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I have been planning on writing about this, but putting it off for the reason that I don't think I have enough experience or expertise to comment upon what kind of a design a site must have. But over the past few days, I have been visiting many sites because of latest obsession with Web 2.0, and to find content regarding the same. Doing that, I've bumped into many sites which have amazing interfaces and a very good overall appeal. Which I cannot say about most of the sites out there. So, here are the tips that I think a web author must keep in mind when planning on designing a site --

  1. Keep It Fast: Because the internet has progressed in leaps and bounds over the past years, its easy to forget that not everyone owns a broadband connection, or the best browser on earth at the moment (*cough*firefox*cough*). All they want is a surfing experience and good content that they can read up on without the bling blings. Ofcourse, if they eye-candy is presented without blocking off their system because it takes too long to load, they will not mind that either. This is where things like CSS (and the various other versions of it) can come into play for you. Use it properly, and you'll get stunning results. I'll give you this page as an example of what CSS can do. Your creativity is your limit (and a few attributes! :P)

  2. Keep It Simple: You don't want users to click through 5 links to get to the page they finally wanted to. Keep navigation simple. That way, you'll have more to put on the other pages, and make sure that your user doesn't get lost in the myriad pages that your site offers. The best navigation system that I like to follow is a list type heirarchial navigation ... where each main topic opens up a subtopic (without refreshes) and the user can select where they want to go. It works the best, but any other methods such as menu driven navigations will work wonders too! Just, keep it simple!

  3. Uniformity Matters: If someone gets to see a different format of content presentation everytime they go to a different page, they will not come back to your site again, because they just get confused where everything is. Make sure that every page has the same layout, and content is in their right places. Keep your pages uniform, and you'll be rewarded with a more sleek and elegant looking website.

  4. This is not a Rainbow: Its very tempting to use ever colour in the charts in your site. And believe me, with a million colours (new ones being invented everyday), you will have plenty of choices. But, thats a fool's way out. Select a few colours, and paint your entire website in those colours itself. Don't stray too far from the shades which make up the undertones of all your pages. Also, select colours which are light on the eyes, and which don't add too much strain. Lighter tones always work best for sites with a lot of content, and darker tones for a lot of eye candy or a bright foreground. Brightness Must. Eyes can focus faster on bright stuff, so it will attract users easily. I used to make my pages with very dark and creepy colours, which looked cool but kept visitors at bay. The sites which are frequented the most, are all light and easy on the eyes. I can't emphasize the importance of colours and their usage. They will decide if the user comes back out of free will, or out of desperation.

  5. Content: Ofcourse, no designing is worth it if your site doesn't have any content to show for it. Keep your content straight, brief and to the point if you don't have much, and then work your design around it. Remember, the design should always compliment your content, not the other way round. People come to your site for information, and with Web 2.0, people are paying much more attention to content and usability than how it looks. So, write something, and then design it so that people don't have any problems finding the info they're seeking

That is it for the moment. These are the few tips that I've kept in mind while designing this page, and I think I've managed to come up with a decent page with enough content that might keep people coming back once in a while to check for updates. Hope you found these useful. If you want any more info or tips, I'd love to help you out. Just drop me a line! :)

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Nice Blog Aditya... Keep your machinary on the same'll get to fly someday. :)

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