We all make mistakes every day, from dropping our toast butter-side down to forgetting our keys in the car. That said, when it comes to our career, mistakes can literally be suicide. Learning from others who have made mistakes will allow you to avoid them, bettering your professionalism. This article will show you some common web design errors which you should avoid at all costs.
Don’t force users to register to get to the information they require. For example, Instructables has many free how-tos on their site which are available to anyone. That said, if you want to actually download the PDF file of the information, you have to register (and, in this case, pay for the privilege.) Registration should offer a bonus, such as all the information in a single, easy to print file. It should not be required to access general content on your website, otherwise people won’t bother going to your site at all.
Normal text should never, ever, EVER have an underline! Otherwise, your reader will keep trying to click it and nothing will happen. Underlines should be reserved for links or, as infrequently as possible, headings. Colored text should also be avoided as even text without an underline may be thought to be a link. Don’t confuse your reader by offering them text they think should be a link but isn’t or they will find your site hard to navigate and move on to your competition.
The longer the page, the less likely I am to read it all. If you can, condense your content into a quick to read blurb of text. Include bullet points or lists to break it up into easily digested facts and figures. You can even create an infographic to put ten thousand words into a single picture. If you must, break up the content into multiple pages so that the reader isn’t scrolling down, down, down for what seems like an eternity.
People tend not to want to make choices when it comes to the version of your website they visit. Instead of offering them a landing page which asks them if they want the high or low bandwidth site, Flash or HTML, fast or slow loading, just figure it out for them. Create scripts which detect their platform and feed them the site which best fits their needs. For example, a desktop computer is likely to be able to handle your high bandwidth site. A mobile phone, on the other hand, needs a text-based site which is quick to load.
Now that you know what these errors are, it shouldn’t be hard for you to avoid them. We’ve also provided you with answers to how you should actually face the situation, so use that advice as often as possible. The more that you work on becoming a better web designer, the more successful you will be. Keep reading articles just like this one to learn all about what you should do and not do when it comes to great design.