Website Design Goals
I prefer sites with the following characteristics:
Similarly, these are commonly embedded and slow pages, providing no value whatsoever. Cut these out and save multiple seconds of loading:
- Facebook or Twitter widgets
- Yelp, TripAdvisor, or similar "badges"
- Analytics or other surveillance software
- Large photos, or too many photos
- Custom fonts - you probably don't need them
Site info needs to be readily found. Phone numbers should be clickable, so people can immediately call your business, without copying and pasting a number. Text needs to be readable. You need sufficient contrast, so people can find buttons, links, and other navigational items. PDFs are not a great format for mobile phones, since they don't respond to screen-size. They are locked in the aspect ratio of a piece of paper. Why are restaurants using PDFs to convey important information about their menu? In 2019, this is unacceptable and should be corrected immediately. A responsive, easy-to-read webpage is much better to learn about your business than pinching and swiping across a PDF meant to be printed on an 8.5 by 11 sheet of paper.
Once you've covered the basics, it's important to use semantic HTML tags to represent page content. There are many tags, such as nav, article, footer, and header, which help with accessibility concerns. Your page should communicate its structure to someone using VoiceOver or another screen-reader, and this helps them navigate faster and accurately.
In addition to limiting network requests, making files smaller is a great way to improve your site. Google's WebP format dramatically reduces the size of photos, and other resources can be "minified," which involves removing whitespace or other unneeded characters. After optimizing site assets or deleting useless files, your site will be much better.
Sites that monitor visitors' behavior have to communicate that information, which is done by making more network requests. It clogs up networks with pointless data, and it wastes energy. It's also creepy and not necessary.
If you want to improve your site, I can help you out. Learn more about my web design services and explore example work, then contact me to get started.