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Thursday, November 1, 2012

Article Directory Website Design: Clean Up Your Content!

Article directories have taken the internet by storm. That is a good thing, as it allows authors to distribute their content and allows publishers to grab content for their website, but unfortunately, many article directories are offering a huge disservice to authors and publishers due to poorly designed directories. Listen up article directory owners; let's think about some ways to serve our visitors in our article directory designing!
Style Elements
I have stumbled across many article directory websites where there are a number of mixed alignings, ten different color combinations, excessive bold and italicized fonts, and numerous style "enhancements". While these different design elements can be good, there comes a time when, as the webmaster, we need to be okay with simplifying the visual end. When a visitor enters your directory, or website for that matter, their eyes cannot help but to expect unity and clarity. If they are presented with a jumbled, disorganized mess, they will do one of two things. They will either (1) quickly jerk the mouse to the back button or (2) continue to browse your site but grow frustrated from the chaotic presentation and then eventually leave. You obviously want to prevent both of those things from happening.
When applying style elements such as colors, size, and images, we need to make sure these things help bring the visitor in contact with the content and message of the website. There comes a time when a line is crossed between beneficial and distracting. I have visited some article directories in which images and graphics push the navigation bar down the page. You do not want to have your visitor scroll down the page to have to find where click to other portions of your site. Make it easy on your visitor to get around your directory. Keep your navigation bar towards the top of your site. If your visitor does not know how to get around your article directory they will get frustrated and leave. Bring your visitor in contact with the content!
To expound more on the use of font colors and styling, remember to maintain consistency. Choose three or four colors to create a color scheme for your article directory. Stick with this color scheme. This provides unity in your content and makes the visitors viewing experience a lot more pleasurable. Continually ask yourself the question, "Is my article directory home page easy to read? Is it organized? Is the directory inviting?"
Advertisements and Images
As the webmaster of your article directory or web content site, it is obvious and understandable that it is a must to push your ads and affiliate programs so you can generate income. However, do keep in mind while placing your ads that you want your visitor to receive your web site's content. Your visitor wants to find valuable information. That is why they visit your website. They do not come for the ads! Understanding that, make sure your ads relate and apply to your directory's content. It is vital that your ads do not block your website's content. Integrate your ads so they do not intrude on your website content.
Before you start plastering your article directory with ads and "cool" styling, keep it mind that your website's content is first and for most. Overall, people are coming for your content—they could care less if you used pastel pink or neon green!

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