Web Form Usability Enhancements

Website usability as defined is the efficiency, satisfaction as well as effectiveness in which particular users are able to attain their specific goals in a certain setting. Websites are created in order to achieve a particular goal such as product or service promotions. If the website is properly and stunningly designed, it will surely meet alignment and objectives of sites. In order to create great interaction between site owners and the users, forms are frequently used. In fact, these particular forms in any website are one of the last as well as foremost vital stages in accomplishing your goals in the creation of your website.

web form usability

Since web forms are definitely important, you should need to be very particular about its vital components. Each of its components is definitely essential in enhancing your web form usability. These components include input fields, actions, help, validation, labels. Aside from this, there are stile vital things to consider when you are about to enhance your site form.

Refer to the following page: smashing magazine article on usability

Enhance the design of your site form

In your design, make sure that you are creating very simple and short forms. This is one of the vital rules to follow in creating your design. See to it that you are including all the necessary questions in it. But in this, make sure that your questions are easy to understand. Ask yourself if the answers to your created questions are really vital for achieving your goals. Make it as standard as possible. And let them know what they will need to expect.

Take note of the from layout

Bear in mind that complex forms will just bring confusion and burden to your users. If you noticed that your website form is a bit complex, be able to chunk it and made it simpler. In your layout, be able to show to progress made by users. This will enable the user to outline everything including their progress and how far they should expect to go.

web form usability

You must also make sure that users can easily scan your form. You can do this through utilizing headers, white spaces and any other geographical components in order to clearly differentiate sections of you site forms. In creating headings, make sure that it is descriptive as well as succinct. Using a progressive disclosure is can also have an outstanding effect in web form usability enhancements. This types of progressive disclosures will be able very good idea your planned enhancement.

Another area of improvement is Form Validations. This article of form validation best practices discusses the topic in detail

Note the labels

In terms of labels, you should be able to make it descriptive and succinct. You must also place these labels next to your form’s input.If you are using an HTML form creator such as this one, make sure the labels are aligned right and are spaced well. Considering labels are definitely important. Your web form usability will be enhanced through the use of simple and understandable labels. Bear in mind that it should be short and clear enough for the convenience of the customers.

Enhancing the usability of your web form will surely be a great thing in the optimization of your website. Discover ways on you can do it in efficient and effective way.

Image credits: Rosenfeld Media,

How to Price Good Website Designs

Pricing a website is a complicated business when it comes to online products or services. There are web designers out there who will sell you a website for a few hundred dollars while others sell websites for millions. Why does this kind of discrepancy exist? Here is a brief explanation as to how much a good web design should cost you.

web design cost

What Makes A Website Good And What Is The Impact On Pricing?

  1. Type of Website

Commercial and organizational websites cost far more than blogs and institutional sites because companies have more money to offer and more services to include in their websites.

  1. Skill Level of the Designer

Some designers are better than others are, depending on experience or talent. You pay more if you hire highly skilled individuals with experience and an excellent reputation in the industry. Always check out the portfolio of the designer you would like to hire.

  1. Features of the Website

You always have an idea of what kind of website you want, depending on its purpose. Website designers will not charge by the hour, but according to the sophistication of the website. A website with custom functionality like forums, e-commerce, memberships and opt-ins is going to cost you a lot more than a website with core functions.

  1. Your Persistence as a Client

When you call the designers all day, always asking for changes, additions, and perfection, chances are that you will end up with a splendid website, but it will cost you more. Businesses do not go all out to make the perfect model if you do not insist on quality.

 web design cost

Issues to Ponder When Deciding the Price of a Good Website

  1. What Is The Point Of My Website?

If your site is not business oriented, then why bother? However, if your business is set to make thousands from your site, it is a venture worth spending on.

  1. What Are The Gains?

Professional sites attract more views than generic ones because they are more appealing, practical and navigable than generic sites are. It is worth spending money on if, by your projections, your new site will increase viewership.

  1. Outsourcing

Should you design your site using custom-made programs? Should you hire a professional? Creating your website could waste your time and resources as tools provided online are not definitive, and you will have to hire someone to fix your problem somewhere along the way.

  1. Will The Website Do Anything For My Business?

The thing about a website is that it should lead your clients to you. There is no point in developing a website without options for customer feedback because it would not be working for you.

Experts advise that when deciding on the budget for a website for your business, always set aside 1% of your yearly revenue to go into its construction and maintenance. The key premise here is that revenues and organizational complexity have a direct correlation. Another way of looking at it is considering your website as an employee, as it will work for you. Good designs are pricey, and good designs come as a full package, including hosting and maintenance plans.

Image credit: Ashish ThakkarAvenues Consult

How to identify colors on a website

As you go about browsing the web, there are a number of websites that you probably dot attracted to. The main reason for a site being attractive is usually the color scheme. With a great color scheme, any website can be transformed into a site that people want to spend time on. In this tutorial, we are going to take a look at a simple way in which you can reverse engineers the colors that you see on any website. This will give you the css color values for that color and you can then use these values in your own projects and have the very same colors.

website color identifier In this demo, we will be using a free software tool known as Instant Eyedropper. This is free to download and can be found at http://instant-eyedropper.com It will automatically identify the CSS color code on any pixel of your screen with just a single click of the mouse. Go ahead and download the free tool which is only 415 kilobytes and let the fun begin! Once you have downloaded the software, install it by following the easy steps provided. Once the installation process is complete, you will see the icon in the system tray of your computer.

In order to pick a color from any site, simply navigate to the site on your browser and wait till it is completely loaded. This way, you get to view all the colors you want in order to get the complete color scheme of that site. Picking a color using Instant Eyedropper is as simple as dragging the icon from the system tray to the color you wish to pick. As you drag the icon over the screen, there is a tool tip that appears hovering next to the icon showing the css color value of the color you are on.

picking website color

The value changes as you drag over different colors. Once you have gotten to the color you want to reverse engineer, simple release the mouse button and the color code will be automatically be placed in to clipboard. You can then paste this color into your css code or a text file for later referencing. In your site, the color will be the same as long as you are using the css color code you got from the other reference website.

So there you have it, an easy way of getting colors from a website. You can make use of this in your project in order to pick up those colors you love so much.

More Resources

  1. How To Pick Colors For Your Web Design
  2. Best Free Color Picker
  3. 3 Free Color Picking Tools To Choose

Build a website forum for free

building a forum Incorporating a forum into your website can serve as a great promotional tool for your business, allowing customers to converse with each other and contact you directly. A forum can also be used to allow your website visitors to become involved in a number of discussion topics and communicate in a number of different ways. You can create a new forum for your website for free, and can have it ready within minutes. Here are some tips on how to make a website forum for free.

Self-hosted Forums

Self-hosting your forum is ideal since you will be in full control of your forum. There is no worry about your hosting service changing the rules.
If you already have a wordpress website, you are half way there already!. There are a number of options for a wordpress website to build a community around it. Here are a few:

Even if you don’t have a wordpress website, there are a number of great free open-source forum software available. Yes, there is a slight trouble of getting it installed on your website. Still, it is worth considering the long-term benefits.

Hosted free forums

If you don’t want to host the forum on your website, but want get a free forum up and running quickly, you still have a number of choices. Here are a few:

First, decide on the forum provider you want to go with. Google for reviews and find-out the strengths and weaknesses of the services. You may not get all the features that you would in a paid package, but a free plan will be able to provide you with many features such as YouTube embedding, 24-hour customer service support, simple administration tools, and an easy-to-navigate interface. Read the terms and conditions of the provider and the instructions on how to set up a brand new forum. Find out whether you can customize the design of the forum by adding a “skin”, or personalized buttons. You will also need to find out if there are tools to protect your forum against spammers, and whether you will need a hosted or self-hosted package.

Finding the right topics for your forum

You will need to find a niche topic for your forum that will make people want to come back again and again. Remember that your forum will not be a success unless you have a core group of posters who will contribute to the forum on a frequent basis. Choose a subject that isn’t completely niche, but broad enough to attract people from all over the world who may share this common interest. Your forum could be set up to discuss your favorite television show, movie star or musician for example, or to exchange information about your favorite sport, hobby or interest. Once you have decided the topic for your forum, you will need to choose a name which will reflect the content. Choose a name that is interesting and eye-catching, and will attract new posters to use the forum.

Promoting your new forum

community buildingIn order to attract new posters, you will need to advertise the forum either on social networking websites, blogs, or other forums. Perhaps join another forum that is similar to yours and post a new topic inviting members to join your new forum. Only do this if the forum allows you to do so, and check the terms and conditions before you advertise your new forum and leave the web address for new memberships.

“Seeding” your forum

New members won’t want o join a forum where there is no activity. So first you have to add new threads with interesting content. Post interesting content and invite people to comment on that topic (like posting the link in twitter communities with proper hash tags).

Free Resources

Post regular free resources for your community. For example, if your forum is about graphic design, post free interesting PSDs and templates.

Regular posts

Forum is not something that you can setup and forget. You have to keep posting regularly and monitor the forum activities on a daily basis.

Monitoring your forum

Forums are regular targets for Spammers. Spammers are in constant lookout for places to post their filthy ads. Defending against spam is going to be a main task for a new forum owner. So you should regularly monitor the new posts and signups. Check for any links posted along with the posts and the new profiles.

Now that you have all the basics covered, go ahead and build your own community!
(photo credit: Fotos GOVBA, ItzaFineDay)

How Do I Add PayPal to My Website? A Step-by-Step Guide

paypal website payment

paypal website payment image credit: richiemontalbo


PayPal is currently the industry standard in terms of sending and receiving electronic online payments. That said, many novice online entrepreneurs are still at a loss as to how they can integrate PayPal into their website in order to receive payments from consumers and other interested parties.
Continue reading

How to put your logo in the HTML page title bar

The logo you see in the browser tab when you load a webpage is called favicon.

favicon is a way in which your users can identify your site easily even when it has been pinned or there are too many tabs currently open. Additionally, it creates a brand on your website such that users can identify it easily. This is a good way of bringing out the identity of your site to your users as they browse the web. Adding a favicon to your website does not have to be a long shot as we will see in the following section. Hopefully, by the time you are through with the tutorial, you will be able to add a favicon to your site making it to stand out from the rest.

titlebar icon sample

google’s favicon in the title bar

Basically, you will need to have an image that will be used as the favicon and a way in which you can specify that this image will be used as a favicon for your site. For start, you need the image which you will be using. This image can either be in the png, gif or ico file format. The dimensions of the icon also need to be exact in order to display properly on a web browser. It can either be 16 X 16 or 32 X 32 pixels. These dimensions are quite small for an image and are even smaller than the normal icons you see for apps. As a general rule of the thumb, your icon should be quite simple in order to be identified by the user from the tab bar. This means leaving out all the clutter and unnecessary details that will make the icon difficult to observe. All details that are not visible from that scale should be taken out leaving a sharp clear icon.

Let’s us head on to the actual process of making the icon we have prepared to be a favicon for our site. There are two approaches we can take. The first one involves using the rel attribute value ‘icon’ to specify the icon we shall be using and defining this value using a profile. This is shown in more details in the code snippet below.

<head profile="http://www.w3.org/2005/10/profile">
<link rel="icon" 
      type="image/png" 
      href="http://yourwebsite.com/myicon.png">

</head>

This is the preferred method and I would encourage you to make use of this method in your projects. The second method is discouraged by the World Wide Web consortium and relies on a predefined URI to identify the image which is relative to the root of the server. This approach is inconsistent with principles of web architecture and is discouraged. As you can see, the first method does not involve a lot of work and can be done in no time at all. The second method needs you to have permissions to write to the server root which not all of us usually have. It is much better to stick with the code and do it the easy way. Well, I now hope that you can change the favicon on your site and make it more attractive to your users by making the icon simple and free from clutter. Good luck as you go about adding a favicon to your site!

Related Reads

How to Build a Website for Your Restaurant

restaurent website Restaurant websites are a great tool where customers seek restaurant information. They are also used in customer service and marketing among other ways of engaging customers. Some of these methods include comments or guest book section, videos, and your regulars’ photos. Thus, it is an expectation that any successful restaurant must own a well designed website. Within the current world, people rely deeply with online material go get information concerning restaurants among other businesses. Before dining into any new restaurant, it is common for a prospective customer to check with the premise’s website. Whether you consider establishing a website by yourself, hire a professional webmaster or use free software, your restaurant website should include below information:

  • The Homepage
  • About Us
  • Your Restaurant Menu
  • Gallery of Photos
  • Upcoming Events and Promotions
  • Videos
  • Shameless Self Promotion
  • Online Reservations
  • Sell Gift Certificates

The Homepage

This is also called the landing page and is normally the first place your customers visit. This part should contain most of the basic information including phone number, your street address, information about reservations and hours of operation. The home page is also considered as the prime real estate for websites. Thus, you need to post a nice quality photo regarding your restaurant. It can be a picture of your dining room, an exterior shot or a special feature such as the open balcony or kitchen seating. Likewise, this is the best place you can advertise your upcoming events.

About Us

This is the best place to provide a short history concerning your restaurant. This should include what inspired opening of the restaurant and any pertinent history to your location.

Your Restaurant Menu

All your menus whether in breakfast, lunch or dinner should be put in separately within the home page. If possible avoid using PDFs for your menu as they take more time to load. Also, include the maximum number of pictures in menu items as you can particularly your signature dishes. It is also good to always update your online menu in addition to other regular menus.

Gallery of Photos

restaurent photo promotions
You need to show off the areas of your restaurant, bar, dining room, outdoor seating area among other areas. Also you can ask permission from your regular customers to post their photos while enjoying dinner or stage a photo shoot with your staff. This is the excellent place to put your menu pictures in case you cannot integrate them within your landing page. More so, you can include photos of your past events such as Mother’s Day brunch, Halloween party or a recent wine tasting party.

Upcoming Events and Promotions

This is a page preserved to upcoming occurrences and can be a helpful marketing tool. However, it should be updated regularly since people normally don’t like reading old information. You can also post details regarding your reservations, tickets among other details.

Videos

This is a new trend among many restaurants where videos are put on websites. There can be different types of videos like cooking tutorials by your chef or a bartender portraying his or her cocktail skills. Other kinds of how-to videos include topics like: how to eat a lobster or select a wine with dinner. There are several easy-to-use programs that can be put in restaurant websites.

Shameless Self Promotion

restaurent photos
In case your restaurant has been in news, you need to share it! More so if you assisted with a community fundraiser, put it off! Include links to other newspaper newscasts and articles featuring your restaurant. You can also link any awards and accolades that your restaurant has earned. In addition, consider linking your social media sites to Facebook and Twitter since they offer free advertising chances to your restaurant because they reach big numbers of people.

Online Reservations

Presently more restaurants are taking reservations online. There are various software like OpenTable that makes it simple for customers to enable reservations right through your website. Motivate your visitors to commit into a dinner by making it simple as a click of the mouse.

Sell Gift Certificates

You should encourage out-of-towners to purchase gift certificates for their family and friends within the area. Your credit card merchant can assist you establish your online payment account within your website. You can also consider incorporating a program like Paypal.

Your budget will most determine how small or large your website will be. According on how tech-savvy you are feeling, there are various websites templates that can be customized for your restaurant website in case you opt to use programs like yola, weebly among others. Indeed as a restaurant manager or owner, you may not have a lot of time in creating and building a whole website.

If you consider hiring someone to establish your restaurant website, you will be required to bring information for the site. You should also link with other hotels, chambers of commerce, areas of tourist attractions, movie theaters and other businesses and ask them to add a link to your restaurant.

To come up with a great website for your restaurant, there are little secrets and tiny ways that you need to follow. Certainly, there are various issues that can influence your success. Your website should at least have some of below features:

  • Eye-catching Design
  • Convenient Navigation
  • Proper Content
  • Contact Information
  • Search Option
  • Sitemap
  • Web Browsers Compatibility
  • Analytics

An Eye-catching Design

Your website should have an attractive design to keep visitors and make them stay online for more actions. In this matter, even the color gamut influences the mood of users and may win their favor or easily lose it.

Convenient Navigation

Everyone needs a website where the interface is easy and understandable. It is important not to confuse your visitors by placing links where users cannot get them.

Proper Content

Having appropriate content will make you retain your visitors. Ensure your website has sufficient information and frequent updates as this makes users interested to check your site.

Search Option

If your website is crammed with various types of information, it will be much convenient for the user to get the relevant content with the assistance of search field. This ensures your visitors get what they are eager to find easily.

Sitemap

Mainly there are two types of sitemaps. One is for search engines and the other for your visitors. Thus, by clicking the relevant link, your visitors can easily arrive at their wanted section and enjoy their stay.

Web Browsers Compatibility

There are various web browsers that are applied by internet users. Hence, it is vital for your site to run well with different types of browsers.

Analytics

Statistics and analytics functions assist owners of websites to identify how common their web presence is. It also provides an idea of factors that should be improved at first. This helps you to discover how people get into your website, the number of hits, who links to you and so on.

photo credits: jimmy_macdonald, titicat, sakeeb