|Easy navigation and usability are one of the most|
important aspects of creating a "user friendly" website.
However, there are still a "plethora" of web-sites out there
that are, to be politically correct, “functionally challenged.”
Does your website keep people captivated, or does it send
them fleeing as soon as they get to the first page? Do you
offend your visitors by employing these ten web design
1) Music, or any voice recording that automatically plays
when you enter a site, without the option of turning it off.
Yes, there are still website owners who think that putting
their Midi version of "Play That Funky Music Whiteboy" will
some how impress their visitors.
Always give people the option of listening to any recorded
information you have on your website. Don't automatically
assume that your visitors will be captivated by your voice,
or your music.
2) Spinning or animated GIF's of any type. Floating cursors
that follow me around while I am visiting your site. If you
want to distract me from viewing your information, then
incorporate this “flotation device” into your design
repertoire! It is like having a security camera follow
my every move!
Obnoxiously large font that takes up the whole landing
page, and web pages that do not fit in my viewing screen.
If you are not sure how your website looks on other
browsers, then use this free tool called Browsersizer: http://www.applythis.com/browsersizer/
Browsersizer helps web developers see how their web
pages look on different screen resolutions. Slow loading
web pages. Compress, or eliminate large lumbering
graphics. Your landing page should load in 10 seconds
or less. Here is a website that will analyze you load times:
Web-sites that are “Under Construction.” Don’t promote
what you don’t have. It is almost guaranteed that once I
see that logo on your site, I will not visit again to see if
your construction is finished. Web-sites that don’t not
allow me to use the “back button.”
Eliminating my ability to move out of, or through your website, has
me looking for the X button. If you want people to visit much, and
often, then make your site with the dynamic content that will
persuade people to add your site to their favorites file.
3) Any website that looks like it resembles Times Square
in New York City. Multitudes of “flashing” or “blinking” banner
ads shoved in my face as soon as I reach your landing page
will send me running.
Flashing banner ads are the equivalent of a carnival
barker trying to lure people into his sideshow! You don’t
need to shout to people to get you message heard on the
Internet. Keep you banner ad’s limited, and your content
4) Website owners that make it too hard to navigate their site.
If I have to jump through "link hoops" to get to your
information I am outta there. Make your product, price, or
service, clear, precise, and easy to find.
The "about us,”or "frequently asked questions" section
of some web-sites, leaves me with more questions than
answers. Design your content so that even elementary
school children can understand the purpose of your website.
5) Pop-Ups..Pop-Ups...Pop-Ups..I don't mind one, or even
a few. But, if I have to close multiple pop-ups to get to your
website, I will flee the scene. I have encountered some
sites that had so many pop-ups they froze my computer
screen even with blocking software.
The same applies for those "fly-in" or "hover ads" that bounce
across my computer screen. If you must incorporate a Pop-Up
in your website, then use a service such as
Instant Attention: http://www.instantattention.com/
6) A page full of dead links and "Page Not Found" error
messages. Keep your links up to date and take down the
links that are no longer active.
7) Cursing or using worn out phrases like "Kick Butt," or "Kick
Ass." (Example: “Kick Ass Copy-Writing Service,” “Kick Butt
Web Marketing”). I can't exit fast enough when I see anyone
using that phrase in website advertising copy.
It maybe an excellent marketing headline, but for me, it is
a total turn-off. Impress your visitors with intelligent, informative,
advertising copy and content.
8) AND SOMEONE-ANYONE-PLEASE! Stop the "ultra" dark
background accented with an equally dark font! I have discovered
many a website in which the background, and the text fonts are
indistinguishable from each other! It looks like your are staring
into a black hole!
Lighten things up a bit, and don’t make me turn the brightness
controls on my monitor to full! And no, I don’t want to highlight
the text so I can read the information on your website!
9) While I love Marcomedia's Flash, I think it should be
used sparingly. Unless you have a film site, or a product that
requires a detailed visual description, just forget about using
flash for e-commerce. There are still a majority of people out
there who still use those pokey dial-up modems (me being
one of them) and I "hate the wait!"
Even when I use the skip feature it still takes to long for the
page to load. While doing research for The Ultimate Guide
To Products For Resale: http://www.productsforresale.com
I noticed that some designer clothing wholesalers where using
flash to sell their product. The same applied to retail sellers of
designer shoes, designer handbags, and designer clothing.
My question is why? If you are using your site to sell a product,
just stick with high quality, fast loading photos, followed up with
good creative descriptions of each item.
If you make your site and your shopping cart system easy
to use, you will earn more sales. If you absolutely, positively,
must use Flash, then make your files as fast loading as
possible, especially if you are selling a product.
10) Solid blocks of text with no breaks between paragraphs.
The only industry that gets away with that format is newspaper,
book, and magazine publishers. The Internet is a different world
altogether. People not only want their information quick, but they
also want to read it in smaller, "bit size" portions of content.
I like to skim over articles for the main points. If I have to
"slog" through content that looks like a rambling diatribe with
no paragraph breaks, I’m gone! Make your content clear
and concise. Break up your paragraphs, and use plenty of "white
space" when possible.
So there they are. My “Top Ten” pet peeves of dysfunctional
design! Do any of them apply to you? Remember, you only
get one chance to make a good impression. There literally
billions of web sites out there, and you need to capture your
visitors attention within seconds.
Make your site neat and ready to greet! For more information
about how to make your site user friendly, go to Jakob Nielsen's
Usability Site: http://www.useit.com/ site for tips on better website
Robert C. Potter is a wholesale and retail surplus products specialist. He is the author of “The Ultimate Guide To Products For Resale!” Over 300 Wholesale & Surplus Supply Sources For Ebay Auction Sellers, E-Commerce Websites, Flea Market Vendors, and Retail Store Owners! You can find his 160 page ebook at: http://www.productsforresale.com
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