4 Tips for Creating Great Page
by Jamie Kiley
When it comes to laying out the content of a web page (especially a site's home page),
many people aren't sure how to go about it. It's difficult to create a layout that is
attractive, well-organized, and easy for visitors to absorb.
But don't give up hope! Here are four top tips to help you in creating effective
1. Don't center everything.
Centering all the content tends to make a page look more disorganized, since there
isn't strong alignment on either the left or right margins. This gives the page a
Centering also tends to waste space. For an example, take a look at this Chinese
restaurant's website: http://www.hsus.com/ .
In this example, the content is placed right in the middle of the page, which leaves
empty pockets on both sides of that space. It would have been more efficient to left-align
the content and add an additional column on the right. The new column could be used to
display more content, which would prevent visitors from having to scroll down so far to
read everything on the page.
2. Use contrast.
Employing contrast will help organize your page as well as make it more attractive. You
can do this by using contrasts in color, size, value (which refers to the relative
lightness or darkness of an object), and weight. A good example is:
Notice that the heading of each section of the page is bolded (which gives it a heavier
weight than the text underneath), in addition to being a bigger size and a different color
than the rest of the copy. This helps make the page look very organized and easy to scan
at a glance.
3. Visually distinguish each section of the page from other sections.
You can do this in several different ways. First, you can use different background
colors to separate various parts of the page. For an example, visit http://www.real.com/realplayer.html .
Notice that half of the page has a white background and the other half has a grey
Second, you can use thin dividing lines to distinguish different sections. eDEVcafe ( http://www.edevcafe.com ) uses this technique to
good effect (it also uses contrasting background colors as mentioned above).
Placing a border around various sections is also a good way to employ the concept of
Finally, you can use blank "buffer zones" in between various sections in
order to separate them. This is similar to the concept of dividing lines, except you
create an invisible line by physically separating two parts of the page, rather than using
an actual line.
4. Keep information tight.
In order for a layout to really be effective, you need to be as efficient in your use
of space as possible. The following site is an example of what happens when a site doesn't
use space efficiently:
On this site, the entire right half of the page is wasted.
Although you don't want to make your pages look crowded, DO make good use of all your
screen real estate. Use multiple columns in order to display information side by side.
Also, avoid stacking elements in a narrow column on top of each other if it means
leaving blank space to the side. For example, in the site listed above, the two photos in
the middle section of the page should be displayed side by side instead of on top of each
If you keep these four principles in mind, you'll be well on your way to creating great
About the Author:
There are 605.6 million people online. Can they find your business? Jamie Kiley
creates powerful and engaging websites that make sure YOUR company gets noticed. Visit http://www.kianta.com for a free quote.
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