By Diane Downey
According to ScienceDaily, a recent eye-tracking research conducted at the Missouri University of Science and Technology confirms that when someone views a website, it takes less than two-tenths of a second to form a first impression. "We know first impressions are very important," says Dr. Hong Sheng, assistant professor of business and information technology at Missouri S&T. "As more people use the Internet to search for information, a user's first impressions of a website can determine whether that user forms a favorable or unfavorable view of that organization."
Good website design is an integral part of any business. Unfortunately, many business owners don't take it seriously enough to find a qualified designer. I can't tell you how many websites I have found that have the following problems:
This can apply to anything from menu tabs to footer tabs and anything in between that appears to be a link but takes you nowhere.
Have you ever seen copy that runs off the page or into sides of boxes without any margins?
Low-Quality or Just Plain BAD Logos
When the logo looks like it is poor quality or like a child drew them on the spot.
Too Many "Distractions"
Flashing, Sounds, Pop-up Ads, etc. in every nook and cranny. Where do you go? What do you do? Leave!
Everywhere you look it seems there are so many misspelled words. If you don't know how to spell yourself, please do a spellcheck or have it proofread. Any potential customers (that can spell) will think your website is unprofessional with misspelled words.
There is just no excuse for bad taste. So many colors, type styles and images that don't mesh well together.
Pages that take forever to load
I'm waiting. I'm waiting. Good-bye.
HTML Code Mistakes
Another mistake that some people make, noticeable mostly to the search engines, is having HTML code with errors. Most web pages are written in HTML code. If your code contains errors, the search engines will probably not be able to index your site and it will not be found.
Your website may look totally different when you look at it in different browsers. For example: if you just developed a website using Internet Explorer and it looks great but never check it in Firefox or Chrome, a potential customer could come along who is using Firefox for his browser, open up the same site and see an absolute train wreck.
Lesson: You always need to check your site against several other browsers to be sure it looks the same.
Sometimes it can be an overwhelming job to get it just right, but very important.
So if you are in the market for a website, it would be wise to let someone with the knowledge and experience in website development to take care of all the details that an amateur would never even know to do. This way you end up with a good-looking and good-working site.
When creating a website I make sure to cover ALL of the necessary bases, whether it is obvious to the customer or not. Otherwise I will not feel like I have done my job as an experienced website designer.
My goal is to create a unique representation of each customer with the end result being their absolute satisfaction guaranteed. My customers can also expect me to put whatever time and effort is necessary to get the job done ''just the way they want it''. In the end, the websites I develop are browser-friendly, search engine friendly and code compliant.
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