There are design elements to avoid. When you design a website, your most important goal is to make it as easy as possible for visitors to use it while still providing a welcoming aspect that represents what your business is about. No matter how wonderful your product or service might be, your website has to present it well, or you won’t be making any sales; instead, your visitors will be clicking the back button.
When we talk about good website design, we aren’t talking only about art or graphic design. You must take into account; accessibility for the user, the layout and interface design, and of course, the graphic design. Each of these contributes to an overall well-thought-out website design.
To help you out, we’ve made a list of a few of the worst features that come up in web design. After you read this list, you can check out your own site and see how it compares; if you notice any of these features on your website, perhaps it’s time to revamp your design.
Too many sites seem to want to provide a soundtrack with looping background music. Frankly, we really only recommend it for websites that are promoting a band or other music-related products. While having a little tune playing under your site might seem fun at first, it can be a real annoyance to a website visitor trying to browse your site – every time they click over to another page, the music starts all over again. Many visitors will either turn down their volume – or worse, click away from your site. What’s more, visitors with a slow internet connection have to wait for the music to download when they visit, slowing down their ability to browse your site.
Text that’s too big or too small
Like we mentioned, there’s much more to the design than simply the graphics – user-friendliness is a big part of what makes your website work. And a part of that is the text size; text needs to be large enough to be legible but not so large that it makes it hard to read. Another thing along the same lines is the text color – make sure that there’s enough contrast between the text and the background that you can read it without straining.
Many surveys have found that popup ads or windows are among the top annoyances on the internet; most people ignore them or immediately click the back button rather than deal with them. In fact, most people have put popup “blockers” on their computer so that they rarely have to see the things. So not only are they annoying to the people who do see them, whatever message you’re using them to convey is not being seen by many people who come to your site. If that message is important, it’s most likely getting lost; you need to find a better way to get it in front of your visitors.
Remember that as a webmaster or site designer, your main concern is making sure that your site effectively conveys your message to your visitors. Take a good look at your site to ensure that your message isn’t being lost or ignored because of a relatively minor design flaw!
Dr. John P. Elcik, IV
The Pragmatic Web Designer