Necessary Elements of a Great Web Site

Have you ever browsed the Internet and landed on a website that just looked awful? By awful, I mean the font was hard to read, ads were blocking the information, the color scheme was distracting, and you couldn’t even focus on the information because you were blinded by everything that was going on? Let me show you an example.

http://www.theworldsworstwebsiteever.com

Talk about awful! And they know it, ‘The World’s Worst Website Ever’ and I think they take the cake!

So, I’m here today to talk about how to design a website that doesn’t look like the worst website ever. In order to have a website that keeps the readers interested you must have a website that is user friendly, professional, and has meaningful content!

Not only is it good for a traditional website, but it’s also great for eLearning!

User Friendly

In order for a website to be successful, it needs to be user friendly. If you can’t keep your users on your page, then what’s the point of having a website to begin with? You want your readers to learn whatever it is that you are trying to teach them. In order to have a user friendly website, make sure that your information is clearly labeled. I recommend that you use different drop down menus that are very specific. For example, ‘Home’, ‘Contact Information’, ‘About’, etc. That way it’s quick and easy for your user to find the information that they are looking for instead of sifting through all the material that is on your website. Your clients will appreciate it, and in the end, you will too because they aren’t calling you asking for information that is on your website already!

Professional

If you are designing for a professional audience, (more information on designing with your audience in mind here), then keep it just that, professional! Imagine a color scheme and font style that screams your audience is for little kids, when you’re trying to reach a professional adult audience. Your users don’t want to know about your dog Fluffy that just had puppies if your site is about Instructional Design. Make sure that you are presenting information that the head of your company would be proud to call you an employee, not embarrassed at the fact that Fluffy just had a litter of 6.

This leads me to my next topic.

Meaningful Content

The content that is on your website should be pertinent to what your website is about! Not only that, but make sure your information is straight and to the point. You only have a few seconds to capture your reader’s interest to continue to read the entirety of the article.  In order to have more meaningful content for your viewers, make sure that you do your homework and know what you are talking about. Read books, brainstorm with others, interview others and network! These are all very useful tools to expand your audience and keep them interested in your content!

So, all in all, we’ve learned how to be user friendly, professional and to present meaningful content. Remember, Fluffy may be your best friend, but nobody needs to know that. How can you improve your content to keep your reader learning?

Ashlee is an Intermediate Instructional and Graphic Designer on the Learning and Professional Development team and has a background in Graphic Design and Photography. With over eight years of Photography and Graphic Design experience, Ashlee brings a unique talent and perspective to the team. She joined the Learning & Professional Development team in 2014 as a student worker and now works full time as an Instructional & Graphic Designer. She primarily works with Adobe products and is using her knowledge to help develop exciting new trainings. This opportunity allows Ashlee to reach out to the NAU community and create interactive ways students and staff can learn.

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