For years website design has been a tricky business. Everyone knows that the best way to come up with a good website design is through careful planning, a good foresight of what the website is going to be, and using web design tools and techniques. This has always been the best practice and is taught from one website designer to another. In fact, most website designers have easy access to the best web design tools today, all thanks to modern technology.
However, there will always be mistakes. Nobody is perfect. There will always be a time when you have to determine what makes a website designer better than mediocre. Sure, a few mistakes may not be so bad, since it’s a part of growing up from a newbie into a professional website designer. The problem starts when these mistakes keep happening over and over again until you develop a habit of ignoring mistakes and overlook them all together.
The results of this mentality is that you won’t have a stable client. Remember that there are a lot of promising website designers out there. Your client would be more than happy to replace you if you don’t work out well!
The Problem with too many Mistakes
According to Jakob Nielsen, most website designers make a lot of common errors that they have already made a habit of ignoring minor mistakes. Among the common excuses include time pressure, especially if the website needs to be finished by a strict deadline. This is never a good work ethic for most web designers as it only shows that you don’t have any attention to detail.
What can these errors do to your website? Well, asides from not getting enough traffic flowing into your brand new website, you could also have problems with Google. Websites that tend to be too spammy are penalized by Google, making traffic income slower or nearly impossible. A lot of website owners had to build new websites from scratch because of the recent Google Penguin and Panda updates. In any case, while the errors placed here may seem innocent enough, it’s still no excuse for a poorly made website.
In any case, these common mistakes are really easy to overcome. Some of these common web design errors are:
- Visited Links Do Not Change Color – Website navigation is very important for the common Internet surfer, so if they have no idea which part of a website or blog they are in, they’d feel really frustrated. Good website designers make sure that the link colors change when a person clicks on them, giving the Internet surfer a heads up as to where exactly they are inside a website. I listed this as the first one because I’ve seen too many websites that do not follow this simple procedure.
- The Giant Wall of Text – How would you feel while looking at a wall of text on your crystal-clear 21 inch LCD screen? You’d probably start squirming in pure agony. This is another common error that website designers and website owners do. Thinking that “content is king”, designers keep filling the website with loads of texts that make your site painful to look at.
- New Browsers, Anyone? - If I am going to open a website and it keeps on opening a new browser for another website, forget it! This is possibly the worst thing that could happen to anyone browsing a website in the Internet. Website designers believe that by opening new browser windows, this keeps visitors within their website. This kind of error should have disappeared already, since new browsers today let people keep their websites within tabs.
- Not Answering Questions – A lot of website designers tend to create websites that bury all the information needed within a big sea of marketing advertisements and banners. Instead of providing answers, you are merely wasting the web visitor’s time. The next time you design a website, just give all the information directly!
- Bad Search Syndrome – This is actually a term I coined after reading one of Jakob Nielsen’s articles. There are some websites that aren’t “search engine friendly” because the website can’t handle typos, hyphens, and plurals. This means that when a certain phrase of words are typed in a search engine, the site will not appear in a search engine because the words are misspelled. This is not a good web design, especially to older folks who tend to misspell keywords because of bad eyesight.
- PDF readers – People avoid websites that make you read through an online PDF reader. The same goes for sites that make you download PDF files. Sure, PDF looks good but in reality, PDF files are not user friendly. Goodbye smooth scrolling and standard browser commands. Say hello to tiny fonts and headache-inducing PDF navigation features!
- Tons and Tons of Banners – A website that is full of advertising banners is annoying, let me tell you that. Too much advertising is most likely to ruin your website’s reputation since people will avoid it at all costs. Keep advertising banners to a minimum only; it will make your website more customer friendly.
Common Answers for Common Mistakes
Now that you know what these common mistakes are, you should know already that the key to a great website design comes with being attentive to every detail within the website. Just remember these common errors to help ensure that you won’t make these mistakes ever again.