In This Chapter
Understanding the purpose of Web site design
Preventing distraction from the sales process
Using branding basics
Keeping it legal
Testing for usability
The design of a commercial Web site has only one basic purpose: to assist visitors through the sales process. Sure, graphic artists will tell you that design is a crucial element of establishing branding recognition and showing uniqueness. Technical support staff for a software company might suggest that design be used for current customers to quickly get to the support area of the site when they have a problem. A nonprofit organization might view design as a means of displaying documents of research and treatment options in a prominent place on every page of the Web site.
And all these design imperatives are true and realistic. But, in each of those cases (and others), accomplishing those goals through effective design eventually brings more revenue.
This chapter is devoted to using several design techniques to guide your Web site visitors through your online sales process without distracting them. You discover how to think about the affect of elements that appear on your site: branding, colors, fonts, and graphics. After making these key decisions, you're ready to consider how to pull these elements together in your site layout — and in particular, ways that make best use of important areas on a Web page. You also find tips along the way to help you design a site that's easy to use. The last ...