Website Design Mistakes

Your web design will make or break your company's goals. 

Everybody is looking for web design techniques to engage users and produce results. There are many excellent resources out there on the subject. I thought it would be a good idea to discuss with you some of the most problematic web design mistakes based on my research. Here's the list:

1. Bad Search

Search is the user's lifeline when navigation fails. Even though advanced search can sometimes help, simple search usually works best, and search should be presented as a simple box, since that's what users are looking for.  

2. PDF Files for Online Reading

Users hate coming across a PDF file while browsing, because it breaks their flow. Even simple things like printing or saving documents are difficult because standard browser commands don't work. Worst of all, PDF is an undifferentiated blob of content that's hard to navigate.  

3. Not Changing the Colour of Visited Links

When visited links don't change color, users exhibit more navigational disorientation in usability testing and unintentionally revisit the same pages repeatedly.  

4. Non-Scannable Text

A wall of text is bad for an interactive experience and painful to read.Write for online, not for print. To draw users into the text use well-documented methodologies like subheads, bulleted lists, highlighted keywords, short paragraphs and adopt a simple writing style.  

5. Page Titles With Low Search Engine Visibility

Search is the most important way users discover websites. The basic page title is your main tool to attract new visitors from search listings.For your homepage, begin with the company name, followed by a brief description of the site.  

6. Anything That Looks Like an Advertisement

Selective attention is very powerful, and Web users have learned to stop paying attention to any ads that get in the way of their goal-driven navigation. 

Therefore, it is best to avoid any designs that look like advertisements.Here are some rules to follow: 

Banner blindness means that users never fixate their eyes on anything that looks like a banner ad due to shape or position on the page. 

Pop-up purges mean that users close pop-ups before they have even fully rendered; sometimes with great viciousness.

7. Violating Design Conventions

 Consistency is one of the most powerful usability principles: when things always behave the same, users don't have to worry about what will happen. Instead, they know what will happen based on earlier experience. 

This means that they form their expectations for your site based on what's commonly done on most other sites. If you deviate, your site will be harder to use and users will leave.

8. Opening New Browser Windows

Designers open new browser windows on the theory that it keeps users on their site. But even disregarding the user-hostile message implied in taking over the user's machine, the strategy is self-defeating since it disables the Back button which is the normal way users return to previous sites. Users often don't notice that a new window has opened, especially if they are using a small monitor where the windows are maximized to fill up the screen. So a user who tries to return to the origin will be confused by a grayed out Back button.  

9. Not Answering Users' Questions

Users are highly goal-driven on the Web. They visit sites because there's something they want to accomplish — maybe even buy your product. The ultimate failure of a website is to fail to provide the information users are looking for. 

Sometimes the answer is simply not there and you lose the sale because users have to assume that your product or service doesn't meet their needs if you don't tell them the specifics. Since users don't have time to read everything, such hidden info might almost as well not be there. 

The worst example of not answering users' questions is to avoid listing the price of products and services. 

Being aware of this list of web design mistakes can go a long way in helping you increase your onsite conversion rate and Google rank as well.