Aesthetics
The aesthetics of a website is the quality of the graphic design of the website. Unless you have experience in this field, or natural artistic flair, you should leave this to the experts.

1) Style Guide:

Do you have a style guide? Do you have rules for fonts, sizes and colours for headers and normal text? Do you specify image sizes and image borders? Do you have rules for spelling, abbreviations, punctuations, italics, dates, numerals, currency, weights and measures?

If you don’t have rules for styling your website, then inconsistencies may slip through and reduce the overall aesthetic effect of your website.

2) Logo:

Does it have immediate impact? Does it catch the eye? Is it attractive? Does it provide an effective identification? Is it scalable in size? Does it work on paper as well as on screen? Does it evoke a positive sense of goodwill? Does it accurately represent your business? Is it memorable? Is it timeless?

Your logo was most likely created before your website. If it doesn’t represent your business well, now might be the time to change it.

3) Colours:

First impressions are often made on the colour scheme. But as colours have different emotional responses for every individual, this makes choosing the right colour scheme a very difficult task.

Using the same colours found in your logo will help with consistency. The basics you can apply are:

  1. choose whether you want a warm or a cool colour range to predominate
    • warm colours are: red-purple, red, red-orange, orange, yellow-orange, yellow
    • cool colours are: purple, blue-purple, blue, blue-green, green, yellow-green
  2. choose the strongest colour as the lead colour from the chosen colour range. Use this for headings or prominent titles.
  3. choose an accent colour from the opposite colour range as a special highlight colour. Use this for offers, or to indicate the current page in the menu etc.

4) Layout:

The most commonly accepted layout style is fixed width, variable height. The alternative is variable width, variable height. Any other layout style should be avoided unless there is a specific reason such as high usage of flash animation.

Fixed width websites allow for precise column based layout designs and allow for consistency in layout such as fixed width image sizes and positioning. Variable width websites require more thought in layout in order to remain consistent and attractive, and hence restrict certain layout options.

Whatever you choose, plan your site layout using wireframing techniques. This ensures the design will be organised and contain all the required parts of your website, fulfilling form and function.

5) Balanced Content / Images / Whitespace:

White-space on a website is just an important design decision as what is occupied by images or content. The separation of content and images should be part of an invisible framework of cells. This framework should balance the proportions of content and images.

6) Intelligent use of buttons and link images:

Are links integrated well into the design? Do you have standard buttons, or do you use buttons that are sympathetically designed to help guide the visitor around your website?

7) Backgrounds:

Does the background help to accentuate the design or does it interfere? Is the background an image or a colour?

To give your website the best possible chance of success, ensure that the essential design aspects have been reviewed and dealt with. If you feel your website requires attention in any area of its design, please contact your account manager for advice.

If you are in any doubt, complete the support request form and your account manager will review your enquiry the following day.