What I Learned in Designing a Web Site

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Many of us are having hard time in designing our web sites. We aim to be creative and yet we usually end up having an overpopulated layout.

One way to avoid a cluttered design is to identify first what are the elements of our site. Here is a quick list:

  1. Logo
  2. Navigation
  3. Content
  4. Footer
  5. Whitespace

Logo
The crucial element for me is the logo because it defines your site. It gives that unique personality every web site should have. The logo should reflect what your site is about or theme you are aiming. Effective logo’s serves as ID’s. When you see it, you know which site it is.



Navigation
Navigation, as what the word implies, serves as your visitors’ guide around your site. It should be as user-friendly as possible and is readily-accessible to user. Make it clean and readable. It should by eye catching.

Let us admit, most visitors are lazy. They won’t bother searching around your page just looking for your navigation bar. They won’t play easter egg hunt with you. If can’t find their way around, surely, expect the sad face from your reader.

An effective way to have user-friendly navigation is to add images to your links. “Search” links in the navigation bar usually as a picture of a magnifying glass while a house icon is used on “Home” links.
The navigation also is the element where you could practice your creativity and wild imagination. Here is a great link of Creative Navigation Links.

Content
This is part where the main agenda goes. This could contain your article, photo gallery, sample scripts and other contents of your website. Things to design in this part are the headings, tables, links and listing blocks

Footer
In the not so long, long time ago, footer is only a paragraph blocks that contains a copyright symbol and a sentence about property rights and disclaimer. In Web 2.0, footer now plays as an important designing block. Many web designers play around with their footers. They give bold and accent to this usually disregarded part of the site and add more use to this element.
Smashing magazine has a great article about footers in the modern web design.

Whitespace
Finally, whitespace. Many of us doesn’t appreciate its value. As for me, whitespace helps in giving eye focus to the readers. It gives your site clean feel and organized layout. It prevents that overwhelming feeling you usually feel when visiting a cluttered site.

Yousuckatwebsites.com has a great post in Demonstrating the Effectiveness of White Space.

So far, these are the basic concepts that I would like to share. These helped me in designing and I wish, they would help you too.

Share your ideas =)

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