Get Adobe Flash player

Web Design

Have you ever wondered why so many websites have similar layouts?  Why is the logo placed where it is?  Why are certain fonts used in headlines or in the body text, etc?  We can answer these questions because website design is far more statistical science than it is artistic preferences.  Technology From Mars offers custom website designs, so we make every effort to understand the statistics behind users' experiences, and how they will impact your company.  We will, of course, try to meet your artistic preferences as well.



Through the use of heatmaps (tools that track where a user is looking), studies have conclusively shown that users look at websites in much the same way that they read.  Attention is concentrated to the top left initially, then spreads out in an F shaped pattern, with some attention going across a page, and other attention going down the page.  


For this reason, the most important aspects of a website should be located top-left.  For smaller businesses, this generally means the logo and company name.  Google, ESPN, Amazon, etc, are so well known that they can move their branding anywhere on the layout they want, but for the vast majority of websites, the company branding should be top-left.  


Since attention moves either across from the top-left or down from the top-left, the main navigation for a site should be placed in one of these two areas.  We have not found a major difference between these two options, so the choice is generally left to our customers.  Where do you tend to look for a navigation menu if the content you want is not right on the home page?


If there is anything you want available, but not necessarily attention-grabbing, we place it to the far right.  The only downside to this is that users are constantly exposed to advertisements in that location (think about Facebook), so most users have developed a tendency to ignore any content on the far-right, especially if it is in a different background or divided panel.  


Footer menus go at the bottom of each page, and these menus contain any links or legal information that you want presented to the customer, but that most users won't care much about.  Terms and Conditions of Website Use, Disclaimers, Copyright, Privacy Policy, Site Map, etc are all very commonly found linked from the site footer. 



It is less important for a user that the information be readily available than that the path be obvious.  Page load times and internet speeds have improved so much in the last 5-10 years that most users no longer notice the number of clicks it takes to get to their intended target.  It is rarely a problem if a user looking for steam mops has to click on a link called Household, then Floor Care, then Steam Mops to find what they want.  Users do still get frustrated if they have to think about where something might fall, especially if they end up clicking on the wrong choice and having to go back and try again.  If the same user is instead presented with a menu that says For Men, For Women, For Pets, and has to try to decide where steam mops might be, they will get frustrated after only a few wrong clicks and may leave the site entirely.  


It is also a good idea to present a user with direct links in the content.  For instance, if the content says "More information may be found in our Event Calendar," then the words "Event Calendar" should be a link.  Users shouldn't have to use a main navigation menu if there is an easy alternative.



Content that is above-the-fold (visible without scrolling) is 4 times as likely to be read as content that requires scrolling to view.  This principle often results in sites opting for smaller headers or more pages that contain more concentrated topics.  



This page contains general principles and advice.  Contact us with your specific industry and site needs and we will be happy to help further.  









We are currently redesigning our website. We apologize for any inconvenience and will do our best to have the site fully functioning again soon.