Good Web Design Practice
Good web design is a means to an end
Form should follow function. Too many designers are dazzled by their own brilliance and forget about functionality. A site should load quickly, be easy to navigate and impossible to get lost in. It must be simple to find what you are looking for and it must be search engine friendly. If search engines like the style of your website, they'll list you higher, and index your site more frequently.
Identity and Navigation
The two most important considerations are identity and navigation. Your site should look distinctive, and the design should be consistent throughout. A good designer will help you create a corporate logo or complete corporate identity, or ensure continuity of your existing corporate identity by modify your existing logos and printed materials for the web.
These may involve drop-down menus, rollovers or multi-layer navigation. They should be easy to use and easy on the eye, and they should not distract from the content. Have you ever ‘got lost’Your visitors should always know where they are and how to get to the information they want next. Menu systems also need to be search engine friendly - too many sites with fancy menus have pages that are invisible to search engines.
Bells and whistles
You may think you want Flash on your home page, or that you need videos, music, animations. Perhaps these would enhance your site, perhaps they would only distract and obscure the content. Your website is about your business, not about how impressive your website is as an artefact in its own right, and a balance has to be struck. Don't let any web design company sell you fancy stuff you don't need. Although striking design is important, Content is King.
In a nutshell
Good web design is web design that brings you business and makes money. You need a web designer who will build you a clean, distinctive looking site that is both affordable and effective, and that reflects your corporate identity. It should load quickly, comply with modern web standards and look good at different screen resolutions and in all browsers. Good design should be as future-proof as possible and allow for for the growth and maintenance of the site. The projected lifespan of a site can be greatly extended if sufficient thought is given to the original design.