RSQ Computers' Web Design & Maintenance
Rocksquad (RSQ) Computers offer a complete cycle of website support including advice, design, build and maintenance. There are many key components that result in an effective website and including most or all of these can make a huge difference to the popularity of your website.
The following design elements will be key to the success or otherwise of a website:
- Space: In simple terms this means use space (blank areas of screen) effectively to emphasise the important areas of your website for example making sure any buttons on your site are spaced evenly.
- Simple Navigation: Consider your site's usability and consider simple methods of navigation. Bear in mind that your website may be viewed across multiple platforms such as desktops, laptops, tablets and phones... suggestions are to use Hamburger (stacked) style menus and a semi-flat design.
- About Us: Every site should have a page clearly explaining who they are and what their organisation's goals are. This can also be used as a place for testimonials or links to other networks.
- Contact Information: Contact information should be clearly displayed and is commonly displayed in either the header or as a Contact Us page. Visibility is the key as it can be frustrating for visitors to your site if they are interested in your services and can't find a way to contact you. If possible, your Contact Us link or form should be available from all areas of the site and contact forms are a good idea since they allow visitors to contact you directly from your site without revealing your actual contact details.
- Site Purpose: A website should exist for a reason. It should be designed to encourage interested visitors to do something, either to buy your products/services or to motivate the to do something else, for an author it might be to sign up to a mailing list so readers of his or her books can be informed of new books as they come out. If there is a specific product the site should have either a means of directly purchasing that product or a clear link to somewhere that does. If there are multiple choices available then buttons/links should contrast in a way that clearly indicates to a visitor the options that are available.
- Search: If you have content on your website that is historical or not immediately available you should consider a search facility to allow visitors to find the information they want. It is a vital tool for returning visitors and should be designed with subtlety yet remain easy to use. If you hide the facility behind an icon, use the standard one i.e. a magnifying glass and probably site it to the top right, the standard location for search functionality.
- Informative Footer: The site footer can be used for information you want to be discrete yet always available such as company or contact information. If there is specific functionality in the footer you should keep it simple and make it useful.
- Style: These days, with content management systems like Joomla and WordPress so easy to use and set up this is more redundant and choices largely revolve around which template or theme to use. If, however, you are considering a site hand-coded by HTML and CSS then your site buttons should be clearly recognizable as such and should have the same shape, design and feel.
- Images: The more attractive your site is the more likely it is to achieve its objective and attractive images are an excellent way to achieve this. With an appropriate set of images, you can clearly demonstrate what your site is about and encourage them to do what you want them to (see "Site Purpose"). Card design sites (composed primarily of clickable images) are popular, custom images are better than stock and you can hire a photographer or graphic designer as required.
- Web Fonts: There are a number of issues to consider when choosing a font for your website. Serif fonts (like Times New Roman) have attractive extending features known as "serifs" at the end of their strokes where sans-serif ("without serif") don't. Sans-serif fonts tend be clearer and more consistent but there is one other advantage, dyslexics can read sand-serif on screen better than serif fonts. One other factor to consider is that your site will be available across multiple platforms so you should choose a font that is "web-safe" i.e. is available as a common font across all those platforms. Examples of "web-safe" fonts are Arial, Bookman, Courier, Helvetica, Times, Times New Roman and Verdana