Website Design Best Practices Part 2

This is the 2nd in the sequence for the techie and non-technical person to design a ‘good’ website always depends on some basic concepts, see here for the first.  This list of ‘best practice’ ideas are easy to implement and test when designing a new site or refreshing an existing one.

Colour, Graphics & Multimedia

  • Colour scheme should be limited to no more than 3 or 4 colours plus neutrals.
  • Colour is used consistently, especially text colour has sufficient contrast with background colour.
  • Ensure use of colour and graphics enhances rather than distracts from the site.Images and graphics are optimised and do not significantly slow download.
  • Ensure to use image tags for the alt attribute to configure an alternate text description.
  • Animated images do not distract from the site and do not endlessly repeat.
  • Every audio, video or Flash file used serves a clear purpose, with the multimedia files used enhance rather than distract from the site.
  • Captions are provided for each audio or video file used.
  • Download times for audio or video files are indicated, with links to download for media plug-ins provided.

 Content Presentation

  • Common fonts such as Arial or Times New Roman are used; with no more than one web font is used.
  • Fonts, font sizes, and font colours are used consistently throughout the site.
  • Ensure techniques of writing for the Web are used: headings, bullet points, brief paragraphs.
  • Content provides meaningful, useful information and is organised in a consistent manner.
  • Information is easy to find (minimal clicks).
  • The date of the last revision and/or copyright date are accurate, and content does not include outdated material.
  • Content is free of typographical and grammatical errors, providing links to other useful sites.
  • Hyperlinks use a consistent set of colours to indicate visited & non visited status.
  • If graphics are used to convey meaning, the alternate text equivalent is provided.

That’s my take on best practice for web site design; more will be coming next post – what’s yours? Post a comment or drop me a note by email.

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