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Most of the people think that it is visual appearance that determines a site's success or failure, but in fact it is usability that determines a site's fate. No doubt that visual appearance does have involvement in a site's success but first thing is usability. After all it's all about the user; in the end a user has to use the site and has to decide everything.
So, most of the designs we do see over different websites are user-centric. Before talking about principles of web design, first take a look at how users look or interact with a website and their basic patterns of behavior.
Visitors glance at every new page and scan some of the text and normally do click at something of their interest on a website and if they don't find it of their interest then Back button is clicked and search is continued. In all this process there may be the large parts of text at which they even do not even look at. Overall users do appreciate quality content even if a page is filled with lots of advertisements and is not well designed then too they don't mind reading it. Second thing to notice about them is that they don't read they just scan the whole thing and normally they are impatient i.e. they do return if they don't find what they were searching for or if the page takes too much of time to load. They usually follow their intuition and want to have complete control.
After having a glance at user's behavior let's talk about the basic rules of web design now the principles of web design are:
Web Page must be obvious and self-explanatory – Website's navigation and architecture must be user friendly in all respects. A web designer's basic objective must be to don't let users think and eliminate question marks related with usability of the site.
Keep user requirements minimal – Let user explore, discover and test your site and services without filling up long web forms and forcing them to share their private data.
Attract users – Integrate images and web 2.0 elements in your website to make it more attractive. Make your website eye catching providing both static and dynamic content.
Make uses of Modern web designs – Simple 1-2-3-done steps, large buttons with visual effects are definitely better as compared to simple web elements.
Effective Writing – Fine-tune your writing approach to users' preferences and browsing habits. Talk business; avoid company specific or unfamiliar technical names.
Keep it simple – should be the fundamental objective of the site design. From the user point of view, the best site design option is to keep pure text without much advertisement in it.
Divide the content – into digestible pieces of information to reduce the load cognitive load for the visitors as complex structures are harder to read, scan and analyze and work with it.
Express yourself effectively – Follow the visible language which has three basic fundamentals as organize i.e. provide user with a clear consistent structure, economize which includes elements like simplicity, clarity, emphasis and distinctiveness and communicate i.e. match your expression with user capabilities.
Conventions are not always bad – Conventional designs doesn't result in a boring website as they reduce the learning curve and can help you gain users' assurance and belief.
Test early Test often – This so called theory should be applied to every web design project. Testing is a repetitive process i.e. one must keep testing to produce useful results.
This article is contributed by a professional web designer who never compromise with the quality of his work that what makes him globally renowned. He writes formative articles on several buzzing topics relevant to the professional website designing.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Manan_Kumar