Remember to make your logo clickable,
linking to the main page of your site (an exception is the logo of the
main page itself, since you are already there). The benefit of doing so
is that if your visitors get lost they can always come back to a
Don’ t use a splash screen. Splash
screens are seen in many websites before they give you access to the
main page. They are usually slow-loading Flash animations that only
delay and frustrate users. Remember, when your users want animation,
they can turn on the TV. When they go to your website, they usually want
information, and they want it fast. Some sites that use splash screens
now provide a “Skip the Introduction” link, which most users click
anyway, further validating the uselessness of flash screens.
Avoid using heavy pictures. They
unnecessarily delay the page upload process. It is OK to use graphics,
but they have to be optimized for the web. Use only .gif and .jpg
formats. If the pictures are too heavy, try using some of the on-line
graphic optimizing tools. They can reduce the weight of your pictures by
more than 50% with no noticeable decrease in quality. Another thing you
can do is to use thumbnails (clickable miniature versions of a picture).
If a user is interested in the picture, he can click on the thumbnail
and wait until the full size picture is displayed.
Try not to use animated banners or
fancy icons. Just because you can is not a good reason to load up your
site with neon-coloured, flashing-and-popping, Vegas-style graphics.
They usually take away from the content of your site and distract users.
Plus, it has been demonstrated that less and less users click on banners
Don’t make your pages too long. People
don’t like to read from a screen. Instead, try to use the advantages of
hyperlinks to present a summary of the topic or article, with a link to
the full article in another page (similar to what newspapers do in their
main page, with the added benefit for web users that it is easier to
click on a link than to turn a page). If what you have to say is too
long, break the discussion in several parts, each of them with a link to
where your visitor can continue reading.
Remember, the goal is to give your
visitors fast access to your information, through an interface (website)
that is visually appealing and easy to use.