Usability is a big issue for web designers. Since visitors to your site must be able to navigate and experience what you have to offer a lot of pressure is placed on the website designer to produce a quality site. Here are some common design flaws that many designers are guilty of and how to fix them. Website navigation is key to people successfully visiting and returning to your site. If they cannot find what they are looking for or cannot easily surf through your pages, they won’t return. While straightforward, obvious, and traditional methods of navigation might be boring for the designer to create, they are your best bet to achieving an easily navigable site. In other words, “don’t reinvent the wheel.”
A favorite blogger of mine recently coined a name for a new design flaw: “Social Media Icons Overload Syndrome”. While it is great to be connected to social media sites and have the ability to do so from your webpage, having an icon for every social site known to man is not the way to connect with anyone since most people will be overloaded with icons and leave.
Some sites are guilty of the annoying method of placing an advertisement page before their content. “Nobody wants to watch a 30 second advert before they get to the article they want to read.” Some sites do allow you to skip the ad, while others make it hard to do so. In either case, no one pays attention to the ad since they find it annoying. Best case scenario, people skip it. Worst case, they leave your site.
Flash animations can be useful to enhance small portions of your site, but it should not be used large scale. It loads slowly, is difficult to navigate, and flash is unreadable by search engine spiders. You don’t have to totally get rid of all the flash animations on your site, just 99.9% of them. Remember, “good things come in small packages.”
Even if you have a “back” navigation option on your site, most visitors will opt to use their web browser’s back button. It’s familiar, they know where it is, and it’s a habit. If you disable the button with your design people will leave. Simple as that.
If your site has no contact details I will automatically assume you are a scam. If your site has hard to find contact details I will assume you are either a scam or you have something to hide. If you are a legitimate business make your contact details easy to find. If I have a question I want to be able to contact you easily and quickly. “Prominently displayed contact details can help engender trust. Hiding your email and phone numbers has the opposite effect.”
Do you agree or disagree? Perhaps, I missed something? Either way, I would just love to hear what your thoughts are on this topic… just let me know your alive!