25+ Web Design Mistakes You Should Avoid
Many of the world’s websites suffer from mistakes that can dramatically impact their effectiveness. We’ve compiled a list of the 33 common mistakes with helpful advice on how to avoid them.
Also Check: 10 Web Design Tips You Must Follow Today
1. The user must know what the site is about in: If a visitor can not figure what your site is about in a couple of seconds, he will probably just go somewhere else. So Your site must communicate why I should spend my time there.
2. Make the content scannable: this is the Internet, not a book, so forget big blocks of text. When I will be visiting your site while I work on other stuff so make sure that I can scan through the entire content. Bullet points, headers, subheaders, lists. Anything that will help the reader.
3. Do not use fancy fonts that are unreadable: Some fonts that will give a sophisticated look to your website. But are they readable? If your main goal is to deliver a message and get the visitors reading your stuff, then you should make the content comfortable for them.
4. Do not use tiny fonts: Make sure that readers are comfortable reading your content. My Firefox does have a zooming feature, but if I need to use on your website it will probably be the last time I visit it.
5. Do not open new browser windows: If I open new browser windows for external links the user will never leave my site. WRONG! Let the user control where he wants the links to open. There is a reason why browsers have a huge “Back” button.
6. Do not resize the user’s browser windows: If you resize it you will risk to mess things up on his side, and what is worse you might lose your credibility in front of him.
7. Do not require a registration if it is not necessary: When I browse around the Internet I want to get information, not the other way around. Do not force me to register up and leave my email address and other details unless it is absolutely necessary.
8. Never subscribe the visitor for something without his permission: Do not automatically subscribe a visitor to newsletters when he registers up on your site
9. Do not overuse Flash: Apart from increasing the load time of your website, excessive usage of Flash might also annoy the visitors. Use it only if you must offer features that are not supported by static pages.
10. Do not play music: On the early years of the Internet web developers always tried to successfully integrate music into websites. Do not use music, period
11. Make sure to include contact details: there is nothing benefit than a website that has no contact details. This is not bad only for the visitors, but also for yourself. You might lose important feedback along the way.
13. Avoid complex URL structures: Keyword-based URL structure will not only improve your search engine rankings, but it will also make it easier for the reader to identify the content of your pages before visiting them.
14. Use CSS over HTML tables: HTML tables were used to create page layouts. CSS is faster, more reliable and it offers many more features.
15. Make sure users can search the whole website: Search engines revolutionized the Internet. You probably guessed it, because they make it very easy to find the information we are looking for.
16. Avoid “drop down” menus: The user should be able to see all the navigation options. Using “drop down” menus might confuse things and hide the information of the reader was actually looking for.
17. Use text navigation: Text navigation is not only faster but it is also more reliable. Some users, browse the Internet with images turned off.
18. If you are linking to PDF files disclose it: When ever clicked on a link only to see your browser freezing while Acrobat Reader Or Pdf Reader launches to open that PDF file? That is very annoying so make sure to explicit links pointing to PDF files so that users can handle them properly.
19. Do not confuse the visitor with many versions: avoid confusing the visitor with too many versions of your website. Just give him the content!
20. Do not blend advertising inside the content: Advertising like Adsense units inside your content might increase your click-through rate while the short term. Over the long time, however, this will reduce your audience. An annoyed visitor is a lost.
21. Use a simple navigation structure: Make sure that your website has a single, clear navigation structure.
22. Avoid “intros”: Do not force the user to watch or read something before he can access to the real content. This is plain annoying, and he will stay only if what you have to offer is really unique and might be he never back again.
23. Do not use FrontPage: this point extends to other cheap HTML editors. While they appear to make web design easier, the output will be a poorly crafted code, incompatible with different browsers and with several bugs.
24. Make sure your website is cross-browser compatible: not all browsers are created equal, and not all of them interpret CSS and other languages on the same way.You will need to make your website compatible with the most used browsers on the market.
25. Make sure to include anchor text on links:It is easier to tell people to “click here”. But this is not efficient. Make sure to include a relevant anchor text on your links. It will ensure that the reader knows where he is going to if he clicks the link, and it will also create SEO benefits.
26. Do not cloak links: apart from having a clear anchor text, the user must also be able to see where the link is pointing on the status bar of his browser. If you cloak your links your site will lose credibility.
27. Make links visible: the visitor should be able to recognize what is clickable and what is not, easily. Make sure that your links have a contrasting color (the standard blue color is the optimal most of the times) and also use underline if possible.
28. Do not underline or color normal text: do not underline normal text unless absolutely necessary. When you make underline he should not get the idea that something is clickable when in reality it is not.
29. Make clicked links change color: Clicked links that change color help the user to locate himself more easily around your site.