As we mentioned before we highly recommend that you have a professional create and run your website in order to keep up with the latest technologies. You still are the initiator of your project and therefore you must know what a makes a website valuable. A professional internet programmer is not necessarily a good website designer. Now what do you think is important here? Yes, you are right — Your Users
. Whatever you do you should always ask yourself this question: «How does the user of my website benefit?»
Most of the products in our modern world have one purpose: to make our lives simpler. This principle should be applied to web design too. Take a look at our website and you'll see what we mean. English-test.net is both — interactive as well as text based. That's why it was important for us to create a system that combines both features and apparently we have done a good job.
All the information is arranged on the start page in a very simple easy to understand format. With just one single click our visitors can see within seconds what our website is all about — English language tests, currently exactly 199 of them. Furthermore there are «stories«, «articles«, a «newsletter», «downloads» as well as a «forum» and information «about» our company and our partners. As you can see we use a simple yet effective system to structure all the information on our website:
First we have created categories and given them names — tests, articles etc. We have selected short descriptive names for each category. Each category is lined up horizontally on the top of our start page in the above mentioned order. With the exception of the tests themselves we have then created a subcategory for each main category. When you click on a main category a new page opens with the following structure:
On the left hand side there is a vertical list with all the story or article titles. Again, we have placed the more general information on the left as we assume this is where our visitors start their reading. You will find that the index list covers about one fourth of the entire page with the remaining part of the page on the right hand side displaying the text body (stories, articles, business, product descriptions and so on.)
Another important feature:
Whatever page you open on our site — it just takes one single click to get back to the start page as well as any other of the main categories because the main menu (the horizontal line) always stays on the top and at the bottom of any of our pages.
By the way you might have noticed the name «start»as opposed to «home». To us the word «home» conjures up the image of a cosy place where you relax and get entertained. «Start» indicates that there is action, a competition, a training course to be taken. This is much more appropriate to the purpose of our website than «home».
Before we elaborate on the structure and design of our website we'd better give you a rundown of the main points so you and your webdesigner can use them as a checklist. A user friendly website should meet the following requirements.
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Author: Torsten Daerr & Alan Townend