The layout of a webpage is often as important as the content you fill that page with. You don’t agree? How long would you browse on a page that had so much white space you had to constantly scroll to read a short article like this one? What about a page with multiple flashing graphics? Yellow text on a light colored background? The design choices you make for the layout of a page matters. Here are some of the basics you should consider.
The majority of computers don’t currently use 640×480 resolutions. This just means you should think about the screen resolution that many of your readers will have. If you fail to consider this, your logo may take up their entire screen when they load your page, or show up so small they can’t distinguish what it is. With the same philosophy as interior decorating, color can be used to define spaces. For example, many sites use a specifically set window in the middle of their page with a different colored border around it. This allows the page to be successfully loaded on many differently sized computers. Some see more of the colored background, while others see less, but the middle window is always visible. Important content can be brightly colored to catch the attention of customers as well.
“One of the most common newbie layout mistakes is to slap images into a page willy-nilly without thought to layout.” Remember to have a plan in your website design and incorporate images not just for the sake of having images, but to enhance the message you are trying to send. This is an integral part of marketing. More is not always better with images either. Unless you are a photography or similarly image focused site, be sure that the graphics are not overwhelming the content of your page. Design your layouts intentionally with images and content as a balanced part of your layout. Another element of layouts is the “scan length” or how many words you have on one line of text. Most experts recommend “about seven to eleven words on a line. Longer than that, and the text is hard to read, shorter than that and it’s disjointed and distracting.” In most cases, centering your text is not a good idea. It is more difficult for people to read and it can make your webpage look amateurish.
Do you agree or disagree? Perhaps, I missed something? Either way, I would just love to hear what your thoughts are on this topic… just let me know your alive!