When hundreds or probably thousands of websites are created every day, how do you make sure that yours doesn’t fall into the cyberspace land of no return? You may think that your site has what it takes to make it in the big-bad internet world, but do you really know what you are doing when it comes to web design? Big or small, mistakes in web design can keep even the most determined website down.
Here are 7 common blunders to avoid if you want your website to shine, get noticed, and appeal to your target audience:
1- Do You Have a Search Box?
Visitors to your site will often know exactly what they are looking for and why they landed on your page. But without a search box they may never find a specific product or service that you offer, which may have been buried within pages and pages of content.
2- Bad Readability and Legibility
Having a good interface design is how you will grab your users’ attention. Some websites use bizarre fonts and designs that are unpleasing to the eye. This will send your visitors packing because reading your content in that situation becomes a pain for them.
- Compare your color schemes to some of the major sites on the internet. How you use your colors will improve readability. Try Adobe Kuler to get some helpful ideas
- One common mistake is getting crazy with your fonts. There are certain fonts that pair well with each other and will make your website easier to read. Check out Google fonts
3- Having an Unorganized Content Layout
Technology has made the human population a bit on the lazy side. When it comes to absorbing written content, we want it fast, we want it to grab our attention, and we don’t want to sift through garbage to get it. Users will not read unless absolutely necessary.
Headlines, sub-headings, bullet points of interest, keywords, and appropriate paragraph lengths can keep your visitors’ attention… or lose it.
Make sure your content coincides with the overall theme of your website. And if you or your web designer has a page the is “under construction,” why bother putting it up at all?
4- Poor Navigation
The visitors to your site want to find the information that they seek and they want to find it fast. Navigation of your website should be intuitive and consistent.
Hyperlinks should stand out from the body of content and should also navigate the user to a page that is relevant and coincides with the topic at hand. If someone reading about your new and amazing patterned socks, the link that you choose should lead them to exactly that.
5- Complicated Registration Forms
If you want people to register on your website, you want to keep your demand for details as short as possible. Keep in mind that the user came to your website for information, not the other way around.
6- Steer Clear of Background Music
There are web designers out there that feel like each page needs its own theme music. When someone is pursuing your site, there is a very good chance that they are in an office and don’t need an annoying jingle alerting their boss about how they spend their downtime. But if you insist on having a melody in the background of your site, use a code that allows the user to stop or pause whenever they like.
This little gem is breezed over often and that is a big mistake. How do you know if something works if you don’t take it for a test drive? You’ve got to kick the tires and look under the hood when you are building a successful website.
Here is a brief checklist to get you started:
- Is your design and layout consistent in all browsers?
- Can your website be viewed in different environments?
Keep it simple. When something is simple it is more user friendly. So a great website should be straightforward. All in all, do your homework and it will come easy and naturally.