10 deadly web design sins

Creating a professional web site is a stressful business. Stress because it reflects your business identity and you cannot afford to go wrong even once, as the damages could be irreparable. There are few basic mistakes that businesses must avoid while working on web site design projects to be successful.

Lack Of Transparency

Being all business and hiding your personality. Transparency on the Web is important for getting people to purchase or relate to your services. One way to do this is creating videos of your employees talking about what they do and why they love it. This will foster a relationship before clients walk in the door which starts the buying process.

Failure To Plan

Planning ahead is essential to building an effective website. Start by sitting down with the client, project manager and design team to map out the necessary site plan including all navigation. Be sure to keep the client’s needs as a priority over fanciful design. (Don’t forget to test the navigation on people unfamiliar with the company to ensure your design is intuitive)

Putting design before content

Yes, good design is non-negotiable, says Mr. Silverton. But creating a design template and then trying to fit content into that design is a fatal flaw. “The most important reason people go to your site is to find the content,” he says. “If you’re putting design before content, then you’re forced to adjust the content to comply with the design, and you really want it to be the other way around.”

Making Things Difficult

The route from first click to sale has to be easy. It’s important to think like customers. Evaluate the site from their perspective – it will help you figure out potential pitfalls. You don’t have to religiously follow the 3-click rule but it shouldn’t take much more than that for the visitor to get to the information they are looking for. Your site should be easy to navigate and perform the desired tasks. For example, requiring registration to leave a comment on the blog or having customers setup an account before checking out are two good examples of making it difficult for the visitor to do what they are set out to do. Make it simple or your visitors might abandon your site.

Choosing the Wrong Colors

You may have the perfect colors in your mind that you want to use on your company’s website, but you should always check to see how those colors look online before you publish to the web. Some colors just do not look good online. Your best bet when choosing colors is to go as light as possible, and never be afraid to use white. Look at the minimalistic white backgrounds of Google and Facebook, two internet traffic powerhouses. Just go with a light background with dark text and you’ll be fine.

If you are using a company logo and you find that it doesn’t look good online, don’t be afraid to alter that logo for online use. Many companies have an online and an offline logo, with the online logo tailored for the various online browsers. Just make sure you don’t alter your company’s logo too much or else you may confuse your prospects and customers.

SLOTH

Ask yourself some questions. When was the last time you updated the content in your site? Does your site look stuck in the 1990′s? Are you taking advantage of Google Analytics or even just the statistics provided by your hosting company? The really great thing about thce web is that the metrics are so easy to access and you can find out where your visitors come from, what pages they visit, how long they stay, when they visit, etc. Much of this information is FREE. And Content Management Systems are now so much more sophisticated and easy to use that excuses are harder to find for not staying current.

Use Graphics Correctly

Don’t use obnoxious animated images and think that it will look amazing. Avoid large images; they are difficult to load on slow devices. If you choose to greet visitors with an image, it’s important that it works to represent what your business does and why it’s so relevant to them.

Fonts

Fancy letters won’t make your site look better if computer users can’t read the words on the screen. Choose fonts and a fonts size that makes it easy for a reader to read the text quickly. But the style of lettering, which will be in a different style, is the one that is easy for the eyes.

You want to make your visitors’ time enjoyable and this intention must be reflected in all areas of your website. Also, avoid spelling mistakes and don’t forget to re-look the website after a break.

Don’t hide your products!

Customers will not come to your site because you know how to smoke through your nose. They will not buy from you because you usually tell damn funny jokes at parties. Users visit you either by mistake or because they want to know about your products and services. They love to see clean product detail pages that provide thorough descriptions and comparisons. Stay sharp and focused. Show what you need to show, and keep out what you don’t. Don’t design cryptic links or create a challenging navigation if you want to actually produce some income from your site.

Difficult check out processes

Has it happened to you that buying on some sites seems so unreliable and difficult that you find it easier to turn off the computer and go to a K-mart? Customers might abandon the entire order if checkout doesn’t seem simple and straightforward. Don’t complicate your users life and make the billing process simpler and cleaner as you can. Remember, at this point their goal is to finish shopping, and your goal should be to close the deal as smoothly as possible.

May, 30, 2013

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