New technologies are changing the way that users interact with websites daily. Today’s online users demand a highly visual and interactive experience that is up to the technology levels that they’ve watched mature over recent decades .
This article discusses 5 key areas for today’s website owner to review in their current website design.
1. CSS Layouts
Cascading style sheet (CSS) is a language that is applied to a web page’s markup language to enhance its visual appearance. CSS has attributes which define characteristics such as how page elements are colored, which font(s) are used, as well as the overall website’s look and feel. It allows the website’s design to be separated from the site’s functional programming. This allows modifications to be made in one area without affecting the other.
A CSS layout uses groups of css elements, style sheets, to create a consistent look and feel for your website. It enhances the user’s experience of your website by promoting your company’s image consistently between all of your web pages. It allows menus and contact information to be quickly located.
2. Web Forms
A web form is a grouping of common web elements such as text boxes, drop-down lists, radio buttons, check boxes, and web page submit buttons, into which a user enters data, clicks or makes a selection from a set of provided options.
The web form is the most common means used to interact with website visitors and prospects. Forms are the first user responsive interaction with your website and they indirectly set the tone of the relationship with your web visitors by how well they function.
It is critical to keep the information that your web form is requesting from your visitors only to what is absolutely essential. Requesting irrelevant personal information such as a cell phone number for a customer signing up for a newsletter will only create mistrust and scare your website visitors away.
Well designed web forms will increase your conversion rates, while at the same time decrease bounces from that web page. Web forms best practices is a highly valuable discipline for every web developer to master.
3. CSS3 Effects
CSS3 is the latest version of CSS, fully backwards compatible, that builds upon the core functionality such as geometric enhancements to create rounded corners and color fill gradients.
Website features that allow parts of the web page to animate, slide and scroll, cause images to resize, create floating windows and popups in response to user interactions are created using CSS3 style sheets and HTML markup tags, primarily the Div and Span tags.
Other CSS3 effects include visual effects such as blurring and other types of optical illusions.
HTML5 is a new version of the HTML markup language that introduces several tags that simplify adding visual and audio experience of your website as well as making content more accessible to your website users.
The new markup tags: Header, Footer, Nav, Section and Aside enhances the presentation of your website’s content to your web visitors. The Video and Audio tags support multimedia embedding within your web pages.
Translate is one of the more interesting new tags, allowing website developers to implement functionality similar to translation software to international website visitors.
HTML5 is so feature rich that it has even been used to develop online games.
After you’ve invested a large amount of time and effort into implementing optimized user-friendly web forms, and CSS and HTML5 special effects, you’ll want to ensure that all the new features function well and without glitches.
Firebug is a popular web extension that plugs into Mozilla based web browsers allowing the web designer to debug and troubleshoot CSS and HTML issues.
It is used by many web developers to test their changes and troubleshoot problems before the modifications are released to their web visitors.
Portable devices such as cell phones, tablets and laptops combined with high Internet availability, create a seemingly omnipresent online user-base that requires businesses maintain a well implemented web presence. Following the guidelines presented here will give today’s website developer a good start in that direction.