Website Design: Keep it Simple One of the keys to a quality
web site is simplicity. You’ve heard of the KISS principle?
Keep It Simple Silly. This applies doubly for websites.
Design Web Friendly It is inexperience than can make you
want to use every bell and whistle, every feature and every
new trick. It is nice to be able to create complex frames
and tables, use large busy fonts, use flash and animated
GIFs, but will end up with too many features competing
against your message. It’s more than likely your audience
is quickly going to be overwhelmed, rather than impressed.
Just because you can create a flashy effect, doesn’t mean
you should. Ask yourself if the flashy addition is improving
my page, my design. Decide if there is actual value in the
addition and does it add with this technique? Is this the
best way to communicate my message? A simple design doesn’t
necessarily mean uninteresting and dull. Lots of people
confound fancy effects with effective communication. Keeping
it simple means you should think about how people will be
using your pages. Then present your information to them so
it matches their requirements and expectations. Earn their
attention Use technology and effects where appropriate and
where they make for more effective communication. You’re not
designing web sites for yourself to look at. You’re publishing
a web page because you expect someone to stop by and visit it
– your audience. The more you know about and understand your
audience, the more effective you can gear your communication
and marketing appropriately on your site. Does your audience
still use dial-up service that still relies on slow modems?
Then be aware of file sizes and download times. Are they
expecting to hear your band’s music clips? Then you’d better
think about an audio format. Ease of use is critical in web
design, so above all else your site easy to navigate. Many
small factors can quickly add up to create easy paths through
your site. For example, one thing you can do is keep the number
of choices small, that way people are less likely to become
lost in a long list of options. Simple in design is simple
design. Did you know that the average human mind sees five or
fewer items as one group, but when it encounters more than five
items it has to divide them into smaller sub-groups to process
them? It makes sense, then, to try to keep your selections
arranged in groups of five or less. That makes it easier for
your readers to quickly see the options and select one.

Article written by Jason A. Neal.