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Rules and preference for designing a website can differ from website to website depending on the target audience, whether it is entertainment website or corporate website or just a personal portfolio. But there are still somethings that are common in all websites, and if followed can make your site look better. So here are few things I would like to discuss.


1. Font Style and Size


Selecting a right font and size is essential. For example fonts such as Verdana, Arial and Helvetica look especially good in websites, whereas fonts such as Times New Roman, Courier, Sans-Serif... etc types won't look good. Also the size of the font plays important role in website design, smaller sized fonts look neat but it is more difficult to read. So it is your decision to make a choice between the look and usability. Following is the comparison between Times New Roman and Verdana.

选择合适的字号和字体,是网站设计要考虑的一项重要内容。比如说,网站中使用Verdana、Arial和Helvetica字体,就会使页面看起来非常舒服,然而, Times New Roman、Courier、Sans-Serif等字体就不会有这样的效果。同样,字号在网站中也能发挥重要的作用,稍小的字号会使内容看起来更整洁,但不利于用户的浏览 。所以,你要在外观和可用性方面作一个选择。下面就是Times New Roman和Verdana的一个比较:

This sentence is in Times New Roman with size 3 (Times New Roman3号字体)

This sentence is in Verdana with size 3(Verdana3号字体)

This sentence is

in Times New

Roman with size 2 (Times New Roman2号字体)

This sentence is

in Verdana with

size 2 (Good

Choice) (Verdana2号字体)(是一个好的选择)

This sentence is

in Times New

Roman with size 1(Times New Roman1号字体)

This sentence

is in Verdana

with size 1 (Verdana1号字体)

2. Using tables? Don't forget the cellpadding


Almost all the websites use tables in one way or another, but using tables with a sense of design will make your site look better. If you use tables background colors in your page, then it is very important to use cellpadding, otherwise all the text inside the table will stick to the border of the table. Which is not recommended at all. Here is the Examples:


This table has a cellpadding of 10. This table has a cellpadding of 10. This table has a cellpadding of 10. This table has a cellpadding of 10. This table has a cellpadding of 10. This table has a cellpadding of 10.

This table has a cellpadding of 0. This table has a cellpadding of 0. This table has a cellpadding of 0. This table has a cellpadding of 0. This table has a cellpadding of 0. This table has a cellpadding of 0.

3. Design websites for 800x600 resolution


While 1024x860 resolution is the most used resolution online, it is recommended to design your website 800x600 compatible. Because there are people who still use 800x600 resolution. There are different ways to design a website which is compatible to 800x600 resolution.


1. For example you can design it in a way that it will stretch to any size (any resolution), here is one good example of such website. Alamy.com


2. Another way is fixed size such as this website. The size does not change no matter how much is the resolution. Yahoo.com


3. And finally not so user friendly but still acceptable design that is all the content is placed on the table not exceeding 800 pixels. There will still be a horizontal scroller on your browser but at least you don't have to scroll it when you are reading something on the site. Here is a good example of such site: Tomshardware.com


4. Pop up window? Bad idea


Pop up windows are a good to catch user's attention and force him to take action (at least to make him close the window), but it is annoying and generally users don't like it. So unless it is very essential to use a pop up window for you - I would say avoid using it. Even though you can program it to pop up only once, it is still considered a bad idea.


Especially now with the browser's build in pop-up blockers, most of the popups are left blocked.


5. Mention Image height and width in html


When browser opens a particular page it tries to understand the html, so when you leave the image without mentioning its dimensions, browser gets confused how much space it supposed to take, thus it will slow down the loading of the page. However if you mention the width and height of the image, browser can know exactly how much space should it allocate for particular image, and even before the image loads it can allocate this space to it and continue loading the rest of the page. So if you want your pages to load faster, don't forget to include image width and height.


6. Follow the web conventions.


Web conventions are very useful when it comes to web design, if you follow them you will make your user's life a lot easier. After all only useful things will become a convention. For example having the logo on the top-left corner of your website and linking it to the homepage is one of the conventions. Or employing consistent navigation throughout your website is another convention.


7. Avoid under construction pages.


Publish your websites only if it is fully completed, or if you have unfinished pages then do not put those pages online yet and do not provide link to them until they are fully completed. Under construction pages are totally useless, it will waste your user's click and might even generate negative effect towards your website (or you). Because if you think from user's perspective you don't want to click on the link just to find out that this page is under construction.


8. Underlined texts that are not links.


nly links should be underlined, if you underline the text then make sure the user will not confuse it for a link.


9. Avoid intros and Welcome pages


Unless you have a very impressive intro (maybe designed by 2advanced) avoid using intros. As for the welcome pages that has an "enter" button and some info about the site should be avoided as well. Basically with welcome page you are stopping your users from actually seeing your site, you are keeping them one step behind. You never know maybe some of your users leave your site without even clicking on your 'enter' button, if so then you are loosing a potential customers.


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