RSQ Computers' Web Design & Maintenance
RSQ Computers offers a complete cycle of website support. We can advise, design, build and maintain a site as well as advise on hosting. There are many key components involved in the creation of an effective website and considering these can make a huge difference to a website and its popularity.
The following design elements will be key to the success or otherwise of a website:
- Space: Using space (the blank areas of a screen) effectively can emphasise important areas of your website. An example might be making sure that any buttons on the site are spaced evenly.
- Navigation: A site's usability is critical. Consider simple methods of navigation, bearing in mind that the site may be viewed across multiple platforms such as desktops, laptops, tablets and phones. It is suggested that you use stacked ("hamburger") menus and a semi-flat design.
- About: Every site should have an 'About' page that clearly explains which person/organisation runs it and what their goals are. Properly done, it can also be a route to testimonials and other links.
- Contact: Contact information should be clearly displayed or easily available i.e. visibility is the key. It can be frustrating for visitors if they are interested in your services and unable to find a way to contact you. A contact form available from all areas of the site is arguably the best method as it allows visitors to contact you yet keeps your actual contact details private.
- Purpose: As mentioned in the 'About' section above, a website should exist for a reason. Design is key and the site should encourage interested visitors to do something specific be it purchase items or sign up to a mailing list. If there is a specific product there should be a means of directly purchasing it or a clear alternative method of doing so. If multiple choices are involved, buttons/links should contrast in a manner that clearly indicates the available options.
- Search: If your site is content heavy and not all of it is immediately available, you should consider a search facility allowing visitors to find specific information. Search engines are a vital tool in encouraging visitors to return so subtlety in design and ease of use are important. If you hide the search function behind an icon, use the standard magnifying glass and consider siting it to the top right (the standard location for a search tool).
- Footer: The site footer can be used for information you want to be discrete yet always available e.g. company or contact information. Always try to keep it simple.
- Style: With CMS applications like Joomla & WordPress so easy to use & configure, style choices largely revolve around which template or theme to use. If, however, you opt to hand code a site (using HTML, PHP & CSS etc.) then site buttons should be clearly recognizable and exhibit a consistent look & feel across the site.
- Images: Good image choice is a key method in creating an attractive website. An appropriate set of images that are clearly relevant to your site will encourage visitors in pursuit of its purpose. Card design sites (with clickable images) are popular and custom images are better than stock if you can hire a relevant expert.
- Web Fonts: Font choice is important. Fonts like Times New Roman have attractive extending points known as "serifs" at the end of their strokes whilst others are sans-serif ("without serif"). Sans-serif fonts are usually clearer and more consistent and offer the additional advantage that dyslexics can read them more easily. An additional consideration is a font that is available across multiple platforms i.e. it is "web-safe" e.g. Arial, Bookman, Courier, Helvetica, Times, Times New Roman and Verdana.