As webdesigners we can do a lot to help others with their sites. Sometimes we don’t expect payment… every time we help someone, it is a learning experience. Giving critiques to website owners is one way to spread your love.
Have you ever been to the Web Pro World message board? It is a great place for web design inspiration.
A few days ago I visited and critiqued a site that dealt with a rather ponderous banking subject. The site looked like it had been done by an amateur, and I made some recommendations of things I’d change to make it look more professionally done.The first thing that hit me about the site was the font used. The site owner used Times New Roman 12pt., highlighting some key points in red and blue. The site’s colors: red, white, and blue, were probably meant to be patriotic and the only graphic on the page was a small American flag in the upper left corner. Though some of the blue in the header and left-side column was lightened, and the main section was white with mostly-black lettering, the site continued to give the feeling of darkness.
My first recommendation was to make the site look more professional by using a nice sans-serif font made for the web, like Verdana, 10pt..
I also recommended brightening the place up a bit. Here’s what I wrote…
For a graphic in the header, I think the flag in the corner is too small. Your site would look nicer with a large banner that extends across the page with the site name on it. To make one you could download the Paint Shop Pro Free Trial software and use it for free for a few weeks on a trial basis. Make yourself a drop-dead gorgeous name banner and your site will look 100% better.
Put something in the background that makes people feel cheerful and happy – like a field of yellow tulips. Lighten up your colors. I recommend that because you’re dealing with a very deep subject and a few cheerful or interesting graphics may have a subconscious way of helping people deal with the idea of CD rates in a better state of mind.
Catering to your potential customer’s subconscious feelings by putting him in a good mood is always good for business.