Creating a website is not difficult but it is also not as simple as people think. There are lots of things that a web designer needs to beware and plan ahead before actually building a website. In this article, I am going to list out some common mistakes that people always make including me myself ;P
1. Show your visitors what you want to present: There are tons of website on the net and you are not the only one around, so make your site simple to read and clearly shows your audience what you want to sell.
2. Simple and clear content: Again, you are now selling your website to audience on the space, not in a bookstore, don’t throw a large blocks of text to your audience, no one interested in spending hours to read your text. Make your content simple and clear to read such as using bullet points, list format etc.
3. Do not overuse Flash: Using flash on website sometimes look cool but this also increase the loading time on your website. Visitors who don’t have enough patient may leave before your website showing in front of their faces.
4. Do not play music: Still remember in the early years while internet is in a rise, webmaster loves to incorporate music on the homepage of their websites and they think this can attract their audience. Unfortunately, this arrangement didn’t work out and make their audience stay away from their websites.
5. Let your audience choose what to play: If you have a favorite song or music that you must add to your site, let your audience decide if they want to play it by providing the option such as a “Play” button.
6. Use CSS instead of table: There are lots of benefits of using CSS over tables. It works well in browsers and mobile device as well. Although we might not recognize the difference of the speed, CSS spend less time to load up compare to table, so there are no reasons that we still stick with tables.
7. Incorporate a search function on your website: It is always good to have a search bar on your site to allow audience for quick search of something they are trying to look for.
8. Navigation: One of the MUST have item that you need to put on your sites is navigation. Use simple text navigation make your audience easy to locate where they are.
9. Do not use “intros”: Try not to have your audience reading or watching something before they can access your website. 9 out of 10 people won’t have the patient and will leave the site before the intro finish.
10. Cross-browser compatible: There are various browsers in the market and they are not created equal, and you have no idea what browsers your audience is using, the safe way is to test your site in as many browsers as possible.
11. Do not use fonts that are unreadable: Using fancy fonts can make your sites look sophisticated but they may not readable in some browsers and end up you are losing your visitors. If your main objective is to deliver messages to your audience, then you should make it simple and clear to them.
12. Do not disable the “Back” button on browser: There are several ways that we can disable some buttons on user’s browser by using simple scripts. If the reason of doing this is to keep your audience stay on your site, this is 100% wrong, period.
13. Do not use horizontal scrolling: Depends on the resolutions of user’s computers, the most common used one is 1024 x 768. So try to make your site fit in this size or the browsers will automatically enable the horizontal scrolling bar.
14. Make links visible: Always makes your links visible to the audience. Let your visitors clearly recognize what is clickable and what is not by making the links with a different color than the regular text.
15. Put contact details on your website: One of the bad approach and common mistakes that people always make is not putting contact information on their websites. Without contact details, your site will lose trust from your audience.
There are over hundreds of things that you as a web designer needs to beware when creating a user-friendly websites but we have limited time and spaces to talk about that here. So I just point out the most common mistakes that most people make and hope this give you a basic idea. Feel free to leave comments or suggestions.