Article Directory Website Design: Understanding the Essential Basics
If you have done any article directory surfing, you have probably noticed all types of article directory designs. You may have run across those that are visually impressive and enjoyable to look at it. They make you stop and ask yourself the following questions: "How can I make an attractive design like that?" Then you have probably run across those site that have inflicted pain onto your eyeballs and you have probably questioned yourself, "How do I avoid that?" So many people do not understand the essential basics to creating a visually pleasing website design. Let us take a look at these four important and basic subjects of design.
Most of us understand the concept of contrast, yet when you look at different website designs, we often see this concept ignored. Contrast needs to be highly considered when creating any type of website. Ultimately, you want the visitor to come in contact with the content and information of the website. Your visitor does not want to have *dig* through your website to find the information for which he or she is looking. If your content is hidden, people will miss the purpose of your website and simply give up trying to find the information or article they need. Reader's eyes want a visible and clear presentation.
To put contrast in exercise, highly and carefully consider the colors you are using for your website design. The type of contrast you are looking for is black text on a white background. While that may seem boring, it is most important that your background contrasts with your text so your text is clearly visible and seen. Another mistake you will often see is the overuse of graphics and images. Use graphics wisely! Too many graphics can clutter your website and make your content buried. A graphic-laden page does not necessarily mean it will be more visually pleasing.
Contrast is a simple and effective way to visually enhance your website. Remember, that you want to bring the content to your reader. You do not want your reader to have todig for it.
The second concept, alignment, is also extremely vital to the website presentation. Good alignment brings about unity and order. Bad alignment brings about chaos and disorder. Knowing that we want to bring content and contextual components to our visitor, we need to present that content in an orderly fashion. The basic principle for alignment is this: do not mix alignment styles. For example, if you have left aligned text, do not create a centered heading. You want your design to flow. That brings us to our next concept, repetition.
While providing your website visitor with clear, visible orderly content, you can also create a stronger sense of unity in the website through repetition. Repetition on a website basically means that you use the same design elements throughout the design. That means you want to use the same logo, graphics, bullets, fonts, and colors. A common misconception by amateur designers is that the more color on the page you have, the more visually pleasing it is. Experience and good judgement show that this is simply not true. Stick to four similar contrasting colors. Stay consistent with your fonts. Stay consistent with your graphics. Repetition will further the sense of the unity in your document.
Proximity ties in with presenting easy-to-find content to your website visitor. Proximity is not a hard principle to follow and it will greatly increase your website's readability. To follow the concept of proximity, put elements together that should be together. For example, if you are talking about a book, you do not want to have the book title at the top of the page, the author at the bottom of the page, and the publisher of the book on a completely different page. To re-emphasize, you want your visitor to find what they are looking for easily. Proximity best assists your viewers in finding exactly what they need, when they need it.
Following these basic design principles will allow you to make a sharp and attractive website. Remember, you want the content to find the visitor. You do not want the visitor to have to dig through the design to find the content that they need. When the content finds the visitor, you want it to be unified, clear, and visible. Exercise these four basic concepts, and you will have yourself a very visually pleasing design.
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Brett McQueen is freelance author, web designer and programmer and the administrator for the Article Cat article directory at
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