A poorly designed website is a serious liability, one that no business can afford to overlook. Websites serve as the public face of a business and professional site design and attractive layout are critical for ensuring visitors form the right impressions. From avoiding the most common site-design blunders to ensuring a site utilizes the latest applications and features, learning how to create a website can ensure businesses avoid the pitfalls and missteps that could lead to bigger problems.
Failing to Implement a Search Feature
One of the biggest site-design blunders is also one of the most common. Failing to provide a search feature can quickly find visitors becoming frustrated in their search for specific information. A search box offers numerous benefits that include:
- Allowing visitors to locate specific information more quickly and easily
- An alternative means of navigation
- Minimize the risk that layout issues will create problems
Even the most spartan sites and minimalist design layouts can still benefit from the addition of a search box.
Out-of-date information and stale content are seen as a red flag by many visitors. Evergreen content and more accurate and timely information can allow businesses to maintain a more professional image. Failing to keep a site up to date can give visitors the impression that a business may be disorganized or less than professional. From dead links to blog posts that are no longer topical or relevant, ensuring that all hosted content is accurate and up to date is never a consideration that should be discounted.
Having multiple interfaces for different portions of a website is an aggravation that few visitors may be willing to put up with. Providing a single streamlined and easy to use interface for the entire site should be of paramount concern when it comes to ensuring a more functional website. Expecting users to make use of a clunky interface or to switch back and forth between multiple methods in order to make use of a website can lead to decreased visitor traffic and the loss of potential sales and revenue. When it comes to the functionality of a site, having an interface that is clean and intuitive is absolutely essential.
Lack of Support for Mobile Visitors
The growing sophistication and lower prices of tablets, smartphones and other mobile devices has proven to be a real game changer for online businesses. While mobile site optimization was less of a concern just a few short years ago, it has quickly become an issue of critical importance. Mobile friendly sites ensure that visitors are provided with a more attractive site layout, easier navigation and display resolutions that will not create problems. Expecting mobile visitors to simply make due with a desktop layout that their device may be unable to handle effectively often leads to decreased visitor traffic and poor customer retention.
Insufficient Negative Space
While the individual look and style of a site may be a matter of personal taste, layouts that are too crowded and cluttered can create problems. Failing to provide enough negative space is a common mistake that can lead to:
- Visitors struggling to identify important information
- Reduced ease of navigation
- An impression that the site or business may be less than professional
Site layout should make use of only a few different fonts and colors and provide enough negative space that important information can be more easily identified and readily digested.
Poor Navigation or Badly Designed Layout
Layouts that do not flow well and sites that are hard to navigate may find many visitors growing frustrated or leaving the site prematurely. Simplified layouts and site designs that flow more easily can be key assets when it comes to the functionality of a website. The addition of top-down navigation tabs or a list of organized content can ensure that even websites that contain high volumes of dense information can be navigated with greater ease and success. Learning how to create a website that makes navigation an easier concern is never an issue that should be left to chance.
Complicated Registration Forms
Users typically visit a website to acquire information, not to provide it. Multiple registration fields can be a real obstacle in terms of site functionality. Too many registration forms and those that need to validate multiple mandatory fields can increase visitor frustration. Streamlining the registration process, minimizing the number of forms and volume of information that users must provide can ensure that visitors are able to more easily make use of a site.
Pop-Up Windows, Auto-play Music and Disabling the Back Button
Using outdated design trends like multiple page frames and music that plays automatically is a very serious blunder. While such techniques were once used to provide visitors with a more varied and novel browsing experience, these days they are seen as a sign that businesses are out of touch with modern trends and design techniques. Pop-ups that contain key information may fail to display when users employ anad-blocking applications and disabling the back button may find users choosing to close the page prematurely. Sites that utilize such outdated features often leave users with the impression that businesses are out of touch with contemporary technology.
Creating a More Functional Website
Every business has different needs. Creating an attractive, functional and streamlined website that will provide online visitors and clientele with the best browsing experience possible is not always a clear-cut undertaking. A little experimentation or the assistance of an experience professional may be needed in order to ensure website creation and implementation can be as successful as possible. While avoiding the most common and costly pitfalls can help to ensure that a website will be an asset rather than a liability, being able to benefit from truly innovative layouts and more effective design may require still further efforts. A complete understanding of the latest digital design trends and access to a wider range of resources can ensure that any business is able to benefit from a more functional website.