Posted on April 2, 1999

  The Add Me! Newsletter           *** ISSUE #25 ***
  "Free tips for promoting your website"
  Add Me, Inc         

           >> Web Design For Success <<

  April 2nd, 1999                   *** ISSUE #25 ***


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           .....THIS WEEK'S ARTICLE.....

              Web Design For Success

  Thousands of companies joined the exodus to the Web during 
  the past year, drawn by the promise of a new and growing 
  consumer base. For some, the move was successful, but for 
  most, a disappointment.

  The Web is a relatively new medium where success is not 
  necessarily bestowed on companies that are well organized 
  and efficiently run. Traditional strengths in the normal 
  business world often prove to be irrelevant in the world 
  of cyberspace. The main reason for this is that the Web 
  is primarily a visual medium, similiar in some respects 
  to television but with an audience that has millions of 
  selection options and a short attention span. Content is 
  important, but presentation is the key to holding attention. 
  Web site design, layout and navigational ease play a 
  crucial role in converting the casual surfer to a customer. 
  Companies with unattractive web sites fail to grasp this 
  simple concept and often try to compensate with expensive 
  promotional schemes.

  Successful web page design is a mix of common sense, skill 
  and knowledge. One of the most important factors in basic 
  web design is ensuring that a web site is optimized for 
  the most commonly used web browsers and for different 
  screen resolutions. The design and layout of a site should 
  hold true regardless of the web browser or screen resolution 
  used by visitors to the site.   

  * This spot is seen by over 140,000 website owners *

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  Page loading time is another important element in site 
  design but somewhat contingent upon target audience. If 
  your potential clients are the corporate crowd with T1 
  connections, then special effects and large graphics are 
  an option. On the other hand, if you are targeting the 
  average surfer with a 28.8 modem connection, then page 
  and graphic file sizes should be kept as small as possible. 
  Pages of 40k or less should keep most visitors from 
  succumbing to mouse click syndrome.

  Finally, there is the element of uniqueness, that special 
  look and feel that some web sites have and that most don't. 
  Unique web sites aren't created by using templates and mass 
  produced graphics. A cookie cutter approach to web design 
  is one of the reasons that so many corporate web sites look 
  alike. Hire a designer with the graphical talent to create 
  a special look for your business. Branding is as important 
  on the Web as it is in the normal business world and "images" 
  are retained in the public mind far longer than words.

  Web page design is important to a site's success but appea-
  rance alone is not enough. Studies have shown that visitors 
  are drawn to sites that offer them the means to interact or 
  participate. Newsletters, guestbooks and feedback forms are 
  just some of the many ways that you can communicate with 
  visitors and potential clients and provide them with a vehicle 
  for contacting you. Supplement interaction with regular site 
  updates. An "alive" web site keeps people coming back to 
  check on whats happenned since their last visit. Give your 
  visitors a reason to call your site "home" and word of 
  mouth (think email, chat & newsgroup postings) can increase 
  your traffic tenfold.

  On a final note, keep in mind that there are definite 
  advantages to using the services of a professional web 
  designer. Anyone can learn HTML with a little application, 
  but the combination of graphics, color and layout into a 
  unique web page design generally requires the talents of 
  a skilled professional and is worth the investment to 
  ensure long term benefit.  
  Web Designer
  Matti E. Simonaho

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