101 Dos And Don'tsPart 2



Typography

  • Avoid most serif fonts. They look great when printed but are rendered virtually illegible at small sizes. The following is the same size text used first in a serif font (Times New Roman) and then in a sans serif screen-ready font (Verdana).
    serif legibility
    serif legibility.
    Even these are likely to appear differently to you than they do here.

  • Avoid page-width text areas. They induce the feeling of endless dull reading and unless the leading is correct, it is easy to lose where you are. Try and keep line length to around 70 characters.

  • Do not mix more than three fonts on a single page. Instead use colours and font-weight (Bold) and size.

  • Try and avoid using Italics, they appear jagged and harder to read than their counterparts.

  • Avoid using "Tiny" Text. Search engines may penalise you and it may be rendered illegible on some browser platforms.

  • Do not underline text unless it is a hyperlink.

  • Remember not all browsers render colours the same. Be careful when using similar colour, or even similar hue, back and foregrounds.

  • Remember to set a font family for browsers to default to if your chosen sans serif font is not available on the viewers browser.

Copy

  • Ensure your text is easy to understand and does not drift from the point you are trying to make.

  • Avoid the use of Victoriana unless you back it up with a simplified version.

  • Always have a third party check your spelling, do not rely on software or yourself. A good example of this is at allmyfaqs

  • Avoid over usage of "flowery" adjectives. They become monotonous and infer padding rather than good clean copy writing.

  • Keep it simple, visitors are after information and don't want to read your personal opinion on a subject.  The overuse of adjectives can turn a good topic into a personal opinion.

  • If you state a fact, then make sure you quantify it, ensure you specify where the information came from.

  • Ensure your pages are structured correctly, every page should have an introduction, main body and conclusion.  The introduction will assist the visitor decide if they should read further.  

Backgrounds

  • Avoid loading large images as backgrounds to pages. Experiment with colour to get your message across instead.

  • Avoid using garish or bright coloured backgrounds that interfere with the legibility of your text.

  • Never add a sound file to the background of your page without the option to turn it ON. Not everyone is supposed to be looking for your product at the place they have access to the internet. You will have forced these customers upon your competitors. Equally damaging is the size of sound files. They will drive customers away in their droves if they cannot begin reading your page in under 6 seconds.

  • Remember that not all browsers can have a fixed (non scrolling) background If the background is critical to the design avoid setting it as fixed.

  • Avoid background images in tables and cells, many browsers still do not recognise this technique, use colours instead.

...And Finally

  • Always remember your target audience, it is their browsers you need to design to, not your own. They may use PDAs and "Green Screen" devices as well as the latest browsers. Make sure the design is flexible enough for them

  • Do not forget to update your site. Regular visitors like to see a "live" web site, it may be their only way of knowing you are still in business.

  • Check your web site on as many browsers and systems as possible. Do not expect it to look identical on every platform but it should "hold together" both effectively and logically.

 

Next, Inside information on  Search Engine Optimisation

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