Our ramblings about website design and other things

Posts tagged: website development

Good Website Design Practices

Here at Bluewave we like to think we are good at what we do an we hope our customers do to. Very often with a website project it is easy to get bogged down in tiny design details of colours, line thickness, icon size etc and while the overall aesthetics of a website are important there are some key items that many web designers overlook.

Website Accessibility

Make sure every page on your website can be accessed via your front page, it is important that search engines can see your whole site, ensure that links are not hidden in flash or other types of menus. Users may only come to your site via searches and if pages are not indexed then they will not hit them.

Cross Browser Compatibility

Check, check and check again your website in all browsers, depending on your target audience some sites may be accessed from mobile phones so ensure your site can be seen and all menu items accessed, you may want to consider a version of your site just for mobile users, people like easy access and if they like your site they are more likely to become customers.

Each page should be Unique

Avoid at all costs a cut and paste mentality across many pages, content should be unique and appear only once, even if you have product variants vary the copy on each product so it is unique. Search engines love unique content and it will help you in the long run.

 

Developing a Website for Visually Impaired

A client of ours wanted a new website but one of the key areas that we need to take care of was the fact that the site may be visited by a lot of visually impaired visitors.

We did some research on this and we have always thought about accessibility with our designs but generally speaking for this particular project the majority of users were older people with failing eye sight due to age or illness.

The main criteria to think about is the readability of the text and for most users this relates to font size – so for this site we added a font sizer that allowed users to increase the general font and it would remain at the chosen size for every subsequent visit.

We had to think about colours and the contrast of colours for menu items, there needs to be a very distinct contrast such as black on white or black.  We also had to avoid providing information based on slight colour changes such as when a mouse is over an item and again make any colour changes very distinct, often this is not pleasing to the designer but in this case function was more important.

Another area that can help visually impared users is to generally use less graphics and more plain text making the site easier to read and navigate.

All in all with a project like this you need to identify your target users to see how the website design needs to make it accessible to the maximum number of users.