Sunday, March 22, 2009

10 Things to Consider When Designing a Corporate Website

10. Images and graphics

These are absolutely crucial to the success of a website, but you have to find a balance of words and images. Moreover, many visuals these days are unbearably cheesy and most of these come in the form of animations and marquees. So eliminate any of these that still linger on your site. Otherwise, just remember to stay wary of copyright laws and try to manipulate the image's features (maybe form a collage with the main colours).

9. No ads

Your purpose should not be to generate revenues directly from your page, infuriating viewers in the process, but to utilise your page to generate revenues with your products. Of all things, probably the least impressive on a corporate site would be that little logo that says "Ads by Google".

8. Not too many words

You want to be concise because when at a company web page, most people have a very short attention span and if you don't cut right to the chase, they'll just say "Whatever", and turn away. However, you do have to get a message across but do this in as few words as possible.

7. Legible first, likable second

You might really like both red and neon green as colours but the inconvenient truth is that if you make such a canvas, it will look amateur and nobody will be able to read it. The specific colours might be popular colours but if they can't see anything, then there's really no point.

6. Simple but not plain

Some people like to mask their sites with a bunch of stupid code from backgrounds to countdown clocks to marquees. This creates clutter and clutter as a company message never works. On the other hand, some people don't know a thing about code and type in the little HTML that they know and try to get away with it. This doesn't work either. Here's a good example of finding the balance and it's not as hard as you may think.

5. Dress to impress

If it's within your budget capability, hire a professional web designer to make a decent design, appealing to the eye and professional (this is important). Otherwise, you'll have to find a good, unique layout from the internet and use that. Unless you are adept in web design, don't you dare try to model your site on your own.

Here's an example:
Professional vs. Unprofessional

4. Don't overload

Overloading means putting either too much information, too many images or too many invisible tools. This, first of all confuses and hence puts off potential customers, and second of all takes of valuable loading time. Quality is vital, quantity definitely isn't.

3. Navigation should be easy

Although this isn't exactly a corporate site, this is the one site that comes to mind when I think of poor navigation. If you use it, you'll note that the links aren't organized in a box or at the top in tabs or even in a sitemap. Instead, the text contains a bunch of links to the most crucial parts of the page that you need to carefully try to find. Also, there's no search bar. So basically, links shouldn't be contained inside text unless they're outgoing or are duplicates to ones at the top or on a sidebar. Also, if you can make your search feature more complex than just matching words, that helps as well.

2. Should reflect your vision

If your vision is modern views, use modern colours such as white on black or green as well as modern sans serif fonts. Anyway, before you even contemplate making a site, you must consider your vision and how you are going to portray this in your web page and just about everything else you make or do.

1. Promote, don't advertise

Advertisements are on TV, newspapers, magazines, other website but not your own page. You should definitely speak highly of your products or services but don't sound to enthusiastic or generic because this gets into the realm of advertisements. And definitely, don't put videos of your TV ads on your site because you think people will be intrigued by them. This is one of the stupidest things you can do.

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