Top Mistakes to Avoid When Designing a Website
1) “Mystery Meat” Navigation - We’ve said it before, and we’re going to say it again. When you’re designing a website, you must stick to simple navigation. Visitors must be able to find everything they need with an easy-to-use, obvious navigational bar. People love to be spoon-fed information so make sure your tab titles are as straightforward as possible.
2) A Cluttered Home Page – When visitors come to your site, you want them to feel welcome and stay there. To accomplish that, you need to create a spacious home page with just the right amount of information to keep them flipping the page. Don’t overdo it with too many details or photos; that’s what the individual web pages are for.
3) Website Has an Unclear Purpose – What do you want visitors to get out of your site? Are you promoting yourself? Your business? Multiple services? Are you an informational resource? Define your purpose, encourage a call to action wherever necessary, and establish what you have to offer to your customers right off the bat.
4) Unorganized Content Layout – A clean look and feel and easy navigation is certainly essential, but you have to make sure the content is organized and makes sense to the reader. How your content is structured will determine if your website (and business) is a success or a failure. To hold a reader’s attention, the content has to flow, remain succinct, and contain enough points out interest for people to scan information relevant to their needs.
5) Old or Outdated Content – You launch your website. All is well. You’re done, right? Not by a long shot. Once you create a website, you have to continue to feed the beast. Updating your site with fresh content every few weeks will keep people coming back. Changes can be quick and simple – you can update a photo, replace a testimonial, jazz up a few lines of text. Anything that let’s your users know that you’re making an effort to keep your content up-to-date. And if you don’t, you run the risk of some of your information becoming stale and outdated.
6) Over-glitzing – Many times, people will aim for the flash to keep people on a web page. Sure, catchy designs are a plus, but frankly, we’d prefer informational, accessible content to glitz and theme music any day. Remember, less is more, and always keep in mind the reasons why people are visiting your website. They don’t really want a song and dance; they’re there because they require information of some sort. While some may think your site looks good, they won’t necessarily remember what your service or product is all about.
7) Going Live Without Testing – This is a big no-no in the web world. It’s like starting the baseball season without any spring training. You have to warm up. Therefore, before launching any site, it is critical to test it out first:
- Is the navigation working?
- Are your links correct?
- Are the photos/videos loading quickly enough?
- Will your readers encounter any Flash issues?
- Will your website function properly on a mobile device?
In short, make sure your car is working properly before it leaves the shop – pilot it to a few test users and have them offer feedback on what is and isn’t working. That will resolve any initial problems and help you secure a successful launch.
Call Webdugout today at (631)761-7600 for a free website evaluation. We will carefully analyze your website and provide you with valuable information.