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Let’s say that you have information of better quality on your website than your competition, but visitors still prefer their sites over yours. How can this be? Just check these 10 mishaps of web design.

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Let’s say that you have information of better quality on your website than your competition, but visitors still prefer their sites over yours.

How can this be? Well, to put it simply you are probably not making the design of the site work in your favor.

In fact, you are chasing them away with what you – and most webmasters out there – think are minor, barely noticeable elements. While they are not huge web design mistakes, they do have a negative impact on the user experience.

Because I come across such mistakes on a daily basis, I decided to make a top 10 of the easily identifiable web design mishaps.


1. Poor Keyword Optimization

We all know that search engines prioritize results based on the number of searches performed by the users and not that much on the importance and relevance of the site content.

Poor Keyword Optimization

(Photo Credits: Oh.tinkerer)

Consequentially, if you haven’t optimized your site to handle hyphens, typos, plurals and other variations, you are practically limiting the chances of your website to appear in the search results.

While you can argue that advanced searches can do the trick, I urge you to ask yourself how many people are actually going through all that trouble.

It’s essentially making the wrong assumption that users are particularly interested in you and your site and not the things they are searching for.


2. Coming Across PDF Downloadable Files

PDF files are a sure way of fragmenting navigation and hinder smooth scrolling on your website.

PDF Downloadable Files

(Photo Credits: umpcportal.com)

Sure, they are excellent for the printing and distributing brochures, big documents and manuals.

But to be honest, they have the opposite effect for online reading because they very rarely match the display of the browsers.


3. Visited Links Do Not Change Color

Users want intuitive and easy navigation in the sense that they require to know their past and present location on your site and the best way to achieve that is with links.

PDF Downloadable Files

(Photo Credits: Sean MacEntee)

However, providing quick links is just not going to cut it if you don’t make sure their colors changes visibly after visiting.

Essentially, this feature helps your visitors find the useful and fruitless links and guarantees a faster and effortless navigation.


4. Walls Of Text

Because interactivity is everything in today’s web design, you can easily understand why large chunks of text are painful to read, intimidating and especially boring.

Walls Of Text

(Photo Credits: Arenamontanus)

Instead of providing your users with a wall of text, you can try any of the following tricks:

  • Short paragraphs
  • Highlighted keywords
  • Bullet lists
  • Subheadings

5. Not Allowing Users To Resize The Text

In their efforts to ensure a universal display on all devices, many webmasters appeal to the CSS style sheets, mainly because they can disable the option that permits changing the font size.

Not Allowing Users To Resize The Text

(Photo Credits: Hobo!)

This is by far the worst approach, as the fixed size is usually very tiny and hard to read.

In case you want to reach a broader audience, then create mobile and desktop versions of the site and specify the font sizes in relative terms.


6. Using Inappropriate Page Titles With Low Visibility For Search Engines

The page titles the elements that determine users to click on your site and help your current customers locate the pages they are interested in.

Given the fact that search engines will usually show approximately 60 characters of the title, I strongly suggest optimizing it for a higher search engine visibility.


7. Incorporating Ad-like Style Design

As users ignore ads when they are looking for something on the internet, rest assured they will also disregard anything that vaguely resembles advertisement.

In addition to staying clear from ad-like design, you can also try:

  • Pop-up purges
  • Banner blindness
  • Animation avoidance

8. The Website’s Design Is Not Consistent

Generally speaking, users don’t like surprises as it gives them the impression they have no control and are being manipulated.

The simplest way to avoid leaving this impression is by working on a consistent design, where the visitor’s expectations are met. Deviations are not really tolerated and this is why you need to include the elements commonly used on most other sites.


9. Links That Open In New Windows

There is nothing more annoying than trying to get back on the page you were reading only to notice that the back button of the browser is not active. Don’t do that, it is a user-hostile action.


10. Not Providing The Information Users Are Looking For

Avoid burying the specific information under ads, brand slogans and walls of text and tell them exactly what they want: how it can help, where they can find it, how much it costs, etc.


About the Author:

Hi! My name is Jess and one of my passions is the field of graphic and web design. If you want to find out more about website design in Vancouver, I would love to hear from you!

 

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  • http://macostudios.com/ viridislament

    Overall a very good article, however I have to disagree with one small section of it
     
    “search engines prioritize results based on the number of searches performed by the users and not that much on the importance and relevance of the site content.”
     
    It has been my experience, through years of practice and extensive testing, the COMBINATION of keywords and content is what will bump up your page rank, especially with the king of engines, Google