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Designing Your Website, Page 5

White/empty space
Is there some empty or white space on the site or is it cluttered up with too much stuff, making it hard to read?

It is not necessary to fill up all of the space. Effective sites leave some blank space to set off the words/photos/artwork.

Word Choice, cand number of words

Is the message clear? Is it stated simply? Is it clear and easy to find how and where to purchase the item or service? Do you have to work to find out what is being advertised? Is it too wordy? Most of us don't have time for that. Resist the urge to tell everything on one page. Let readers click through for more information.

Photographs/art work

Are photos and/or graphics compelling? Are they well composed or fuzzy and hard to make out? Do they enhance and clarify your message.

Remember that images of children, animals, sex and violence work in American culture.

Color

How is color used? Did the use of color attract you to the site? Do the colors contrast well or are they too close in value making the words hard to read? Example: red on black is very hard to read, because the values of the two colors are so similar - there is a lot of black in the color red, resulting in little contrast and difficult readability. Put white on red and see the difference. This is because there is a lot of contrast in the color values. Are the colors muddy, too light, too dark?

Reverse color

Reverse color means that instead of the normal black or dark letters on white or light background, the color is reversed to show white or light letters on black or dark background. This is an effective visual technique, widely used in printed materials.

A note of caution: if the typeface is too small, a reverse is a bad idea because it is harder to read.

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