Design to Future-Proof your Web Site

Web design is important.

Look at this recent headline:

Internet users judge Web sites in less than a blink

By Kamakshi Tandon Tue Jan 17, 3:40 PM ET

TORONTO (Reuters) - Internet users can give Web sites a thumbs up or thumbs down in less than the blink of an eye, according to a study by Canadian researchers.

In just a brief one-twentieth of a second -- less than half the time it takes to blink -- people make aesthetic judgments that influence the rest of their experience with an Internet site.

Source: Yahoo News

Here are some recommendations for your Web design

  • Make the site's purpose clear
    • Explain what you do
    • Tell who you are
    • Focus on visitor benefits
  • Place a descriptive title on each page
  • Include a one sentence tagline
    • Start the tagline with your organization's name
    • Don't start with “Welcome” or you will be listed alphabetically under“W”
    • Don't start with “The” or you will be listed alphabetically under“T”
  • Group all of your school district's organizational information together
  • Follow the methods of screen design
  • Include a site search function, even if it is a free one
    • Make sure that the site search can find all your site
    • Ensure that virtual servers and remote servers are in the site search path
  • Begin link names with the most important key word
  • Ensure that all site navigation is consistent (uniform, the same)

Site design should be based upon the skills and budgets of the design team.

The biggest mistake for organizations, companies and school districts; micro-entrepreneurs-to-mega-corporations, is applying too few staff and too little budget to Website design and maintenance.

So, there is pressure on Web design staff to produce world class sites “better, faster, cheaper.”

Of course, the old adage is true...“better, faster, cheaper., pick two because you cannot have all three.”

This is where future-proofing your Website pays off. No, XHTML, CSS and XML cannot break the rule, even when combined. However, These strategies allow more work, better upkeep, and more consistency with less effort.

Here are links to more site design information on this site.