Reaching the Internet Majority
Good website design will appeal to the majority of internet users.
The Average Internet User
There was a time that the average internet user was 35 year old male with a college education. There are still many resources on the internet that will tell you this.
Today's research tells us that there is no average surfer. People of all ages, economic classes, educational backgrounds and occupations traverse the internet on a regular basis.
No matter who they are, web surfers are impatient and in a hurry.
Therefore, web pages should be constructed in such a way that they load quickly and information is easy to find and quickly scanned.
Most web surfers will not wait for fancy graphics or slow loading pages. A few seconds and they're gone.
Page size should be kept to a minimum. (500 words or less). Optimize your pictures to load quickly!!
Don't use FLASH unless you know what you are doing. It's really slow when you don't, even on broadband.
Keeping Up with Hi-Tech Trends
The internet and the equipment and software used to access it has changed so much and so fast in the last 10 years, it is hard to keep up.
Just a short time ago web designers had to design web pages that performed as well on dial up as they did on DSL high speed connections. (Get this. Our site runs faster on dial up than it does on Hughesnet satellite.)
Monitor resolutions were also constrictive when it came to setting the width of a web page.
One of the best ways that I have found to keep up with the ever changing internet is by using Google Analytics.
And it's FREE! I've paid hundreds of dollars for tracking software that doesn't do what this free software does.
Sign up for a free Google account. As soon as you publish your website, open a Google Analytics account for the domain.
Internet users are accessing the web with 5 major browsers: IE, Firefox, Chrome, Opera and Safari.
There is no reason for people not to upgrade browsers these days. They are free and upgrades are automatic. If they're too lazy to do it, let them suffer. Design your web pages for the latest releases of each browser.
Websites are being viewed these days on every device that you can imagine.
Desk tops, lap tops of all sizes, notebooks of varying sizes, tablets of various sizes and resolutions, androids cell phones and the list goes on and on.
Over 95% of internet surfers now have Java enabled on their browsers.
Design fast loading pages that perform the same in all browsers and on as many different displays as possible.
That means building liquid web pages.