Websites are incredible palates for design. A website can make or break a company or product by either capturing the viewer's attention or by losing it immediately. There are a few basic guidelines that make me a "happy surfer" when viewing websites:
Upon entering a website, I am captivated by a colorful display. However, I believe color must be used in moderation and typically as part of a color scheme.
On a website, I like to see everything organized in a logical way. For example, the links are all in one designated area or are arranged in manner that makes it obvious how to get to a certain portion on the website.
Another aspect of website design that personally pulls in my attention are graphics. I think the use of tasteful graphics to communicate the message of the website is an informative eye-grabber.
To me, the font of a website is an important aspect. The font used should be clear and appropriate for the topic. A bad example would be using the font Comic Sans for an elegant restaurant.
Lastly, in a website harmony must exist. Essentially, harmony in a website would entail all the aspects working together in both a visually-pleasing and logical manner.
Here are some examples of good and bad websites:
This website lacks harmony and the mix of color and graphics used make for a discombobulated page.
Although this website is not devoid in color and has a harmonious scheme, the many different options and boxes as well as the scrolling necessary make the site very unintuitive.
This website is very organized and easy to navigate as all the products are conveniently lined up at the top of the page. This site also integrates color and a white background in an elegant way.
I came upon this interesting website that tracks non-renewable energy disaster, such as the BP oil spill. The homepage is an interactive map of the world in which you can rollover the different disasters. I would classify this as a "good" website because the interactive features immediately draw in the viewer as well as the dark color scheme which relates to the theme of disasters.
Lastly, this site is also well organized. It has an earthy color scheme as well as pictures of produce to support the organic theme.
In conclusion, websites are a way for companies or organizations to make an impression on their viewers. Whether it a positive or negative impression is made is largely based on design.