Happy first Wednesday of 2012! Today we would like to showcase a website dedicated to helping homeless veterans and military families: Project Foot. With a strong mission to strengthen military families and assist homeless and unemployed veterans, the website creators put together a very informative website. Take a look for yourself:

In addition to providing a lot of great content informing visitors about the plight of veterans, this website does a great job of keeping it interactive:

  • Check out their use of Facebook social plugins so visitors can “like” the page or post a comment. Plus it adds a layer of virality by giving visitors the option to post a comment to their Facebook wall.

Yesterday we asked our Facebook fans what they think are the top elements, building blocks, which make up a good website. Results show that a large portion of Webs users believe that a good design makes a good website.

Today, let’s dive into some of these elements a bit more to see how they can contribute to helping you make a good website.

Design

Design is a very vague word as it encompasses all the visual elements used on your website. Items such as the theme you use, font(s), logo, colors and layout contribute to your overall website design. Here are few items you should consider when working on your website design:
    — Theme — The theme or template you choose for your website should be consistent throughout all your pages. It should reflect the style and image you want to project on the web. Good themes are focused, understandable and apparent.
    — Fonts — The style of lettering you utilize on your website should be easy to read not only for you but for your intended target audience. For example, if your website is geared towards the older generation, try to select fonts that might be slightly larger and easier to read. There is a whole science behind choosing the right font for your website. Check-out the following article by Derek Halpern if you would like to learn more: What’s the best font for your site? (The psychology of fonts)
    — Logo — Your website logo and name are usually the first thing visitors notice. So, it’s important to create one that portrays what you stand for, is easy to remember and can be easily ported. Meaning your logo can be used both on the web and in print mediums. Here’s a few website logo design tips.
    — Colors — The colors you use on your website also make a huge impact on how it is perceived. According to KISSmetrics, 93% of a consumer’s decision making process comes from visual appearance and 85% comes from color. Colors have the ability to evoke an emotional response. When selecting colors for your website, try to think about the goal of your website and whom you wish to target. Discover Basic Color Scheming and How Do Colors Affect Purchases? READ MORE

As part of our weekly series of showcasing example sites and providing helpful tips on how you can improve your website, this week we have selected to review Pamper Parties Pittsburgh. This is a website for a mobile spa business that can be awesome with just a few tweaks.

Let’s start out by focusing on what the site owner does well. Pamper Parties Pittsburgh is a great website title. It clearly describes what the business offers and where it is located. This site also does a nice job of using relevant keywords and offering an easy to understand site description.

So what can the owner do to improve this website?

example1

Now that we’ve established how to format our text in a way that pleases the reader, we can move on to planning and implementing color styles. Color can be either a powerful tool or a crippling weakness. The important thing to remember is that having a hammer does not make everything into a nail.

The example above seems to be very simple in terms of color, using 3-4 colors at most. The color palette consists mostly of different shades of brown, and the entire page follows that trend. By not throwing a plethora of different colors onto the page we can keep the readers focused on what we want them to see as they follow the natural flow of the page. Empty space also plays a larger role in defining areas of importance (such as the navigation menu). READ MORE

STYLE SWITCHER

Layout Style

Header Style

Accent Color