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How Can You Avoid the Most Common Website Design Mistakes?Career Development December 18, 2015
Designing a great website is harder than it looks. Even the simplest website is still a complex and complicated machine, often built from scratch, pixel by pixel, from the ground up. Being aware of even a small number of potential hurdles can significantly ease the process. Below we reveal some potential mistakes to avoid when designing a website.
Allowing too many cooks in the kitchen
Web design by its very nature is a collaborative process. Website stakeholders and end-users as well as designers and developers, all contribute to the final outcome. Yet multiple participants offering conflicting viewpoints and pursuing differing goals can result in a website design that pleases no one.
While it is important to account for the needs of all participants, it is also imperative that the design process does not get bogged down or derailed by them.
Developing a strategy to deal with the “too many cooks” scenario is critical to a successful outcome. For example, one strategy could be to agree beforehand that while all viewpoints are welcome, differing goals and viewpoints must be resolved as they arise, before a project can continue. The participants clearly understand that no agreement does not mean disagreement, it means no progress.
It’s a natural impulse to want a website that is as feature rich as possible. Yet the most successful websites do only what is required and nothing more. Too many websites have pages that are never visited, contact forms that are never submitted, and slideshows with slides no one sees.
Over-designing can lead to a website that overwhelms visitors instead of assisting them and becomes unduly difficult and costly to build, maintain, and support. Keep it simple and only design what is absolutely necessary.
Forgetting about the end user
A website is built for end users. This seems obvious, but it is easy to forget. Forgetting about the end user during a web design project can be as simple as a website owner or designer confusing their goals with end user goals. Either way, losing sight of whether a feature or design element is being added to assist end users or please a website’s owner or designer occurs more often than you might think.
Precisely defining user groups and their goals and then cross checking all decisions against those goals can help a design team stay focused on end users.
Hyperlinks that add no value to the website and when clicked lead to “404” error pages, is a bane for any web surfer. Do periodic checks to ensure that all links on the website are functioning properly. Also include “contact the webmaster” page, such that web users can notify the site administrator in case of any errors immediately.
Poor navigation and too many font colours can prove distracting to the site visitor. If a person surfing your website is not allowed easy navigation to access the information immediately on lookout, then your website will soon lose traction owing to faulty navigation design. The navigation bar on every page of the website should guide the user to other pages.
Also failing to link your website to social networking sites can affect traffic flow. Social media presence is here to stay and businesses globally are hugely benefitting from it. These fundamentals in web site design if set right, can help grow your business and position your brand uniquely among the competition.
Image credit: umcom.org
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