Over the years newcomers to web design tend to focus excessively on the appearance of a website. Appearance isn’t the most important thing to look at when planning and creating the site. It doesn’t mean that appearance is of no importance. Site can still survive (or even thrive) if it is a plain-looking site like Google. This is not necessarily the case if someone overlooks the other important issues in web design.

All sites are created for a particular purpose. Some were created so that owners can sell something. Others are information resources. Still others are designed to showcase their owner’s talents (such as sites displaying the resumes and portfolios). The usability of the site is very important to help you to achieve that purpose. The basic questions that need to address when dealing with usability is: can the visitors easily access the information they need so that they can do the stuff that wants them to do?

Information Availability
Is the information that the visitors need to make informed decisions available on the site? For example, before they can buy a product, they will want to know more about that product. A brief one-line summary about the product’s features may work for the main page.

Information Accessibility
Not only must the information be available to the visitors, it must be easily accessible. A page that gives a detailed description of the products is not going to help the visitors if they have to work hard at finding it. If visitors have to work at finding something on the site, they are not going to find it. Either put the information right under their noses, or put a link to it in that place.

A good navigational system for the website is crucial. A navigational system is one by which visitors can move from one page to another. For example, on, one way to access the main pages on the site is to use the navigation buttons on the left column of the page. If using navigation bar or panel, standardize its location on all the pages of the website. Don’t make the visitors feel as though they are embarking on a treasure hunt every time they reach a new page.

Search Engine Visibility is Site’s Lifeline

Sites redesigned will no longer appear in search engine results even when relevant terms were used for searches. The problem was that the site relied exclusively on a JavaScript navigation menu. Apart from the links generated by the JavaScript menu, there were absolutely no other links on the site pointing to other pages within the site. Since search engines can’t interpret JavaScript they could not follow any links and could thus only index the main page. As a result, the pages were not listed in searches for keywords, leading to a drastic drop in visitors.

This is a problem which can be easily fixed: create a site map and add a normal link to it from the main page, but it illustrates one of the most important issues a real-world website faces: search engine visibility. If the site is not listed in the search engines visitors will not use the site efficiently and they ignore in going for that site.

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