Thursday, May 15, 2008

Web Design:Creating Navigation

Most people leave if the navigation of the website is fuzzy and confusing. Creating a good navigation architecture for a web site is a must to help users easily find a way around your site. Users must fine the information they are looking for in one or two clicks.

The best web design technology is one that keeps the navigational ease into account.

Basics

Define your information architecture and define a hierarchy of importance based on the taxonomy of your site. Example: Products, Support, Technical Information, Brochure, About, Organization etc. Once you have determined your site's architecture implement it properly organized depending upon how the user would serf through the site. There should always be a link to major pages on the front page.

If the site hierarchy is complex than add a resource page to link pages and link this resource page from the home page and all other pages of your website. This web design process starts right from the story board which helps create an effective flow chart.

Design

Once you have fixed the architecture move to design. Make it accessible to the user and search engine spiders as well. Avoid complex technologies as Flash, Java, Java Script and Ajax which are not search engine friendly. Make the links clear and use anchor text to create links. The users should know where the link is leading them. Highlight links which are very important use tag lines as well. Use alt text or captions to link your images.

Your navigation should appear on every page of your site such that the basic structure is same on each page of the website.

Using color on a website

Color is an important element of a website which few designers understand. There is a harmony in color which is very important for a web site's appeal. There are colors which gel well together while others can be a strain to the eyes. A web designer must understand the theory of colors to effectively combine them for best results.

Color Wheel Analogous Colors these are colors that are next to echo other on the color wheel. Adjusting saturation and hues of these colors result in harmony an are quite appealing on the website.

Complementary colors are those colors that are opposite one another on the color wheel. Opposite colors give results in high contrast and bright color schemes.

Color Triads by sketching an equilateral triangle on the color wheel, a web designer can create lively color schemes. For effective color schemes one should emulate the nature where the color schemes are natural and harmonious...pleasing to our eyes.

Color schemes on websites are vital to the repertoire of a web designer with tremendous effect on the end result Vis a Vis user acceptance. Colors can be soothing, exciting and sobering in their effects. A web designer should keep this in mind so that a suitable color combination is used on the websites meant for a particular purpose. Suitable color schemes as per the audience means success online.

Colors can be related to cultures where in the people perceive colors differently. Younger audience prefer brighter, more solid colors, while seniors prefer a sobering color effect. Working class prefer colors like blue, red, green, etc. which can be easily identified. Highly educated classes prefer colors which are obscure like taupe, azure, mauve, etc.

Color preference may change over a period of time like fashion trends but the effect of color schemes remain stable upon the audience.