Maybe you have gone to a website that had at least 5 different fonts or perhaps a deatailed color that made the font very difficult to read? (i.e. white deatailed with yellow font)
This kind of website is really a disaster--the form of website that will immediately send a message to your visitors that says, "Our company/organization is not professional enough to truly have a decent website" ;.The underlying message is, "Our company does not care that much about your business" ;.
This is actually the last message you want to send as a small business owner, so look over these ideas to ensure you are incorporating the basic principles of professional design.
1. Create a professional feel for the advertisement/website.
What does this mean? It means having one consistent font that is easy to read. It means labeling your links clearly so that others can simply navigate your site. It means having a constant theme to all of your pages which means that your ad/site includes a unique style and feel--one that is not cluttered by unreadable fonts!
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It means balancing images, text, and empty space; way too many pictures or too much text makes your ad/website look way less appealing; remember that it is GOOD to own some empty or white space.
Don't forget the basic principles: grammar, punctuation, and spelling--nothing can make you look more unprofessional faster than poor written communication! Get work proof read by way of a professional.
2. Organize your information concisely.
Many people searching the net want to get what they want quickly; they don't want to invest hours and hours studying long paragraphs on your own website to get what they're looking for. Use bullet points or break up your information into small paragraphs. Use bold text to emphasize the really important ideas or products. If someone only spent a few momemts on your own website, they will manage to browse the bold text and have a basic notion of what it's about.
Have others look at your website/advertisement and ask what their first impression is without reading any one of it; you may be surprised to get that people are overwhelmed by way too many words and not enough white space. Stick to the basic principles and present your information in ways that anyone could easily understand. This leads to another tip:
3. Communicate your information at the 5th grade level.
Yes, it's true. Even on the net we still need to keep things as simple as possible. Avoid big words or fancy language--even if your ad/website is catered to an educated audience. Many people just want the basic principles about your business or product--if they desire more details, keep these things contact you via email or phone.
4. Make use of a Professional Color Scheme.
Dark backgrounds with light text tend to look the absolute most professional. When you have to utilize a white background, use a dark font that is easy to read like Navy or Black. Red may possibly not be dark enough unless it's a darker shade. If you want to incorporate a shade theme to your advertisement/website, use as few colors that you can (i.e. 2-3). If you design a small business logo yourself, incorporate the above tips. If your logo is on a small business card be sure that your name and contact information are the greatest and boldest thing on the card.
5. Always ask others to give you feedback concerning the usability of one's website.
Learn how to produce a survey that you can post on your internet site to gather this information. Yahoo sitebuilder makes it super easy to add forms and gather information. You might want to think about switching to the program if your sitebuilding software is not user friendly.
Especially, remember this: Your advertisement/website sends a primary message to your visitors about how precisely professional you're, so spend the full time to create work the most effective it could be.
Jill Stewart Tabatabaei graduated from Brigham Young University in 2005. During her last semester, she worked as a PR intern for Intermountain Health Care where she was in charge of designing adverstisements and promoting events.
She learned a great deal about design in her Computer courses at BYU. She received the most effective score in her class on a newsletter she constructed with Microsoft Publisher.