Last week we discussed the importance of defining who your target audience is and here is where that information comes in. When working on your layout take into account the purpose of the web site and who will most likely be visiting the web site (a.k.a. your target audience). Try incorporating colors and styles that are reflective of your business.
Do you have a logo or icon that you use in other aspects of your business? If so you should carry it over into the web site to promote the branding of your identity. Also consider what kind of experience you want to provide to your customers. Creating a positive experience on the web site through layout and colors will promote trust and confidence with your customers.
When laying out your content you’ll want to consider adding images and graphics that help make an impact on the viewers. Photos and graphics can help drive a point home or highlight an otherwise bland, content filled page.
If you want to capture the attention of your user, using Flash or an animated image can help tell a story or convey a thought or emotion. Photos and product images can help sell an item or service on an e-commerce site. For brochure sites, use of imagery can help define your business or service along with the content you are providing. When using images, try choosing pictures that work with and add value your content.
There can be a down side to using images on your web site. Having too many images on a web site can cause a web page to load slowly, especially if they are large files, and this could lead to your customers feeling frustrated and ultimately leaving your site. The same goes with web sites that are based on Flash or use excessive mounts of Flash. If your customer does not have Flash installed on their system or they have an older version, the page may not load properly.
Using images is a great tool for your web site but as with everything else in life use in moderation.