Why are there so many bad website design techniques in use today? Anyone that spends time online has to see them every day, and poor design can drive us crazy. Since there is so much information out there about how to properly design a website, you would think that poor websites and website designers would try to change their ways.
What it comes down to is, businesses do not always understand website design. What they do know is someone that says they are a website designer, or what they learned from a commercial online for an easy and affordable (i.e, cheap) website design course. Because of this, businesses often hire a website designer that is not fully trained or up to date on the latest online technologies, and this is why there are so many poorly designed websites on the market today.
What is more upsetting to me is when I see an amazing business with a website that communicates the exact opposite message about them. Seeing professional 5 star restaurants or talented lawyers with ugly and websites that are hard to navigate can 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 5 Important Mistakes to Avoid When Designing Your Website:
1: Automatically Playing Media
We’ve all seen it before. You visit a website and music or video automatically starts playing. It could be informative, it could be background music or it could be a simple 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 simple way to turn it off.
2: Frequent & Annoying Pop ups
This always confuses me. Clearly no one likes pop ups, and statistically speaking a good percentage of people that are hit with pop ups never read the content. Many businesses offer self promos that pop up immediately when a visitor comes to 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 inexperienced website designers and marketers. Your website needs to provide its visitors with a clear call to action. When someone visits your website make sure it is very clear what you do from the moment they arrive– and also make sure they know what you want them to do right off the bat! 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 on occasion I will employ it spice up a website, so when I see it used rarely and well, it’s not the biggest deal. However, when I see a website completely based in 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 what you must know is 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.