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Ten Mistakes Made Most Often In Web Design

Mar 8, 2008
Designers can keep more of their website visitors by avoiding common mistakes. The following list describes some of the most common design errors associated with websites.

It is a mistake to put too many ads on your website. You have probably decided to use ads to make some money from your site, but do not fall into the trap of fitting in more ads than you should. And do not use ad formats that seriously intrude on a visitors experience of your site.

You should keep the use of media plug-ins to a maximum of one per page. If you are using Flash, for example, you should not have a media player. If you decide to use Java, you cannot also use Flash. You may use the same plug-in twice, however.

Web design experts strongly advise against using a Flash introduction on your website. While most people understand that these introductions are a bad idea, designers still get clients who do not know how much Flash intros are disliked and criticized.

Having unclear layouts and navigation schemes is a major mistake. Business sites, in particular, tend to use many steps to perform really simple tasks. If you are receiving many e-mails from visitors asking how to use your site, you need to make some improvements in your layout and navigation. If you find that there are specific tasks people want to do more often than others, put these on the front page of the site.

All external links those that take a user off your site should be specifically marked by making them a different color or by using a symbol of some type. You should also have external links open up in new windows so visitors do not leave your site completely when they click on them. While you might like it when links become visible only when users mouse over them, or when you keep the link colors from standing out from the rest of the text, these are a big mistakes. Visitors want to know where the links are without hunting for them. Use contrasting colors and even underline your links.

Another bad design idea is to include a link that will send an e-mail without marking it clearly to identify it as an e-mail link.

Broken links are annoying to website visitors. You should check your links on a regular basis to ensure that they still work.

Do not use strange fonts. Use Arial, Georgia, Tahoma, and Verdana. If you use obscure fonts, you will find that most visitors would not have them, and those than do will find your text difficult to read. Only use non-standard fonts in a logo or in headings and only if they are displayed as images.

Body-text that is poorly sized can ruin a website. Make sure your text is a standard size. If it is too small or too large, it is difficult to read. Try to use relative text sizing rather than pixel sizing. This allows visitors to utilize their preferred text size at your site.
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