'Web design for Dummies' also bought…") may let visitors design their portal.
Sticky Features –
If you sign people up for an email newsletter, you can tell them about new features at the site and keep them coming back. Likewise, personalized email addresses, personalized content, lists of favorite books and music, and similar paraphernalia all have the object of developing visitor loyalty. The most straightforward sticky feature is probably a little script that makes the site into the visitor's home page if they so desire.
Don't Annoy People –
Don't keep opening a new window when visitors exit your site, don't greet them with loud music, search engines that don't work, popups and other gadgets that get in the way of what they want to do.
See What Others Are Doing –
Usually, the design of similar Websites is an excellent clue to the type of design, structure, and look you should have.
Get a Second Opinion –
Ask friends and acquaintances to check out the design and improve it according to their comments.
Rules Are Made To Be Broken –
Some of the most successful sites and e-commerce enterprises became that way because they found a better way to do things. Website design "fashions" change all the time. Different designs may be suited to different uses and visitor segments. Don't let a Web designer intimidate you into making the sort of site they know how to make, rather than the one you need to attract and hold visitors.
To make sure your eCommerce website stays up to date with all the best and advance features that your users need you must deal with the best eCommerce web design company.