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Website Design - Basic Features and Elements

Standards and guidelines for web page design

The standards and guidelines for the Website Design are a set of vitally important elements to consider before its realization to obtain a good usability.

All of these depend on the visitor arriving at the site first and once inside, fulfilling the objectives that led them to it in a quick and simple way, guaranteeing a future return.

Sometimes it is thought that just having a website on the Internet is visited by people who are interested in its content , but it really does not work that simple.

You have to take into account a set of elements from its design and implementation for this to happen happily.


The fundamental elements are :

  • Clarity in the objectives of the site.
  • Basic information corresponding to the content.
  • Selecting a correct domain name .
  • Selection of technology for design and programming.
  • Proper selection of a web hosting (hosting)
  • Search engine clarity, internet directories and SEO , search engine optimization.
  • Realization of a design based on the requirements of the site and users.
  • The navigability.
  • Carrying out programming to determine the requirements of the site and users.
  • Application of SEO techniques to achieve greater visibility on the Internet.
  • Update the contents periodically .

Site design

When a user lands on a page, they can usually figure out what's there, if only it would take a little time.

Depending on the studies, the ability to find the correct page to trade on from the home page ranges from 26% to 42% .

This difference was explained in the knowledge or not by the user that he would have to follow several steps to achieve his goal.


The underlying problem is that usability suffers dramatically as soon as the user leaves the home page and starts browsing to solve the problem.

The Web design as an environment for reading papers, and its usability for more complex tasks depends largely on a very simple design with the least possible distraction, very clear information about the architecture and effective navigation tools.

Home page

IT IS THE BANNER OF THE SITE AND SHOULD BE DESIGNED DIFFERENTLY FROM THE REST.

The first success of a home page is to answer two questions:
  • Where I am?
  • What does this site do?
Other missions that the home page must fulfill are:
  • Offer a clear idea of the navigation scheme on the site .
  • Offer direct access to the most commonly used functionalities of the site.
  • Announce the news or promotions.
  • Provide a search tool.
  • Present the name and logo.

Realization of a design based on the requirements of the site and users

The design of the site is a fundamental tool to attract users and the success to be obtained in many other aspects such as:

  • Promotion
  • Loading speed
  • User affinity
  • Among others
It will largely depend on the considerations that are made when designing.

It is important to note that the design of the pages should be done thinking of the client and not the administrator, carefully choosing all the elements that are used and using only the necessary resources to communicate the desired message, ensuring that the site has a simple look and nothing fancy .

Consistency in look and feel is important to maintain ensuring the same look and feel on every page
The home page should give a general idea of ​​the site, as it is your fundamental entry point.

It's the first thing users see and creates that first impression that is so important.


It is in it where it is determined whether to continue exploring the pages or whether to navigate to another more interesting place.

Texts are significant elements within the website design. These contain most of the information provided, the explanations and details of the elements that make up the site, constitute the main means of communication with the client.

This is the fundamental reason for the texts to be chosen, revised and corrected in such a way that the ideas to be transmitted are reflected.

For the presentation of the text, it is essential to know the type of font that is going to be used so that it can be read well regardless of the type of browser or operating system of the users.

It is necessary to take into account the size of the text , which must be small and clear to allow quick reading.

Therefore, it is recommended to use the division into sections of the page, which allows the user to read more about a topic without losing the attractiveness of the page.

The implementation of images and graphics complements the information that you want to provide on the site. They constitute a fundamental tool as it provides the user with visual criteria.

Keep in mind that indiscriminate use can slow down the page loading process or cause visual stress. It is recommended to use images when it is really necessary to communicate the desired message.

The format of images and graphics will depend on the structure in terms of colors and definition, different types can be selected, the most used are .jpg , .gif and .png , actually although there are some patterns, they are not always fulfilled in all cases .

It is recommended to record the images in the three formats and depending on the compromise between the aesthetic quality offered and the download speed of the page, choose which one is the most appropriate.

Site navigation

Another aspect to consider in the design is the navigation of the site.

A good navigation system is the basis to achieve the objectives that are intended, since this is the instrument by which users access from one page to another.

A useful navigation system is one that:
  • Guide visitors to required information quickly and intuitively
  • It leads the visitor to the pages where he is able to interact with the elements of the site.
Building a navigation system that contributes to increasing user satisfaction and, consequently, contributes to the success of the site, is beyond adding links.


In this work, a set of factors such as the grouping of the information, the structure , the page returns, among others, must be considered.

Navigation is one of the basic elements of the Web, and it goes beyond the use of hypertext links.

A navigation interface should help the user to answer three questions:

  • Where I am?
  • Where I have been?
  • Where can I go?

WHERE I AM?

It's probably the million dollar question.

The answer, in terms of the situation within a site, must be provided at two levels:
  • In relation to the Web as a whole
  • In relation to the structure of the site
The first is important as the user often perceives the Web as a whole.

Drastic changes in navigation mechanisms are not well accepted from this perspective.

This also implies that the user will not know where they are unless you tell them. Therefore, the number one rule is to place your logo or identifying mark on all your pages .

The situation regarding the structure of the site is achieved through the inclusion of headers that broadly show the structure of the web and highlight the current situation.

A third element to take into account is the title of the page itself , which must be significant and individualized.

WHERE I HAVE BEEN?

With today's Website Designing technology it is difficult to answer this question. There are, however, some resources that allow us to face it:

The back button of the browser that provides us with a sequential history of the pages visited.
The links already visited that indicate the options already seen within the links of a page
In this sense, it is important to respect the convention regarding the representation of links (blue for the active ones and pink for the visited ones).

The user always knows in this way what he has seen and what he has not, always within what he can see.

WHERE CAN I GO?

This question is answered with the visible navigation options and with the rest of the links within the page.

It is impossible to show all the possible destinations on a single page, a good structure of the site, easy to understand and assimilate by the user, will be very useful when it comes to knowing the possible destination points from a given site.

There are three kinds of hyperlinks that can be used on a page:

Embedded links (The traditional underlined text)

Structural links (They point to another level of the structure, so they will differ from page to page, although it is necessary that they maintain a coherence understood and expected by the user. It is more convenient to use descriptive names of the hierarchical level than this in itself)

Associative links (They provide additional or collateral information, such as "see also")

Extensive and deep

Generally, the most common navigation layout is to list all the top-level elements of the site, often in a strip to the right of the screen.

The benefit of this (Extensive) design is that the user is continuously informed of the services available on the site, regardless of where they entered.

The downside is that there is a 20% loss of the screen in landing pages, being able to recover the same information with an additional click to the home page.

The alternative is to present in-depth information, that is, on each page to report on the different hierarchical elements that precede it, a navigation scheme known as breadcrumbs ( breadcrumbs , known thus from the story by Hansel and Gretel, where they left traces on the way to return home).

This second scenario has the advantage of taking up little space and being very simple, which allows the user to concentrate on the content area, which is what he generally does.

Its drawback lies in the difficulty of using it in non-hierarchical structures.

User controls navigation

In traditional interface design, the designer can control where the user can go at any time. In Web design it is not like that .

Furthermore, a traditional application is a closed interface system, within which the user is.

But on the web, the user moves rapidly from one site to another within the same window, within the same environment, which is why he comes to perceive the Web as a whole, rather than as an accumulation of differentiated applications.    

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