The header is the top rectangular shaped area that runs across the top of the web page design on your screen. Unless you are wanting to be unusual and trying to step completely ‘outside the box’, it will appear on every web page.
The primary purpose of your header is to promote your company’s brand and make it instantly recognisable to your audience. Your audience should instantly know they have arrived at the correct place, if they are already familiar with your company.
For some companies, where the brand is less important, it may be worthwhile conveying what the business is about and what the business does in the header of the web page design. This can be done with the use of short, sharp text or a relevant graphic, which conveys the general concept of your product - for example, a company that manufactures bicycle clothing might use an image of a cyclist in action.
This header is the most valuable space on the screen. Or, in designer’s terms – it is the most expensive piece of screen real estate. The header should always be used wisely, keeping in mind the goals and vision of your web site design.
Some key things to keep in mind when planning a header:
Keep it small
Make sure the header does not take up too much space. Keep as much screen space available as possible for other content.
Keep the header consistent
A changing header graphic interrupts the user’s navigation experience and is off-putting – it also causes a separate graphic to be loaded with every web page load, which slows the web site for the user.
Keep it relevant
Keep the header relevant. Do not put in irrelevant images or content that does not convey what your company does. If your web page design does require the use of graphics to build your company brand, try to use monochromatic colours (as few colours in the image as possible).