Why are there so many bad website design techniques in use today? Anyone that spends time online sees them everyday, and poor designs make us crazy. There are numerous amount of good website design information available, you would think that poor websites and website designers would change there ways.
What it comes down to is businesses do not always understand website design. They know someone that says they are a website designer or saw a commercial online for an easy website builder that was affordable (cheap). So businesses hire a website designer that is not fully trained or up to date on the latest online technologies. This is why there are so many poor websites on the market today.
What is more upsetting is when I see a professional, amazing business with a website that actually states the exact opposite. To see professional 5 start restaurants or professional lawyers with websites that make some of us designers and visitors want to crawl in our skin. If this is the case for your business ask yourself this:
Below are my top 5 website mistakes that no website designer should allow.
1.) Automatic playing media
We’ve all seen it before. You come to a website and music or video automatically starts playing. It could be informative, it could be background music or it could be a marketing video. Regardless of the case, people do not want to be forced to view or listen to media that they did not select. In very rare cases automatically playing media may be needed. If that’s the case at least provide your audience with a way to turn it off.
2.) Pop ups – Advertisings or self-marketing
This always confuses me. Clearly no one likes pop up's and statistically speaking a good percentage of people that are hit with pop ups never read the content. Many businesses offer self promo’s that pop up immediately when a visitor visits the site, incorrectly thinking that pushing this service, product or newsletter opt in is a good idea. The truth of the matter is, it is a poor practice and forcing anything on your valued visitors can only hurt your business. A good website design and a good website designer will have better, more effective ways to showcase your targeted message.
3.) No Clear call to action
This is simple, but typically overlooked by in-experienced website designers and inexperienced marketers. Your website needs to provide your visitors with a clear call to action. When someone visits your website make sure it is very clear what you do – and what you want them to do! Fill out your contact form? Buy a product? Contact you? Make sure it’s clear and easy for your visitors to do.
4.) A website that abuses flash
I rarely use flash in websites, but sometimes it is used to spice up a website so when I see it used occasionally, it’s not the biggest deal. But, when I see a website completely made from flash, it makes me question the company and the designer. I could write a few pages on this topic, but at the end of the day understand that flash is bad for SEO. If you care about people visiting your website from search engines like google, flash is going to do far more bad then good.
5.) Not having a custom 404 page
A 404 page is a page that does not exist on a website. It could be a page that was once there but deleted or it could be a url that was typed in incorrectly. A good website designer or developer will create a custom 404 page that allows users who visited your 404 page to remain on your site. This 404 page typically provides popular links from the website, a message stating they are not in the right place or sometimes may have humor behind it. (see below)