Top 7 Web Design Mistakes

When you visit a website it should not only be attractive but the content must be useful to encourage the visitor to stay on the site and possibly bookmark this site for future use. In order to try and achieve this there are three main requirements you want to ensure your site has:

I.  Website should be easily found through search engine or any other way.

II. When users visits a websites landing page (normally home page), it should get his/her interest straight away.

III. The site needs to have useful accessible content for regular visits or for when bookmarking a site.

Designing a website need to fulfill these three requirements to ensure the success of your site. In this article I am going to describe what are the common design mistakes that web developers do and how those affect these above requirements, which lead to a poor web design.

1. Poor navigation of site

Navigation is very important part of a web site. It will effect first and third requirement. This is very important from a user’s perspective, as well as from a search engine perspective. If the useful content is buried more than 3 or 4 clicks away then your site design has a problem. User will never go to that much depth when visiting a site, so keep it user friendly for them and ensure that every thing is just one or two clicks away from the result. You can use a category and subcategory to reduce number of clicks, but for the most part of your site try to keep it to no more than three clicks for your clients to access all content.

For example:

If you have a website with 1000 pages you can navigate this entire sites pages within three click. To do this, you first create 10 categories and within each category another 10 subcategory. Each subcategory can include 10 pages (10*10*10=1000 pages). In this user can access all the pages in three clicks and it would also be search engine friendly, as well as user friendly.

Another problem is when user clicks two or three links and then cannot recognize where they are or how to get back t where they were.  To overcome issue designers can use breadcrumb navigation. This will always ensure users can easily navigate back to the home page at anytime.

2. Too many color and contrast

Color is very important in website design, too many colors and contrast will lead to a poor design [second requirement of a good website]. Not only will it make the site appear unprofessional but will not encourage a long stay on your site.  Novice web developers make this mistake a lot, so as a rule of thumb, it is better to use a maximum three colors. This will create a professional looking website and with less effort.

3. Too much flash content

Some developers attempt creating a site using flash or the entire site as a flash presentation and although they look great, they cannot be found as search engines cannot read the flash content properly and therefore you will not rank properly and ultimately not be found.  What you end up with is a great looking site but without users your site is useless.  Therefore we recommend you minimize your flash content.

4. No clear call to action

If your site is related to ecommerce or small business, then this would be very important. When a user come to site there should be a clear call for action, otherwise you will definitely loose the user. You need to convert your user in to a customer. For example if it is small business site you need to user to subscribe newsletter or need to show your product to them, after all this is the main purpose of your site, to get new clients and make sales. So you need to stay focused on your end result that you want to achieve from the site.

Message should be clearly visible to visitor. When a visitor arrives they should be get understand of what the site is about and easily navigate through the article that is of interest to them.  Most of the time this is not done on the first attempt, so you need to gain an idea of what they are clicking on and adjust your site accordingly.  It might be something as simple as moving a navigation link from one area to another but the most important thing is that you design your site so that it gives you maximum rate of return and this process will definitely improve your click through rates [CTR].

5. Unfriendly welcoming screen

When user visits some website shows a welcome message prior to reaching the home page.  This is not only frustrating to the user but you can loose them before they have even seen what you do. In my opinion it is unwelcoming the user as users are coming to the site to see the home page and content, and do not like to be kept waiting.  And by delaying them seeing the content of your site, they are more likely to go somewhere else.

Always avoid a welcome screen on your site. It is not a good web design practice.

6. Opening pages in new browser window

I see this mistake in some sites. They are opening new tab or windows for some links. When this happens the user will think that this link is not part of the current site. So they will get confused and sometimes without looking at the content they close the window. This will really effect 3rd requirement. Also I would like to mention not to use too many pop-up windows in your site either, it will make your look unprofessional and appear as spam from a user’s perspective.  This will also slow the browsing and operate poorly in mobile platforms.

7. Clutter

Some small business websites like to include everything in the home page and this leads to a busy cluttered and unreadable page. It will definitely effect 2nd and 3rd requirement of a good web design. Don’t use too many images and text in the home page. Too many images and text makes the page appear very busy and cluttered as well as make it very confusing for the user to know where to go to find what they are looking for.

Only include what is absolutely necessary on the home page and use appropriate style and standard font’s type and size. This will make the user comfortable and give a good impression about the site.

This is the common 7 mistake done in web design, I hope you found this useful. If you like to add more let us know in the comment section.

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