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Things to Avoid in Web Design

Do you ever wonder why you are getting several hits on your website, yet getting very little or no business from that website? Well, the reason could be the functionality and appeal of the website itself.

  1. Sites That Never Change
    Have you heard the expression "Been there ... done that"? Once a user has gleaned information from your site, they won't be back, that is, unless you provide a changing arena of information. Keep your site fresh and people will constantly come back for more.
  2. Long Scrolling Pages
    Few users scroll beyond the information that is visible on the screen when a page comes up ... many don't even know they can! All content and navigational options should be on the top part of the page.
  3. Lack of Navigation Support
    Don't assume that users know as much about your site as you do. They may have difficulty finding information, so they need support in the form of a strong sense of structure and place. Start your design with a good understanding of the structure of the information space and communicate this structure explicitly to the user. Provide a site map and let users know where they are and where they can go. Also, you will need a good search feature since even the best navigation support will never be enough.
  4. Obnoxious Backgrounds
    Would you like to read a book if the text were printed on a wall of red bricks? How about a nice blue paisley surface? Yet how many sites drive people away by creating ridiculous backgrounds? Keep it simple. A white or light gray background is all that's really needed to get the job done.
  5. Moving Text, Display Marquees and Animation Effects
    Never include page elements that are always on the move. They have an overpowering effect on your users. Blinking text, GIF89a animation and marquees that display information distract users.
  6. Use of the Latest Bells and Whistles
    Technology and animation coupled with sounds and video don't attract visitors to your website ... INFORMATION is what most Web surfers are after. You may attract the curious, but most users will care about content. Using the latest filters and HTML tags discourage users. Wait on newer technology until the bulk of the Internet has had a chance to catch up. Besides, it's very possible that some of that wonderful technology will be bypassed by something else ... Remember 8-track tapes?
  7. Lost Pages
    Make sure that all web pages clearly display what website they belong to. You may not know this, but users can (and frequently do) access websites without going to the home page. Therefore, every page should have an indication of who owns it and also contain a link back to your home page.
  8. Only Hyperlinks Should Be Underlined
    In the past new links to pages are coded in blue; links to old (visited) pages are purple or red. You can use different colors and even play with the underline feature, but please be sure that it is a hyperlink. If it is not a hyperlink, never underline it.
  9. The Overuse of Frame Technology
    Splitting a page into frames can be very confusing for users since frames break the fundamental model of the web page. You cannot easily bookmark the current page and return to it (the bookmark will point to another version of the frameset), and printouts become difficult. Think long and hard before adding frames to your web presence. Besides, search engines really hate them.
  10. Lack of Search Engine Optimization
    What is the point of spending a lot of money to have a beautiful and informative website when no one seems to find you via the Internet search engines? Websites need to be designed for optimum visibility among the search engines; otherwise, your efforts will be in vain if others cannot find you. Be sure to ask your webmaster if they understand Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and how they plan to implement and support this.
  11. Lack of Compatibility with the Latest Browsers
    Remember Netscape? Well, we used to support it. Then came the Mac and then came Firefox, Google Chrome and Apple Safari. We strive to make our work as browser-compatible as possible, including our videos and website work. If you have applications that used to work but now seem to not work properly after a few years, please contact us. We will review the situation and get back to you with suggestions on how to bring your applications up-to-date.
  12. Poor Support for Mobile Devices
    Check the web pages on your mobile device. Are they legible and easy to read? With Apple devices, Adobe Flash does not work, so we can add Adobe Edge support to your website. Remember, mobile devices do not have a mouse, so the navigation should be as easy and painless as possible.