There are so many websites out there on the Internet today. Many of them offer great examples of good web design, but many others unfortunately fall under the category of bad design. When designing a website for your plastic surgery practice, you no doubt want to construct it with the principles of good design. But just what makes for a good design versus a bad design? The following points will help to make the difference clear:
- Good Design: Easy-to-read text is text that is of a large enough size, that is a color which contrasts with the background, and that is an appropriate style of font. A bold font or different color can be used to highlight important text.
- Bad Design: Hard-to-read text is text that is too small or text that is a color which does not contrast with the background or is set against a busy background. Also, different fonts can prove hard to read.
- Good Design: Fast-loading pages are essential and can be ensured with proper use of or limited use of images, flash and other graphics. Large or multiple images should be given their own page with an appropriate page name and description so that visitors understand the potential for slow downloads. For instance, for your plastic surgery website, before-and-after patient photos should be given their own page titled something to the effect of ‘before-and-after patient gallery’. These photos can further be set up as thumbnails which can then be clicked on for a larger image.
- Bad Design: Slow-loading pages which can force visitors to go elsewhere. Using flash, too many or too large images or other graphics can slow download times. Also avoid the use of plug-ins that visitors must download in order to view a page.
Purpose and Intent
- Good Design: A clear explanation on the home page detailing what your site is about and what visitors can do on and get from your site. A ‘mission statement’ on your home page can help to achieve this, as can appropriately constructed title tags and page descriptions. This must also include information on the homepage detailing what can be found on other pages in your site.
- Bad Design: No clear message on the homepage allowing visitors to immediately know what your site is about, what can be found on your other pages and how they can find the information they need. If they must read through several pages just to find out what your site is about, you will most likely lose them.
- Good Design: A simple homepage that is easy to enter.
- Bad Design: Anything, including flash pages and other portal pages, that must first be clicked on to enter your site.
Organization and Navigation
- Good Design: A well-organized site structure that is easy to understand and navigate through.
- Bad Design: A confusing site structure, navigation that is difficult to understand and use, and dead links.
- Good Design: Lots of valuable, relevant content that provides your visitors with exactly what they’re looking for. Content must be easy to read and interesting.
- Bad Design: Bad content that is difficult to understand or read, irrelevant, or doesn’t provide visitors with what they want. Pages that have been stuffed with keywords, thus making them unreadable, will drive visitors away.