10 Rules of Web site design

One Simple is good.
Cramming too much into each page creates confusion. Having to scan through rows of links and images to find what you are looking for can be frustrating. We keep your pages clean so it will be easier for your visitors to locate what they need. Plus the pages will load faster.

Two Design is paramount.
When you meet someone for the first time, you want to make a good first impression. The same should be true for your Web site. The overall look and feel of the site is the first thing your visitors notice. That is why all the sites we create look professional and attractive

Three Navigation should be intuitive.
There are few things more frustrating than not being able to find what you are looking for on a Web site. Pages should be well-organized with a top-down design so that people can easily browse to where they want to go on your site.

Four Consistency is key.
Visitors shouldn’t feel like they have been sent to a completely different Web site each time they open a new page on your site. Most people are accustomed to familiar layouts within Web sites. Consistency among the pages on your site makes navigation a much easier task.

Five Color choice is critical.
Color selection can make or break a site. Most of us know what it is like to visit a site that is just painful to look at. When choosing colors, it is important to be consistent, choose colors that don’t clash, and make sure there is a strong contast between the text and the background. White is the safest choice for a background color, but other colors can work.

Six Don’t forget the content.
Even if your site has an amazing design, it will not be productive if it lacks content. There needs to be enough content on each page to make visiting it worthwhile. If a page is extremely long, it may be a good idea to break it up into smaller ones.

Seven Make use of the full browser window.
People with large monitors typically don’t like seeing all the content of a Web page crammed into one tenth of their screen. Most sites created by Sharpened Productions scale to fill the browser window so that people with monitors of all sizes can make the most out of their screen real estate. If you need to use a fixed size, you can count on most visitors using a resolution of at least 1024×768.

Eight Develop for multiple browsers.
Despite what Microsoft would like you to believe, not everybody on the Web uses Internet Explorer on a Windows-based PC. That is why we check our sites in multiple browsers on multiple platforms — to make sure everything appears uniformly. It is always best to catch problems ahead of time instead of relying on visitor complaints.

Nine Check the site for errors.
As any experienced editor will tell you, a wonderful piece of work can be greatly tarnished by a single small error. For websites, this includes typos, broken links, and images that do not show up correctly. Sharpened Productions is meticulous when editing your site.

Ten Write your own code.
Though we typically use Adobe GoLive to create your page layout, we also follow and edit the HTML that is being generated. When it comes to Web scripting, we write everything from scratch. While some people tend to grab pre-written scripts for every action they need, they are clueless when something goes wrong or doesn’t work. It is also easier to customize the code we write, allowing us to avoid the “template appearance” of many other sites on the Web.

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