Top 7 Website Design Don’ts

by Joe B on August 18, 2011

Today we are going to look at 7 major website design flaws. You’ve seen them, and they drive most of us crazy.

They are:

  1. Lack of Personality
  2. Hard to Read Text
  3. Confusing Navigation
  4. Distracting Design Elements
  5. Auto-Play Media
  6. Trying Too Hard To Be Different
  7. Click To Enter Pages

Lack of Personality. These are sites with little color and most images are stock images. Many technical sites are like this. Don’t go overboard, but do show some of your personality in your site.

Hard To Read Text. These sites have text that is too small or uses a strange font that is difficult to read. Some have background images behind the text which sometimes hides the text.

Confusing Navigation. You’ve been to these sites where navigating them is like going through a maze. And even though you finally find the information you’re looking for, the next time you visit the site you can’t remember how to get to it. Don’t make it difficult for your website visitors to find the information they are looking for.

Distracting Design Elements. Flashing text and ads, anything that distracts from your message should not be on your website.

Auto-play Media. How many times have you gone to a website and sound (music, voices, train wreck) starts blasting out of your speakers. You had been listening to your favorite band on your computer the day before and had the sound turned up. You start looking for the ‘Stop’ button and can’t find it. If you have some kind of media to be played on your site, give visitors a choice to use it. Don’t force it upon them.

Trying Hard To Be Different. Unless your website caters to a group that requires it to be different, don’t. Most websites are set up similarly the same way most books have a table of contents, chapters and pages. Hiding menu items behind unmarked objects may seem clever, but may be a hindrance for your visitors. Most people visit websites for information, not Easter egg hunts.

Click To Enter Pages. Whether it is a Flash animation or just a static image, Click-to-Enter pages are a roadblock to your website. Why make a visitor wait for 1 second or 2 minutes before entering your site to get the information she is looking for? As with Auto-play media, you are forcing your visitor to do something they didn’t choose to do. If your Flash animation is so important, give your website visitor the choice to watch it.

These are just a few of the no no’s in website design. Let us know the ones that bother you.




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