Web design isn’t an exact science. There are broad principles to follow, but at the end of the day, you have to figure out what works for you and your audience. However, you should always remember that your customers have itchy back-button fingers, and some web design mistakes will make them bounce every time. Here’s a list of our top eight design mistakes:
Making Content Look Like Advertising
Web users these days have developed “banner blindness.” Anything that looks like a banner ad or block ad will be ignored. Avoid the common web design mistake of putting essential information in a format that looks like advertising.
Using Non-Intuitive Navigation
If you have to explain how to navigate your site, you’ve done it wrong. Navigation should make sense to someone who has never seen your site before. Group similar links under headings and make it easy for visitors to find their way back to a previous page and to the home page.
Automatic-Play Flash Videos
No one wants to be held hostage while you play a 20-second introductory video before loading site content. Video is great, but make it optional by providing a play button for the user to click when he or she is ready.
Failing to Promote
You must promote your website after it is has been launched. If you build it, they will come? No, no, no, no, no, no, no! Posting a website doesn’t automatically mean that people will visit your site. Yes, search engine optimization is very important, but sometimes rankings are hard to get. You need to think about Pay-Per-Click to drive traffic to the site.
Unclear Call to Action
Can visitors immediately see how to take action on your site? Your call to action should use descriptive, action-oriented language that clearly communicates what you want the visitor to do.
Long Blocks of Text
Our attention span is short and even shorter online. No one has time to read through a long page of tiny text. Break copy up into smaller chunks using subheadings and bullets, and make the font bigger so content appears less intimidating.
Allowing your website to become out-of-date
Urban legend has it that the average life span of a website is 44 days. The world is full of people who open a site and then do nothing more with it. Launching a website is only the beginning. If you are not prepared to keep your website up to date, then maybe opening a website is not for you. (Also, remember that search engines give precedence to sites that are constantly updated.)
Links that Don’t Look Like Links
Use color to designate clickable text, and change the color for links that have already been clicked. Don’t be too creative with this. Underlines, italics, bolding, and unusual colors may look cool, but users may not pick up on the fact that they can be clicked.
Bad Website Design
If your website talks about our company or you, you’re missing the boat. But enough about me – what do you think about me? Unless you are a movie star, people are not likely to come to your website to hear all about you. Users respond to websites that provide them with useful information that they can take away into their daily life. Tailor your website content to benefit your users, and they will be more likely to come back for more.
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