I read an article last night entitled 8 Tips for Small Business Homepage Design (You can read it Here). I’ve been tempted lately to take the leap to the next level of my freelance career and create a website but I often stop dead in my tracks when it comes to design. Journalism school and news jobs that followed were like vampires that fed on art; they sucked the creativity from my veins. Nowadays I stare blankly at the screen and become overwhelmed with the thought of designing anything (Starbucks CEO Howard Shultz emphasizes wearing one “hat” in your career so that’s my excuse for sticking to content). However, when you’d like to have a custom website, and money’s tight, the article reminds us to KISS more often (Keep It Simple Stupid).
Keep your homepage clutter-free (no dancing cats). I’m totally using this an excuse to post the mind-bending atrocity above.
Keep the scroll bar big – I really liked this suggestion because it’s something my linear brain wouldn’t think of. Another good rule of thumb when thinking about links on your homepage is to stick to About, Product, News. It lets people learn what your company is about, how they can purchase your goods or service, and what you’re currently up to. Simple but effective! Be conscientious of how your page will look on a mobile app, and also think about adding a logo or avatar that will pop up on social media sites when someone (or you) posts a link to your site. Just for fun, Click HERE to see some of the best-designed websites this year according to Triphp’s design blog. Click HERE to see some of the worst websites this year.
One of my humor idols is The Oatmeal. Here’s one of his comics that harks back to his days as a web designer. He describes the experience as enduring “Fourteen year of soul-sucking meetings, hot pink logos, and clients who demanded that their corporate website play music and display animated photos of their pets.” His comic How a Website Goes Straight to Hell is a perfect example of the need to KISS more often.