If you’ve read about the purpose of this page you know that I partly started this website to learn web development and how to manage a web site. And the management part is really easier than I thought but then again I don’t really know what I expected. I mean it just sits there, you don’t have to do so much after the content is up on the site.
I have certainly learned a lot these past 10-12 weeks but it is still nothing compared to what I don’t know.
Here is a short update about what I have noticed so far and a weak side I didn’t expect to find in myself.
Writing content is about what I expected. It is not as easy as I had hoped but not too bad and I think it goes better and better. I have tried to learn how to write pieces meant to be read for entertainment because that is not something I have done before.
I can turn out a 20 page technical specification or manual in a heartbeat but to write something that is entertaining and easy to read is not really the same thing. So far I like it and it will be interesting to see how it plays out in the long run.
What I didn’t think about before hand, was how hard it is to actually know what looks good or how important graphic are for web development. I have never thought of graphics as important before, but the more research I do the more I realize that it really matters. If it’s not the most important so at least a close second.
The same with colour, knowing what colours look good together and what attracts people felt like a black hole to me when I learned of how important it was.
So in short, I need to get a basic understanding of design to succeed here. I have read a ton of articles and watched more youtube videos about design than I care to admit because this is an area I plan to focus on in the coming weeks. So don’t expect any new content in the next few weeks but do expect a redesign of the site.
Here is a list of 9 Items I plan to keep in mind when I redesign the layout of the site.
9 Mistakes I want to avoid on this website
- Buttons that blend
The buttons with your most important call to action should stand out from the background, you want the visitors eyes to be drawn to them. Use bright colours so they are clearly visible, make them saturated and bright.
- To many call to actions
One or two is enough, more than three will lower the chance of your visitor clicking on any of them. If you need more, put your most important one on top and put the rest further down on your page.
- Too much or too little spacing
If the site is too crowded it will be hard for your visitors to focus on what you want. If there is too much space it will be hard to see what pieces of information go together. Group information that belongs together and use space around the group to emphasize that they are related.
- Poor or overly complicated writing
Poor writing takes overly long to read and crowds your website with unnecessary information. The key is to simplify, you understand your content at a level ten, but you should be writing it at a level one. This Is something I think I am guilty to at times.
- Poor tracking and leading
Tracking is the space between words, if it is too small the text becomes harder to read. Leading is also called line height, the same rule applies here as for tracking, if it is to small it becomes harder to read.
- Lacking consistency
Make sure all H1 headings have the same height, all H2, all H3 etc. Use a maximum of two complementary fonts, one for headings and one for body for example or one for buttons and actions and one for text.
- Poor image choice
Pick complementary pictures that aren’t to busy, pick images with some open space if you can. If you have text overlay make sure the text is easy to read. It might help to use a background overlay, white for black text and black for white text.
- Too long paragraphs
Too long paragraphs immediately look daunting. Split it up in every 2-4 sentences. People tend to scan the first sentence of every paragraph for relevant information so put the most important part of the paragraph in the first sentence.
- Responsive layout
52% of all web-traffic comes from mobile devices, if your website can’t adapt to a smaller screen you will lose about 50% of your potential visitors.
So far this has been a great deal of fun and I have been bubbling with ideas for several weeks about things I want to do and directions I want to take this in. I can honestly say that it’s been years since I felt this excited about something.
So go and do something cool in the meantime and check back here in a few weeks and I think you will be pleasantly surprised about the changes.
Till next time.