As a Web Designer and a Project Manager for a web design company I see a lot of mistakes on the web that people make. Let me share with you my 8 deadly web design mistakes that many designers make:
1. Building the website entirely with frames or Flash. This really complicates things and makes the website not user friendly – along with long loading time with Flash. There will be no unique URL to identify every page and some people might not have Flash player installed which can cause more headaches in the long run.
2. Too much animations and graphics. This will slow down the loading time of the website. People have very short tolerance towards websites that load very slowly. This can also be very distracting if things are not organized well – people are looking for information and want it fast and easy to find.
3. No navigation support or user-friendliness. You cannot expect visitors to figure out how to navigate through your site. You may find it easy to navigate, but visitors may not – there should not be instructions on what to do when you get to the site, it should just be natural. This will cause them to abandon your site and visit other websites if they can not understand the workings of your navigation.
4. No standardization. The look and feel should be the same across every page. Style sheets are key in helping with consistency throughout the web – don’t neglect them.
5. All pages should have a way to get back to the home page. People may enter your site through other page other than the home page (portfolio or services pages for example). Its as simple as having ‘home’ on the navigation or a small icon on the upper right hand corner.
6. Not enough or outdated information. Content is king when it comes to online commerce. If you want to do business online, you must have solid content. Also writing for the web is an art – you should consider hiring someone to write the content for your site rather than trying to chop and piece together content from other marketing materials that you already have. A website with outdated content and non-professional content will not attract visitors, and people will not take you seriously. To keep things fresh and alive on your site you should also consider adding a blog of some sorts.
7. You should avoid Horizontal scrolling bar – unless your design concept requires it.
8. Never testing in multiple versions of browsers. Your website may appear fine in Internet Explorer but not on Firefox. Make sure that you spend a little time testing your website for browsers compatibility. For browser statistics check out: http://www.w3schools.com/browsers/browsers_stats.asp
Your website is an asset to you and your business so make sure that you treat it seriously. Your site should be a part of your overall marketing plan – not just something that you have because everyone else does. Spend the time, money and energy in making it one of your best sales tools and marketing pieces.