Get More From Your Site’s Visual Acreage

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Real Estate

One of the most important, and sometimes most difficult, parts of web design is deciding what to do with the space that is given you.

Usually, you have around 960 pixels in width and an indefinite height to work with, and it often feels like too much or too little. It’s very valuable when used correctly, but when used incorrectly it can destroy a website’s potential.

There are similarities in real estate. Each piece of property has a different value, some high and some low. Using a beautiful piece of property in the wrong way can diminish its value. By comparing page area in a website to real estate, we can learn a few principles that help us utilize the “property” of a web page to the maximum advantage.

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What Is Design Clutter?

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Clutter Choosing the parts of your site that a user sees is all about prominence. The more prominent something is, the more often it will be seen.

The problem with prominence is that it’s relative.

Simply giving something a bright background and a bigger font does not make it prominent. It must stand out in comparison with the rest of the design.

For example, the "Come On In. We’re Hiring" badge on Authentic Boredom may be very noticeable, but if you put it on this site, it would just blend in. They need a different method of getting attention.

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How to Achieve Site Goals Through Design

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prominent Photo by pshanEvery site has a reason for being online. It has a purpose. Good design takes into account that purpose, and then works towards it.

Site goals are what you want your visitors to do on your site. It is important to make the distinction between what you want, and what they want (Although the two may often overlap).

For instance, your readers may not originally want to sign up to your newsletter, but if you want it enough, you just might persuade them.

The first stage in creating a great design is to lay out your blog’s goals. My advice is to scribble down everything that you would like to gain from your site (RSS readers, advert clicks, sales leads etc.), then take that list and order it by importance. It is important to think this through now because it will make decision making during the actual design much, much easier.

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Format Your Posts For Readability

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FormattingAs bloggers, we write pages upon pages of content each week. We spend hours promoting the articles, choosing the right words and trying to get our point across as clearly as possible. How can formatting be used to further improve our posts?

There are a few basic tools that you will have heard mention of time and time again, such as bolding words. The first section re-explains their purpose, and the second will explain how to perfect your usage of them to achieve optimal formatting.

The Formatting Toolbox

  • Headings and subheadings. Posts usually cover 2 or 3 sub-topics of the overall post topic. If you don’t use headings to mark out the sub-topics, then the reader has no way of knowing exactly which topics have been covered in the article. What if they’re only interested in the last section? Mark out the last section with a good header, and they’ll know to read it.

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