The Top 10 Web Site Design Mistakes

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web design mistakes
Josh MacDonald / flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0
Or the 10 Best Ways to Chase Web Site Visitors Away

Web sites, especially those that promote a business, should be easily navigated, quick to download and pleasing to the eye. The following is a list of the top 10 mistakes that business website owners often make with their website design and how to avoid them.

Music that plays automatically

Even if you are a musician, music should never start automatically. Your web visitors should be given a choice of whether they want to hear music or not.

Any automatic pop up

It is infuriating to go to a website and have another window automatically pop up. Or, worse, a window that runs across the screen, making the viewer chase it down just to close it.

There are legitimate uses for popups, but they should never be automatic. If you want your visitor to fill out a survey or learn about your special deal, fine. Ask them to click on it and tell them beforehand that the link will open a new window.

Site designed for a specific browser

We’ve all seen those notations that say, “Best viewed in…” whatever browser. A website should look good in all the most popular browsers.

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Too many graphics, too large graphics or the website is entirely graphic with no text

Believe it or not, some people still use dial-up to connect to the Internet. Too many graphics or graphics that are too large make for very slow download time. People will leave your site before even seeing it.

You can always give people the option of viewing larger graphics by providing thumbnails with a link to the larger picture. Another mistake is making the home page one big graphic. No text on your site makes you invisible to search engines.

Missing alt (alternative) text tags for graphics

These are tags that should be placed in the code for each graphic that explains what the picture is. Many people view websites with graphics turned off. Individuals who are blind need the alt tags so their web readers can read the description.

Wrong color combinations or too many colors

Some websites seem to use every color available. Or someone, somewhere thought that a red background with yellow text looked cool. A website layout should use complimentary colors and be easy on the eyes.

Poor or changing site navigation

You go to the website, but you seem to be stuck on the home page because you can’t find the buttons or the text to click on the other pages. Or, you click on a page and find the second page looks completely different! This is poor design.

Unclear site purpose

Have you ever gone to a website only to have a difficult time figuring out what the site is about? This is especially dangerous for a business website. Be upfront. Tell people what you do and why it benefits them.

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Blinking text


Too many different fonts or use of unusual fonts

Your website should use no more than three different fonts. And, be careful about using unusual fonts in your website text. If the font you use is not on the individual website viewer’s computer, the browser will use a different font and could throw the whole design off.

Arial, Helvetica, Times New Roman, Verdana, Sans-Serif, and Serif can be utilized as long as your code gives the browser a choice of 2 or 3.
By avoiding these common mistakes, you are well on your way to building a website to be proud of.

(In case you saw my portfolio, why did I commit some of this mistakes, because it’s what the client wants even if I already consulted them about it. You still have to go with the rule, “Customer is always right.”)

About Norman Anthony Balberan

I am a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy graduate turned full-time web developer and designer. Although my professional background is in pharmacy and tech, I have a passion for writing and am excited to share my insights and thoughts through my blog. I write about various topics that I am knowledgeable and passionate about, and I hope to engage and connect with my readers through my writing.

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