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Tag: website design guidelines

14 Best Website Design Guidelines for Improving Any Website

Since 2006 we have held these fourteen guidelines as the most fundamental principles of the best website design.

Every website is unique to its own audience, so you can’t include things like the best colors to use, or anything that will tell you exactly how to design a site. What we’ve put together is a report card that can be applied to any website, of any age. Like I said, this report card has existed for almost a decade and when we update it (like we did today), all of the rules still apply.

What Great Website Design Actually Means and How to Measure it

Have you started the venture on your next great website design? Maybe your original design was pretty great when you launched, but it’s been a few years now and it’s not so great. What exactly is the definition of great, anyway? Is it a good color pallette? A fancy design? Does it shuffle content more effectively, or draw your eye to the most important calls to action? Does it generate revenue for you? Has it been effective at building an email list? Are you consistently seeing more revenue generated through it than the month before?

You can probably guess at which of these questions are more important than others. If we have to hear another new marketing intern complain about pop-ups without looking at the 20-30% increase in email captures when they launched, we’re going to go all Nate Silver on them. Business goals – do you have them? Good. Are you willing to do what it takes to reach them? Great.

Week in Review: January 3rd, 2011 – January 7th, 2011

Catch up on the Mequoda Daily’s blog posts for this past week

Website Button Best Practices + Free PSD Button Templates

Website design guidelines: Start with some website button best practices and finish by downloading some for yourself

When designing a website, one of the most important aspects we look at is usability. And when we launch websites, we always conduct usability testing, asking testers to perform a set of tasks to see how easily they can get through them.

Buttons on websites can be interpreted in so many different ways and can often be the most confusing element on a web page.

Week in Review: October 11th, 2010 – October 15th, 2010

Catch up on the Mequoda Daily’s blog posts for this past week

Three Website Design Mistakes to Avoid

This free report on website design guidelines from Mequoda Group will teach you mistakes to avoid while creating a website and best practices to utilize

(Nationwide)—A poorly designed website will discourage visitors and often spur them to leave the page and never return. It is very important to make a good first impression to users because it may be the only chance you get.

The following three website design mistakes should be known to anyone building a website. Acknowledging these mistakes will stop website designers from falling into the wrong traps.

Mequoda Daily Website Design Review

We visited our own site to show you how it ranks

Website Homepage Design Workshop

Let Nancy Horan & the Mequoda Website Scorecard Make Your Home Page Perform Better in less than 90 Minutes…

Week In Review: March 22nd, 2010 – March 26th, 2010

Catch up on the Mequoda Daily’s blog posts for this past week…

Better Homes & Gardens Website Design Review 2010

We revisited Better Homes & Gardens’ website design to see what’s been improved since our last review

Top 10 Media Website Design Reviews

Website Design Reviews are written by the Mequoda Research Team, based on our Website Design Scorecard that features 14 website design guidelines, and focuses on the websites of today’s top publishers.

To create the 14 website design guidelines, we’ve reviewed hundreds of websites and interviewed dozens of website publishers. We’ve conducted a series of expert usability reviews and actual user tests to determine what we believe to be the top 14 best practices for successful website publishing.

More Impressions from the Same Users

Having fresh, valuable content is a great way to attract repeat website visitors

There are lots of ways to drive website traffic, and not all of them are purely online marketing techniques.

One way to boost website traffic is to focus on repeat (rather than unique) visitors. Repeat visitors are great because they increase the number of impressions served on you website and you’re not spending any marketing dollars to locate them.

To become frequent repeat visitors, users need to be given incentives to return to your website. Two great incentives are quality content and fresh content.

More Revenue from Better Designs

Time spent on your site and revenue are effected by site design

If you are going to have a website at all, make sure it is designed well.

Yesterday’s Daily illustrated how important website design is to conversion rates and customer satisfaction.

Every visitor to your website has a finite amount of time before they reach a breaking point and leave to a competitor’s site. Some visitors can last longer than others, but why push them?

Avoid the breaking point completely by having a good website design.

Part of a good website design is using persistent navigation. That means if a user enters your website and sees a navigation bar, that bar should be visible from almost every page on your site.

InternationalLiving.com Travel Website Design Review

Today, most would-be travelers start their journeys online by researching destinations, carrier schedules, accommodations and free web mapping services.

In order to compete with travel agencies and agents, travel information publishers, who traditionally published books, magazines and newsletters, have migrated to the Internet and become online publishers. Some have created retail websites whose primary objective is to sell traditional hard-copy books. Others are focused on publishing travel reviews on their sites, and derive revenue from advertising and affiliate links.

House of White Birches Website Design Review

House of White Birches, a division of the Dynamic Resource Group, is an experienced print publisher. It has an enviable collection of magazines and book titles. It has carved out several profitable special-interest niches that it addresses with excellent products. But like many other successful print publishers, its Internet marketing strategy is not well executed.

The WhiteBirches.com site suffers from disorganization and an inferior architecture that confuses users and diminishes sales.

Those Who Move the Quickest Often Win

Yesterday, we presented the Website Design for Publishers and Authors Bootcamp here in Germany. We spent the first part of the day talking about the different Mequoda Website Archetypes and the Mequoda Media Pyramid. The second part of the day was spent talking about the 14 website design guidelines and reviewing some good (and not-so-good) American websites.

Website Design Guideline #14: Promoting and Supporting Brand Preference and Awareness

Usability and design are two key factors in publishing great websites. You may have a clear strategy and great content, but if your site is unusable and unattractive, it will be difficult for users to find what they’re looking for, difficult for you to get users to do what you want them to do and difficult to get users to become loyal customers and revisit again and again.

Creating user-friendly websites begins by following the 14 Mequoda Website Design Guidelines for successful website design. By reviewing a site’s score for each of the 14 items, along with the overall average score, the areas of the site that operate well, and those that need work, become evident.

Introduction to Website Design for Publishers and Authors

Usability and design are two key factors in publishing great websites. You may have a clear strategy and great content, but if your site is unusable and unattractive, it will be difficult for users to find what they’re looking for, difficult for you to get users to do what you want them to do and difficult to get users to become loyal customers and revisit again and again.

Three Website Design Tips from WritersMarket.com

In a recent website design review for the Mequoda Library Mequoda Editor-at-Large Peter A. Schaible takes a look at WritersMarket.com.

WritersMarket.com is a pay-for-access, online database for freelance writers that cross-sells print publications and other products owned by its publisher.

Peter notes that online databases sold by subscription are big business for LexisNexis, R.R. Bowker, Thomson and other traditional publishers of directories.

Website Design Guideline #13: Designing Aesthetically Pleasing Websites

Usability and design are two key factors in publishing great websites. You may have a clear strategy and great content, but if your site is unusable and unattractive, it will be difficult for users to find what they’re looking for, difficult for you to get users to do what you want them to do and difficult to get users to become loyal customers and revisit again and again.

Website Design Tips and a Lesson in Online Publishing from DailyCandy.com

Sharply focused on a niche market of hip, young, women shoppers who reside in major cities, Daily Candy proves that publishers can make money selling online advertising.

In a recent website design review of DailyCandy.com, Mequoda Editor-at-Large Peter A. Schaible outlines the site’s business model and shares a few website design tips and suggestions he pulled from reviewing the site.

WritersMarket.com Website Design Review

WritersMarket.com is a Pay-For-Access, Online Database of Incalculable Value to Freelance Writers that Cross-Sells Print Publications and other Products Owned by its Publisher as it Helps Build a Priceless Customer List
Online databases sold by subscription are big business for LexisNexis, R.R. Bowker, Thomson and other traditional publishers of directories.

The idea makes a lot of sense. An online directory is easier to update and keep current, and the costs for manufacturing and delivery are minuscule compared to those of a printed volume. Major directory publishers generally offer both print and online versions and these can be very pricey.

Website Design Guideline #12: Speeding Up Website Load Time

Slow-Loading Pages Will Cause Losses in the Number of Readers, Page Views and Advertising Impressions, and, as a Result, Losses in Revenue

Usability and design are two key factors in publishing great websites. You may have a clear strategy and great content, but if your site is unusable and unattractive, it will be difficult for users to find what they’re looking for, difficult for you to get users to do what you want them to do and difficult to get users to become loyal customers and revisit again and again.

EarlyToRise.com Website Design Review

EarlyToRise.com Pays Homage to Benjamin Franklin by Making its Owners Wealthy. Twenty-first Century Publishers Take Note: There is Wisdom in Adopting this Business Model

Financial independence has many rewards beyond the monetary. Or so I would like to believe. In the case of Michael Masterson, who prior to reaching age 40 sold a $135 million business and retired, one of the rewards is a bully pulpit on which to pontificate about anything and everything to anyone who will listen. Or more precisely, anyone who is willing to subscribe to his free email newsletter and read it.

RealSimple.com Website Design Review

RealSimple.com Epitomizes Great Website Graphic Design and is a Perfect Partner to Real Simple Magazine. So is it a Brand Site or a Membership Website? Is its Objective Lead Generation or Customer Service?

The Big Lie of the 1950s was the forecast that life in the future would be easier—even effortless—leaving us with lots of free time. Futurists in the 50s looked at all the labor-saving devices that were being invented and predicted that Americans would have so much time on their hands—owing to machines doing all the chores—that we would have to find more leisure activities to fill up the hours.

Mequoda Group Announces the 2006 Media Website Design Award Winners

Mequoda Group announced today that Atkins.com and Better Homes & Gardens (BHG.com) tied for the highest score in the 2006 Mequoda Media Website Design Awards, each earning a 3.86 grade “A” rating on the Mequoda Scorecard.

2006 Mequoda Media Website Design Award Winners

During 2005, our intrepid research team put the Mequoda Website Design Scorecard to work by using it to perform expert reviews of 48 media websites. With a high score of 3.86 (a tie between Atkins.com and Better Homes & Gardens (BHG.com) and a low score of 1.57, the scoring system validated its ability to help expert reviewers parse good website design from bad. The scorecard and the 48 expert reviews offer those who design websites for media organizations of all sizes an integrated set of concepts and cases to build better websites that will create happier users and healthier profits.

Website Design Guideline #5: Keeping Navigation Intuitive, Persistent and Consistent

While Persistent Navigation is Now Rather Common, Site Owners Mustn’t Become Complacent. Users Must be Crystal Clear About Where They Are, Where They Can Go and How they Can Get Back to Somewhere They’ve Been.

Usability and design are two key factors in publishing great websites. You may have a clear strategy and great content, but if your site is unusable and unattractive, it will be difficult for users to find what they’re looking for, difficult for you to get users to do what you want them to do and difficult to get users to become loyal customers and revisit again and again.

Website Design Guideline #6: Encouraging the Next Step with Effective Task Completion

User Task Depth is a Critical Step that a Website Owner Must Succeed In—If a User Can’t Accomplish a Simple Task on Your Website, the Frustrated User Will Give Up and the Sale is Lost.

A user commonly will want to complete just five or six tasks on a website and those tasks account for 80 percent of online activity. Browsing and searching are common to all types of websites, but other tasks—finding an article, signing up for a email newsletter, buying a product, checking on an order, changing a profile, submitting information… whatever—are different for the various website archetypes.

Website Design Guideline #7: Ensuring Links and Buttons Do What They Afford

Usability and design are two key factors in publishing great websites. You may have a clear strategy and great content, but if your site is unusable and unattractive, it will be difficult for users to find what they’re looking for, difficult for you to get users to do what you want them to do and difficult to get users to become loyal customers and revisit again and again.

Creating user-friendly websites begins by following the 14 Mequoda Website Design Guidelines for successful website design. By reviewing a site’s score for each of the 14 items, along with the overall average score, the areas of the site that operate well, and those that need work, become evident.

Website Design Guideline #8: Applying User-Centric Labeling and Language

Usability and design are two key factors in publishing great websites. You may have a clear strategy and great content, but if your site is unusable and unattractive, it will be difficult for users to find what they’re looking for, difficult for you to get users to do what you want them to do and difficult to get users to become loyal customers and revisit again and again.

Creating user-friendly websites begins by following the 14 Mequoda Website Design Guidelines for successful website design. By reviewing a site’s score for each of the 14 items, along with the overall average score, the areas of the site that operate well, and those that need work, become evident.

Website Design Guideline #9: Improving Readability and Content Density

Usability and design are two key factors in publishing great websites. You may have a clear strategy and great content, but if your site is unusable and unattractive, it will be difficult for users to find what they’re looking for, difficult for you to get users to do what you want them to do and difficult to get users to become loyal customers and revisit again and again.

Website Design Guideline #10: Organizing Homepage Real Estate Logically and Profitably

Usability and design are two key factors in publishing great websites. You may have a clear strategy and great content, but if your site is unusable and unattractive, it will be difficult for users to find what they’re looking for, difficult for you to get users to do what you want them to do and difficult to get users to become loyal customers and revisit again and again.

Creating user-friendly websites begins by following the 14 Mequoda Website Design Guidelines for successful website design. By reviewing a site’s score for each of the 14 items, along with the overall average score, the areas of the site that operate well, and those that need work, become evident.

GuyKawasaki.com Website Design Review

Let the Good Times Roll: GuyKawasaki.com is a Marketing and Branding Website for its Namesake

According to his website, Guy Kawasaki is a managing director of Garage Technology Ventures, an early-stage venture capital firm, and a columnist for Forbes.com. Previously, he was an Apple Fellow at Apple Computer, Inc., where he was one of the individuals responsible for the success of the Macintosh computer.

Mr. Kawasaki is the author of eight books including The Art of the Start, Rules for Revolutionaries, How to Drive Your Competition Crazy, Selling the Dream and The Macintosh Way. He has a BA from Stanford University and an MBA from UCLA as well as an honorary doctorate from Babson College. Let’s examine GuyKawasaki.com through the prism of the Mequoda System Website Design Guidelines.

JeanChatzky.com Website Design Review

Is Jean Chatzky, the Latest Pop Personal Financial Adviser, Well Served by a Website that Confuses Visitors with Too Many Options and Stale Content? Jean Chatzky is the latest in a series of popular, photogenic (and telegenic) female financial advisors that includes Jane Bryant Quinn, Suze Orman and the late Sylvia Porter. Ms. Chatzky writes regular personal finance columns for United Features syndicate, Time, Money and USA Weekend, and is a regular contributor to NBC’s Today Show.

ChristianityToday.com Website Design Review

Although it Scores Well in Many of Mequoda’s Website Design Guidelines, ChristianityToday.com as a Whole is not as Satisfying as its Individual Parts. A fascinating blend of religious goals and secular marketing, ChristianityToday.com offers an interesting look at providing resources and community in the Internet Age. The site is maintained by Christianity Today Incorporated, backed by over fifty years of publishing experience.

Website Design Guideline #11: Providing Urgency and Content Freshness

Usability and design are two key factors in publishing great websites. You may have a clear strategy and great content, but if your site is unusable and unattractive, it will be difficult for users to find what they’re looking for, difficult for you to get users to do what you want them to do and difficult to get users to become loyal customers and revisit again and again.

Mequoda System Habit #5: Create User-Centric Websites

After reviewing hundreds of websites, interviewing dozens of website publishers and conducting a series of expert usability reviews and actual user tests, we developed these 14 best practices for creating user-centric websites—along with a Mequoda Website Scorecard that you can use to evaluate the overall effectiveness of your own site.

Personnel Policy Service Website Design Review

Personnel Policy Service Publishers is Plagued by Poor Organization and Uninspiring Graphic Design, Degrading a Site That Otherwise Offers Both Useful Free Content and Premium Products

Better Homes & Gardens Website Design Review

Mequoda Revisits a Review of Better Homes & Gardens’ Website Design to See What’s Been Improved Since Last Year, Finding its Strategic Intent Clearer, its Interactive Content Better, but its Affordance Still Lacking

Website Design Guideline #1: Improving the User Experience with Clear Strategic Intent

Strategic Intent is Perhaps the Most Important of the 14 Guidelines. If Users Can’t Figure Out Your Website, They Not Only Leave Quickly—They Won’t Come Back.

IMR and SWEPA Merge to Create the New Mequoda Library, The Interactive Resource for Building Better Websites

Two of the publishing industry’s leading membership websites, Internet Media Review and SWEPA (Subscription Website Publishers Association), have merged to create the Mequoda Library, the interactive resource for building better websites. The Mequoda Library (www.Mequoda.com) went live on June 3, 2005. (Jump to FAQs)

SethGodin.com Website Design Review

Seth Godin, Father of Permission Marketing and Internet Pioneer, Delivers a Dysfunctional Website

Why is it that some of the best, most commonsensical and trusted marketers don’t practice what they preach? Or put more politely, why do they sometimes act counter-intuitively to what are generally agreed to be “best marketing practices”? Why don’t they walk their talk? Why are they so incongruent?

Why is it that some of the best, most commonsensical and trusted marketers don’t practice what they preach? Or put more politely, why do they sometimes act counter-intuitively to what are generally agreed to be “best marketing practices”? Why don’t they walk their talk? Why are they so incongruent?