This article tends to look at some of the most common web-design mistakes which designers make. I hope that after reading this, you would avoid these mistakes. You should check your site for these mistakes and fix them if any – this will result in a error-free website, which, if it doesn’t increase the number of clicks would atleast make sure that visitors do not leave your website feeling annoyed.
1. Shabby layout- It has been observed that many business sites have very bad layouts-it takes many steps to perform even simpler tasks. Designers, often, in their bid to organize the website perfectly overdo it and a visitor might find it very difficult to reach/perform a certain activity on your website. If people are emailing you asking how to perform certain things on your site, then this should ring warning bells to improve your layout and navigation. If there are certain areas which people visit more or do more (like certain download) put it either on the front page or at least put the direct link to it on the front page which can be easily viewed.
2. Ads, ads everywhere- Well I understand the urge to monetize your website through the use of ads, but often people overdo it and place so many ads on a single page that its not only difficult for the visitors to see the content they came for but it can also be very annoying. Please don’t use ad forms which are very loud, intrusive and comes in way of the content the viewer is looking for (like pop-ups/flash ads etc). If you've put a new ad on your site, go to the site as if you were a visitor, and ask yourself: are they too many ads on the website? Is the main motive behind this website is just to earn money or it is to provide some interesting/useful information?
3. Using Flash announcement- Avoid using Flash intros on your website. Everyone knows they're a bad idea, but every other web designer still seems to use them- they just don't realise that Flash intros are unanimously ridiculed and loathed. Don’t’ use flash intros, please.
4. Links- There are two kinds of links which you would use in your website: internal (to other parts of your website) and external (to other websites). It's good to mark your external links either by making them a different color or using some kind of a symbol (a box with an arrow is the usual one). It's also a good idea to make the external links open in new windows or new tabs- this way people will not leave your site altogether when they click on them. As for internal links, they may open in the same window. Even for internal links, make sure when people move their mouse over them, the color changes (to show it’s a link). Use a good contrasting color-it will help the visitors in knowing that it’s a link.
5. Fonts- I would advice you to use the most common web fonts like Arial, Georgia, Tahoma and Verdana. If you're using more ambiguous fonts, then most visitors would find them hard to read. I have also noticed people using inconsistent font size. This is a small thing but can have a substantial effect in creating a bad feel about the website. Use a constant font (and also font size) throughout the website. You may consider using non-standard fonts in your logo or for your titles.
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