Originality is what most people look for in a site, along with a way to maneuver around easily. Let us be real, as most people will be lost without a way to surf any website. One way to help, is to focus on cleaning up your design to make it more user-friendly. There are many ways you can do this, but in this article, it will illustrate the main to achieve this. Please do remember, this is not an article from a woman that is boastful or is even a know-it-all, but one who has been around the block when it comes to designing a website.
In achieving a more user-friendly site, please do note that design does not always have to be lost along the way. There are thosewebmasters who like the very minimal in things on their site, but even sometimes putting up the bare minimum can might be hurtful. On the other hand, something chock full of widgets, and graphics for a site that has next to nothing in content could also be hurtful.
The way to do this is very simple and taught to web design students. Basic web design courses illustrate that one of the most important ways to make things user-friendly is using your whitespace. Whitespace is defined as:
Whitespace is the empty spaces in a design. Whitespace is used to separate disparate design elements and group similar ones. Whitespace is the lack of graphics or text in the layout.
Whitespace is not always “white” – it is the empty parts of the page, but if the page has a different background color that would be the color of the whitespace.
Defined by About.com
In simple terms, whitespace helps break up each part of the blog in a clear way for the user to be able to read and understand. Doing this will help greatly with your blog or actually, any type website. With thousands of blogs and websites created daily, you can reap awards with the following tips:
1. Clean up your content:
- Divide each post with a simple line or fast loading divider images.
- Define your header with the right tags. The search engines index sites better that use their header tags in an orderly manner.
- Make sure hyperlinks are noted by an underline or something like another color to differentiate it from the normal text.
- Possibly post related links in articles. WordPress has great plug-ins for this ability.
- Make sure your font is clear and large enough for visitors to read.
- Make your contact information easy to find. If it is merely a form to fill out, then put a link to it, even if it is on a sub page. This is important if the visitor has any questions. If it is a matter of email security, use the Dagon Design Formmailer plug-in for WordPress. They even have a non-WordPress version too!
2. Clean your sidebar:
- Get rid of all those graphics and banners. A few are okay, but it is important while pleasing your advertisers, to not overdo it for your readers. Of course you want to make some money to pay that hosting bill, but it can be a hindrance on load time and cut down that whitespace.
- Add a search bar in an easy locale on your page so visitors can find on your site what they want.
- Add clean navigation. Whether you have categories for your blog posts or even pages, organize it. For pages, use the Subpages Widget by Alpar Haytabay and for categories, try using the drop down box.
Just remember, even if you think your blog design looks okay, always ask for another opinion. You may not see what may be annoying to another person while it is cute in your opinion. If it seems cluttered, consider adjusting your whitespace or using the suggestions in cleaning the content and sidebar. Remember, you do not have to totally take away the information from your website. You can simply create another page.
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