Web Site Improvements and Benefits

Removing Frames

When a web site uses frames the user cannot bookmark specific pages. For example, if a user is on the About Us page and decides to save it for more thorough review later, the bookmark will be created for the frame instead of the entire site instead of the specific page. If the user goes back to that bookmark at a later date it will take them to the front page and they may forget why they saved the site and move on.

Search engines will only record the framed page not the entire frame, so when it is clicked on from the search result the page will only display the information, which will not include the navigation or sometimes even the company name located in separate frames. The user then has no way to move around the site.

Frames can cut off navigation as well. If the user�s browser window isn�t big enough to display all of the navigation links, then some of them may be cut off beyond reach of the user at the bottom of the page. The user may be missing pertinent information that sits at the end of your navigation list.

Benefits:

  • More user friendly
  • Easier to bookmark
  • Search results link to a complete, proper page
  • Navigation won�t get cut off

CSS – Cascading Style Sheets
Many web designers are moving their techniques towards CSS, or Cascading Style Sheets. There are many advantages to using CSS. The pages will be more accessible to users with disabilities because of the way CSS allows the designer to set it up. For the same formatting reasons, search engines can then record and store the information for better more accurate search results.

And, if you redesign the site now, decide you don�t like it, the designer can easily change the entire design through one page � the CSS page. In the long run it makes web design a much more simple, usable, accessible process.

Benefits:

  • More user friendly
  • More accessible
  • Page loads much more quickly
  • Search engines can record the page more accurately
  • Easy to change design of entire site

Usability and Accessibility
The standard for web design moving forward involves making sites more user-friendly or usable and accessible.

  • Usable means that the site is intuitive, easy to use, easy to navigate, and the user doesn�t get lost.
  • Accessible means that a person with a disability can operate and navigate the site, for example with quick keys or a screen reader.

Why do these things matter? Because you want your users to have the best experience possible on your site in order to keep them coming back for more. And you want them to be able to use it, no matter how they need to use it.

Benefits:

  • More user friendly
  • Easy to navigate
  • User doesn�t get lost
  • User can utilize quick keys and screen readers

Dynamics
Why would you want your site to be more dynamic? The number one reason is readership. You want your users to keep coming back for more, the more they come back the more familiar they get with you and the more likely they are to buy, donate or collaborate with you.

Here are just a few things you can do to make your site more dynamic:

  • News � add news to your site, best placed on the front page. It can be updated daily, weekly, monthly or quarterly, but it must be maintained so as not to let down your readers.
  • Events � do you have events, meetings, seminars, workshops, important dates that your users should know about? Put it up on your site, the easier for them to find this information the more likely they will keep coming back to you.
  • Mailing Lists � a good way to keep in touch with your users is through a mailing list. Whenever you post news or events, send out an email letting them know that more information has been placed on your site. This can be treated the same way you treat your company newsletter � only you�ll be saving a lot of paper!
  • Guestbook � do your users have a lot to say about? Well find out! Some of their comments may help you win more business. Even if you get a bad comment, you can use it to your advantage and learn where your company needs improvement, make the adjustment and let your readers know that you have fixed the problem and that you care about what they have to say.

Benefits:

  • Keep users coming back
  • Build readership and relationships
  • Give users a way to interact with you
  • Keep your users informed

About Nicole

I'm a quiet artist making a living as a web designer.
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