Top 5 Tips for beginning web designers

Here are our top five tips for web designers who are just starting out:

Keep it Simple

It can be tempting to put something in just because you can, not because it's right. This tends to lead to animated gifs, flash banners, scrolling marquee tags, loads of different fonts and basically a horrible mess that is a confusing turn off for visitors. Try to avoid including anything that doesn't have a clear purpose, and keep the design clean and simple.

Check the website on a range of browsers

Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari and  Chrome all interpret code is slightly different ways and it's worth checking your design on each of them to make sure nothing breaks. These days lots of people use mobiles to view websites as well, so check its not impossible on a smaller screen.

Focus on the visitor

Your starting point should be what the visitor wants, not what you want to tell them. This means being careful about using jargon or any terms or concepts they might not understand, and thinking about their objectives and how they might move around your site.

Make sure the structure and navigation is clear and consistent

The main navigation should be identical on every page, and ideally every page should be able to be reached from the main navigation. If there are a lot of pages, then use dropdowns. The exception is if you have large resource banks or ecommerce stores with hundreds of pages, but in this case consistency and clarity is even more important.

Don't have autoplaying music

This is one of the biggest turn-offs for visitors, who might be browsing at work, or at the very least might be playing their own music, which yours will conflict with.

For more advice about good and bad web design and SEO, check out our resource bank.

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