30 Web Design Mistakes You Should Avoid
1. Blinking text and/or graphics
All that blinking is annoying, even in small doses. Yes, it does attract attention. The wrong kind of attention.
The very worst thing you can do is have music playing on your site when the visitor arrives. Many users are browsing at work and don’t want everyone to know it. Not to mention the fact that it’s just plain annoying.
3. Big blocks of text
Big blocks of text are for novels. Keep your writing brief and on point. Use bullet points and headers to bring attention to the key points of your blog post so readers can easily scan and find what they’re looking for.
4. Fancy fonts
Fancy fonts might look good to you but for most people they’re hard to read. Stick to standard fonts so everyone can read your content.
5. Links that open up new windows, tabs or pages
In the past it was recommended to set your links so they opened a new page, window or tab, but users are much more internet savvy now and they resent having all those pages open. They know how to use their back button. Let them use it.
6. Resizing the browser
Don’t set your site to non-standard resolutions with the intention of making it easier to read. Your visitors know how to change their resolutions if necessary.
7. Video/Audio files that start automatically
When you use videos or audio files, let your visitor control when he turns them on and off. Don’t have them start automatically when he hits the page.
8. Cluttered sidebars
Clean up your sidebars and get rid of irrelevant ads and banners. Nobody’s clicking on them anyway.
9. Too many ads in the content section
10. Unreadable font colors
Yeah, that bright white font looks cool on that black background – for about 10 seconds. Use a dark font on a light background so it’s easy for everyone to read.
11. Loud colors
Again, color combinations matter. Remember, you’ll have people of all ages visiting your site. If they’re “blinded by the light” they’re not going to stick around.
12. Image navigation
Using images for navigation is a great idea – unless the visitor has images turned off. Always use text links for all navigation.
13. Cross browser compatibility’
Websites appear differently in different browsers. Check your blog’s appearance at BrowserShots.org.
14. Click Here
Click Here makes for lousy anchor text. First, just go do a search and see how many Click Heres there are on the web. It does nothing for your SEO. Second, most visitors want to know what they’re going to find when they Click Here. Tell them – Read the following article for more information about XYZ Widgets and use the whole article title for your link. At the very least, use keywords for anchor text, and vary them from post to post.
15. NSFW images
Unless you’re operating a porn site always warn your readers that images ahead may be ‘Not Safe For Work’ and if they’re especially revealing, link to them so the visitor has the option of avoiding them altogether.
16. Underlined text
Don’t use underlined text. Your visitors will think it’s a link. If you want to highlight something, use italics or bold.
17. Use ALT and TITLE attributes for images
Be sure to use clear, keyword rich ALT and TITLE tags for images for visitors who are blind.
18. Pop-ups, pop-unders, and opt-in required
Get them off your site. Period.
19. Horizontal scrolling
People hate to scroll vertically so you can imagine how happy they’ll be if the have to scroll horizontally, too.
20. Spelling and Grammar errors
You want your readers to view you as a professional. If you have to, compose your blog posts in a document editor that has spell check and then copy and paste to your blog. And learn the rules of grammar usage.
21. Impossible to read captcha
If you’re using captcha software, make sure it’s readable and it works. I’ve passed up many a free offer because I couldn’t get the captcha to work. You coulda had me on your list!
22. Cutesy blog name and titles
You have approximately 2 seconds to grab the visitors’ attention and keep them on the page. If they have to stop and think about your blog title or your post titles, well… they just won’t.
23. Tiny fonts
If you want to tell your readers a secret, put it in quotation marks. But don’t use teeny-tiny fonts that nobody can read.
24. Dozens of categories
Use clear, keyword rich titles for your categories and limit the number. Your readers don’t have time to analyze 15 or more categories, trying to decide where you might have hidden a piece of information.
25. Be sure to include contact information
Your readers look for it and Google demands it. Make sure everyone can easily contact you.
26. Confusing navigation
Eliminate drop downs, get rid of that second and third row in the navigation bar and don’t scatter your categories all up and down your sidebar. Make it easy for visitors to find exactly what they’re looking for.
27. Ads inside the content
Those Adsense ads you’re tucking into the center of your content are a distraction. Yeah, they might get a click or two. But more often than not the just drive your visitors away.
28. Make clicked links a different color
Set a different font color for clicked links so your visitors can tell what they’ve already read and what they haven’t.
29. Forcing the reader to pay for information
Deliver on your titles. If the title says you have seven tips, then give your visitor all seven tips. Don’t make him sign an opt-in form or buy your ebook to get the last five.
30. PDF files for online reading
Providing PDF files is fine if it’s a takeaway product, something your reader would really want to print out and save. Otherwise, your visitors don’t really like PDFs because they don’t open the same way a web page does and they have to use different functions to control them.