Website Design Review. Avoid Common Website Design Mistakes
This quick website design review discussion is a result of numerous website review submission inquiries from you. I have developed this list of top 10 website design review observations Iíve made as part of my review of your websites. I intend to continuously add to this section some of the most common website design mistakes webmasters make.
Outlined in this section you will find some of the most common website design mistakes that you should avoid. Because there are so many aspects of a website to balance, it is common to derail from the basic fundamentals of website design and development.
Always remember that your human visitorís experience is your first and foremost concern. Your website must be designed so that your visitor can get the information they need quickly. If you operate an eCommerce website, ensure that the sign-up and shopping processes are simple, self explanatory and take as little time as possible.
With the growing use of the Internet, websites are popping up left and right by the day. Make sure you stay ahead of everyone else by applying the knowledge you have gathered about website design overtime.
Website Design Review Observation #1
Poor Fundamental Website Design
Browse your website pretending to be one of your visitors. If you cannot find the information you need right away, you still have some work to do. Observe the ease of flow of information. Is there enough white space? How easy is the text to read? Is there something that doesnít seem right?
Visit some of the more successful websites on the Internet (preferably in your industry) and browser their websites to see what they are doing that you are not.
Website Design Review Observation #2
Search and Site Map
Many website designers often forget to include a simple search function or a site map. When your visitor canít find the information they are looking for, they often resort to the search or a site map function.
If they donít see this, they will get frustrated and leave your website. Include both to make your visitorís experience more enjoyable.
Website Design Review Observation #3
Pages with No Links
It is very important to put a link on each page directing the user back to the home page as well as the page you recommend they read next. I see so many websites where WebPages have no links at the end of the content, leaving the visitor hanging. At the very least, help them get back to your home page.
There are also search optimization implications of adding such links. It behooves you to do so. You can include such links on the top header or preferably towards the bottom of the page after your text ends.
Website Design Review Observation #4
Links that do not work are extremely frustrating. Moreover, search engines do not like to see this and penalize you for carrying dead links that donít work. They interpret this as you having abandoned your website. It shows your lack of commitment to your website.
The more links you have the tougher it becomes to manage them. The best solution is to go with a website creation program like SBI. SBI has an automated Link Fix It program which sends an automated eMail to you when a link on your website goes bad.
You cannot control what other websites are doing and when they stop operating. However, you can surely use a service like SBI
that will notify you each time a link goes bad so you can remove it from your website.
Website Design Review Observation #5
Overload of images and fancy graphics
Flashing buttons, site logos, excessive and large images all over your WebPages are big distractions for your visitor. Use graphics that only enhance your visitorís experience on your website. Display images away from text and make sure to leave enough white space between them.
Website Design Review Observation #6
Tend to your site regularly to ensure your information is fresh and still as useful today as it was yesterday. If it is not, then remove it. Old information is a very bad reflection on your commitment to your website as well as your credibility as a website operator. Be particularly careful with this if you operate an information based niche website.
Website Design Review Observation #7
Missing or outdated contact Information
This drives me absolutely nuts. How many websites donít have an eMail address you can reach them at? Include your latest and greatest contact information in a visible manner.
At the very least include your address, phone number and eMail ID. Isnít this the purpose of having a website to begin with?
Website Design Review Observation #8
Establishing and maintaining consistency throughout your website is part of building a brand online
. Your user should be able to predict the design, text appearance, site layout in each and every page of your site.
I am not saying make every page the same, but at least keep the basics consistent. Maintain similar font types, text formats, background and link appearance to mention a few.
Many websites are such that each page within them look like they are a whole different site of their own. This defeats the purpose of establishing your brand and identity online.
Use CSS to take advantage of technology trends
and make the design consistency process a breeze.
Website Design Review Observation #9
Failure to track user activity
It is very important to study user behavior on your website to determine what is working and what isnít. Many site design enhancements come about as a result of tracking website behavior.
You need to know where you stand today in order to plan where you are going to be tomorrow. Website traffic tools are extremely powerful and granular. There is no limit to what you can accomplish by using these effectively.
Read a detailed discussion on using website analytics to improve your site design here
Website Design Review Observation #10
Not tending to your site
I can make an argument that all the mistakes listed out in this discussion are a result of not tending to your website. Building a website is one thing, constantly updating it is another.
Just by periodically managing your website, you can be sure to avoid costly mistakes such as the ones outlined here. Always evaluate your web design and usability and ask yourself the question ďis my visitor going to enjoy their experience here?Ē The answer should always end up being a yes.
Not only search engines demand this, but your human visitors do as well. Keep checking your website regularly and adjusting it to continue to deliver good experiences for your visitors. This should be your #1 priority!