Mohali, India (PressExposure) July 14, 2008 -- On internet, every now and then, we comes across a website that are cluttered with information and graphics, pop ups, revolving text which sometimes makes searching for useful information on a web page a very frustrating experience. It may certainly hurt your traffic ratings if it takes more than 10 seconds to load such extravaganza. That's why concentrating on the effective layout become a vital task in website design.
Designing a layout involves deciding how to organize and present your content on the web page as a web page layout defines the geometry of the page. You can use the available tools to easy accomplish this task. Even there are thousands of free web layout templates are available on the net; from which you can choose the best suited one and fill the content and here is your web page ready to load! Free layout contains ready images and other facilities from which you can choose the combination that you would like to have on your web page. Don't just go by their attractive looks; keep these following tips as a reference point to check out each part of the web layout before selecting it as your web page.
Screen Resolution: You should better optimize for 1024x768, which is currently the most widely used screen size. Of course, the general criterion is always to optimize for the most common resolution of your target audience. The below statistics by w3schools for the month of January for the last 5 years seem to reflect the general trend we are seeing on the Web, though I think the 800 - 600 percentages are a bit low.
Year Higher 1024 x 768 800 x 600 640x 480 Unknown 2007(January) 26% 54% 14% 0% 6% 2006(January) 17% 57% 20% 0% 6% 2005(January) 12% 53% 30% 0% 5% 2004(January) 10% 47% 37% 1% 5% 2003(January) 6% 40% 47% 2% 5%
Contrast: Layout should have strike a good balance between graphics and text. It is easy to have too much text on your site. Too many graphics on your web layout may create too much clutter. It also slows the loading time of your web page. So have layout with compressed graphics just to emphasize the points you are trying to make as they can also distract people attention from the message you are conveying in content. So you'll have to take care of contrast in the following relative segments
- Contrast of color - Contrast of scale - Contrast of proximity - Contrast of Value - Typographic contrast
Color: Avoid having a layout with dark background and dark text. It's hardly readable. Better to choose among the samples having light background with dark colored text. For example, a white background with black text is the easiest to read. The color should not distract your reader from the main details of your page. It is an always wise to get feedback from users or friends about what they feel about the color combination of the layout. Use web safe colors as much as possible.
White Space: This is the space between the elements on a web page. Your web page will appear disorganized if there is none or too little white space, Try to have a web layout that look clean, simple, easy to read and navigate to have an effective online presence.
Navigation: Good web layouts have clear and simple navigation scheme as it's the key for smooth movement within your site and over long scrolled pages. This helps visitor to find the information quickly and easily. If the presentation and organization of the content is vague, the visitor will get lost which surely hampers your purpose. So have a web layout with easy and intuitive navigation scheme; which on the whole makes visiting the site pleasant and easy. There are many free scripts available on the Net that you could use to create great navigation systems. A favorite resource center is SimplyTheBest.net. Here you'll find tons of useful navigation menus that can be installed very easily.
Keeping these points in mind while choosing among the free web layouts on the internet makes your web page a pleasing experience with clear, clean, simple and attractive layout. Still I personally feel that the best bang for the buck is a web layout from Template Monster. It may not be quite free but it can come very close with designs as low as $20. A little money out of pocket may guarantee that you won't have the exact same design as your competitor.
Good interactivity engages the user and makes your site memorable by good content presentation, graphics and user-friendly navigation. Your visitor will have an enjoyable experience and wish to return again.