style guide

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It was said that when the Mac first came out and word processing became much easier, everything started looking like a ransom note. The shear number of fonts to choose from was too much of a temptation for many. The web has gone through that phase (thank goodness) as a result, the public expects a much more refined and professional look.


Readabilty

Choosing fonts, size, and color for all text is a key to getting your seen. A clean san serif font is usually best for main content, smaller text. Headlines can have a bit more color and serifs are ok. Dark type on light background is easier to read than light type on a dark background. But the most important thing is that there be suffecient contrast, so that those with poorer eyesight can see what you have to say for yourself.


Line 'em Up

At the base of all go design is a grid structure that helps things line up and look organized. Magazines, Newspapers, even the Television use this principle.


Give 'em a Break

Whitespace, the areas without type, or graphics, is where the eye gets to rest. A crowded layout will make the viewer uncomfortable. A little space is a good thing.


Color to Taste

It is generally a good idea to limit the number of colors in a site. The actual colors need to work together well, and set the mood for the site.


Images Add Interest

It's always a good idea to use images to help spice-up a page of site. We've all heard that a picture is worth a thousand words.

Show them what your product looks like, pictures of employees help put a human face on an impersonal and technical medium.


I received these tips for adding personality to a site from Keith :

  • Use different colors to stir different emotions. For instance blues and greens are soothing..... red and orange make people excited and focus attention. Experiment with colors to make people feel differently depending on the page's purpose.
  • Bolding, highlighting and Capital Letters are ways of drawing attention to certain parts of your page. They are the webmaster's equivalent of raising your voice or pointing at something important.
  • Exclamation points should be used sparingly. Too much excitement looks like you are trying too hard to sell something! Remember "everyone like to buy but no one likes to be sold".
  • The more information you give on your page the more likely people are to trust you. People like to make up their own minds...... you can help them by providing enough information about your product or service to make them feel like you're not hiding anything from them.
  • Don't be afraid to use "slang" and "personal phrases" to an extent. This will make you look like a real person..... you don't want to be "hiding behind your web page".
  • Use your name (a picture of yourself helps as well). Would you trust someone who never told you their name? Believe me, it's no coincidence that all customer service people either wear nametags or tell you their name. Customers want to know who they're dealing with...... tell them.


   
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