December 14, 2007

"How to make your current website design better, if you don't want to start from scratch."

You know what makes up a good website design, but do you know how to make your current website design better, if you don't want to start from scratch?

Luckily for you, making your current website - or blog - design better is extremely easy. All it takes is removing unnecessary elements, re-evaluating your website's goals, and getting feedback from users who have never visited your website before. It's that easy.

Remove everything that isn't necessary.

The first step to making your current web design great is to evaluate what is necessary and what's not, then removing everything that is not necessary.

Sure, a flashy, animated picture can look really cool - but mostly annoying - but is it necessary for your website? Chances are, you don't need to have flashy animations, photoshoped backgrounds, or a page about your pet cat (unless that is the purpose of your website).

All of these unnecessary elements not only detract from the overall purpose of your website, they make your website look less professional and extremely... crappy.

Remove anything that absolutely doesn't need to be on your website (including special effects), and you'll find your website design looks a lot better without all of the clutter.

Re-evaluate your website's goals.

Removing clutter from your website is a great start to re-discovering and re-evaluating the purpose of your website. A lot of the time designers or webmasters will get overwhelmed with all of the latest craze happening on websites, they forget the purpose of their website and start to cover it up with useless junk.

Take some time to sit down and write out what your website's goals were when you first created it, and what your goals for the website are now. They should be the same, but even if they're not: the design of the website should fit with those goals.

If your original intentions for your website was to sell hats for pets, but you have become overwhelmed with images of LOLcats, your design needs to change, and chances are it's to get rid of those cat images.

If your website's goals were to share your opinion with readers, but you somehow become obsessed with other people's opinions, time to re-evaluate your design.

You may find that your original goals for your website are being overlapped with useless clutter, you can make your design better by focusing on your original goals again - and getting rid of everything that is unnecessary in the design.

You may also find out that your goals have completely changed for the website, which means it might be time for a new website design.

Put it all on your visitor's shoulders.

Getting rid of clutter and re-evaluating your website's goals can help you make your website design better, but the ultimate test is with people who are new to your website.

Invite some friends or online acquaintances to visit your website if they never have before. Ask them what they thought the website was for, if anything was confusing, what they liked and what they didn't like, and what they would change.

The best advice any webmaster can receive on his/her website is from people who are just discovering the website. If they can figure out what your website is for, and can navigate through the pages without any trouble, and if they would visit the site again and again, your design is great.

But don't fret if you find problems with your website design. No website design is perfect. Not one.