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Some Design Elements to Consider

  • Splash pages. Be careful of splash pages before your home page. The Internet is about getting information fast. Place anything in the way of that and you risk losing a visitor before they even get near your home page.

  • Go light on design. Spinning logos, animation, 3D graphics, large image maps, even background sound files have no place on your home page—unless they are truly necessary to sell a product or service. These design elements not only bulk up your home page but add to its download time. The slower the download, the faster your visitors will bolt for the door. When deciding what design elements to include in your home page, just ask yourself this question: Do you really need that design element? If someone came in and removed an element, would the page be any less understandable?

  • Avoid bloat. Home pages have a tendency to bloat over time—adding element after element until the page waddles around like an overweight hippo. Some home pages have two or three columns of content in addition to a column of navigation, banner ads, and other assorted material. Put that home page on a diet and get it back to its original weight. Just as the question in web design is "Do I need to use this design element?," the important question about content is "Do I need to have this content on the page?"

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