The Most Common Mistakes Made in Website Design
Designing websites can be a fun, lucrative career. But in order to be the most successful website designer possible, you need to not only be aware of what the most common errors in web design are, but also know how to avoid them.
Continue reading for a short list of some of the most commonly seen mistakes made by website designers, as well as tips on how to avoid them before they cost you money and your reputation.
Flash used to be a lot more popular than it is today, even though many sites still use it. Should you be using Flash in your newly developed websites? The simple answer is: no. This is because Flash comes with a lot of problems, including long load times and the inability to be displayed on most mobile devices commonly used by people surfing the web all over the globe.
Using Too Many Effects and Animations
Like Flash, it may be tempting to include a lot of animations and special effects in your site's design, but this is actually a big mistake that many modern designers actually try to avoid. The key is finding the balance between making a website that's attractive and eye-catching as well as functional and easy to navigate. When you have too many animations and effects embedded into your website, it's more difficult to achieve this balance.
While you can certainly add an animation or an effect here and there, you should avoid overdoing it. After all, if these are getting in the way of the end user actually finding what he or she needs on your website, they'll only do more harm than good by making the person want to leave your site and go elsewhere. Instead, stick with modern design elements that are just as eye-catching but won't get in the way of the actual experience of navigating and reading the content on the site.
Including Too Many PDF Files
PDF files are only appropriate when you're using your website to distribute large documents, such as manuals. Otherwise, these should be avoided because they basically interrupt the flow of the end user. When a user comes across a site with a PDF file, he or she may become frustrated because now a new window needs to open up within Adobe Reader. Even reading the page can be a hassle because of small fonts and other design changes.
Keep as much content as possible on your website, as long as you can figure out a way to be as succinct as possible. Reserve the use of PDFs for large files and you'll ensure your website is always easy to navigate, with information that's simple to locate.
Failing to Include a Search Box
Every site, whether it's just a blog or it's the site for a large company, should have a search box that's easy to locate. In this way, users will be able to quickly find exactly what they're searching for without having to waste time going through a bunch of menus. Of course, you want to streamline your menus and make them easy to access and navigate, but this additional search box will allow users to find information that may not be easy to find.
To avoid forgetting about including a search box on your next website, simply leave aside some extra space in your design where it will fit in perfectly. This extra area in your design will remind you that something of importance should go there, and you'll remember that it was left there for the search box.
Forgetting to Change the Colour of Visited Links
It's such a simple thing, yet such an important part of effective website design: ensuring that, whenever a link is clicked on, the colour of the link changes. This makes it easy for users to track where they've been and what information they want and which information they don't need. It's simply a part of staying organised while surfing the Internet.
Failing to Test
Just as software developers use companies like Bugfinders to locate bugs and errors, you should be testing your website to ensure it's bug-free. This will ensure that your site not only looks great, but also functions optimally. Be sure you test it on various devices, from computers to smartphones and tablets.
While it may be tempting to launch your website as soon as it's complete, never fail to test it. Doing so could result in more problems in the long run, including unsatisfied customers and loss of revenue and reputation.