Here are the key words and phrases that summarize my design philosophy:
1) Format the bulk of your sales message to be black text on a white background. Doing it any other way makes it harder to read, and that misses the whole point. I'll say it once again: Put the bulk of your sales message on white (or nearly white) background in black text. If you don't, you wind up with this:
3) How you place and break up your paragraphs is very important. First of all, I rarely let my paragraphs spread from hard-left to hard-right on the screen. It's easier to read if there are less characters on each line, and giving space on the left and/or right gives the reader a feeling that it's 'light' reading.
You may not be aware of it, but a lot of people just don't like to read if they think it's going to take long. I think they find it tiresome or boring. The trick is to deliver your information to them in bite-sized chunks to sort of string them along.
In this same spirit, you should start new paragraphs every few lines to keep the writing from looking too dense, and pepper your writing with mini-headlines throughout that draw attention to the next topic and make your message easier to digest.
The Importance Of 'Mini' Headlines
Let's see, how can I show you an example of a mini headline? Oh, I know, look at the line above. :-) They really are nifty, and they're easy to use. Just go through your existing text, create new paragraphs every 3 - 8 lines or so, and insert headlines at will.
Don't Underestimate This Device!
These mini-headlines effortlessly make your info seem more interesting, more inviting to read, easier to digest, and professional. Try it, and you'll be surprised how much better it turns out.
4) Using Pictures
Pictures can add a lot to a web site, but there should be a reason for them. Avoid stock graphics that you've already seen on lots of other web site. You want to be different, to stand out.
I like using professional-looking logos, headlines, and bullets that I make myself instead of plugging in some unrelated picture that doesn't make much sense.
Additionally avoid spastic animated pictures that distract the reader from reading what you have to say.
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