Right then. No intro, straight onto the topic. The following are in no particular order.
The first thing that comes to my mind when I think of web-design not-to’s are those websites that resize the browser window to suit the site. Without their permission, that too. This is annoying. We really have to think of the user who has other sites open in tabs, and not just about how our site looks.
Don’t play an audio track if it doesn’t serve any purpose. Agreed that sometimes, a sound track helps in setting the right mood, but in most cases, users just hit the mute button. If you have a background sound track playing on your site and you haven’t given a mute option, you are a very cruel person.
No pop-up windows. No ifs and buts to this. Simply no pop-up windows. If really necessary, open the link in a new tab. But absolutely no pop-ups. Should I repeat ? I think I should. No Pop-up windows. Nada. Nyet. No.
Really, why do you have a “choose high-bandwidth version / low-bandwidth version?” I understand the logic behind it, but the question is, do you need to have it ? In those days of full-flash heavy websites (I’ve designed a lot of them, by the way), it must have made sense, but these days, where mobile & tablet browsing is common, making your site as light as possible would be a mighty good idea.
Another common thing is to look at browser market shares. You know, Internet explorer x%, firefox y%, chrome z% and such. But where I disagree with this is that the context (the type of website we’re looking at) shouldn’t be ignored. For your type of website, the general browser shares might not hold true. For example, most visits to my website are not from Internet Explorer, even though according to general usage Internet Explorer ranks the highest.
No heavy flash intros. You know the reason why you have a skip button there. Guess. Yup, that’s right. Don’t you hate it when a site loads for five long minutes just to play an intro with a skip option?
This is just my opinion, but if you need to have a seperate sitemap section, then you need to re-look at your navigation. If you think the users can’t figure out how to get to a particular section fast enough, then maybe you should re-design the navigation method rather than throwing a sitemap link in there. Drop down menus with more and more nested menus are not cool. Really.
If you have a search option in your site, then it better get some results. Nothing is more annoying than ‘no results found’. But as much as possible, avoid it. The navigation should be easy enough to avoid having to search for something.
I know consistency is a big deal, but try and not make every content page look the same. A small difference like a good image or a quote helps a lot when someone is trying to recall a particular section.
If you have a Q&A section, please, please answer the questions on time. Otherwise get rid of that section. Make it an FAQ page with a fixed set of questions. Same with a blog. Agreed it’s really easy to set up a blog, but if someone visits your blog and finds out that the last update was a year ago, it isn’t really a great thing. And moreover, everyone has a blog these days, so do not post for the sake of posting. Your company blog says a lot about you.
Use contrast to get attention to something. Remember, your logo does not need to be the biggest thing on the homepage. The users are already at your site, they know where they are. No need to shout it out loud to them again. Use empty spaces to focus on a particular area. Use good type. Do not mix 10 fonts on one page. No blinking text. No scrolling text. Do not link directly to pdf files. Most case studies are often linked directly to pdf files. Very bad thing to do. They take a long time in opening, Especially on mobile devices.No cliche images. If your own website is full of cliches, it says something about your product / service as well.
Another really important thing is, do not see screen space as real estate. In other words, there is no need to fill up every inch on screen. In fact, the more the white space, the cleaner and more pleasant your site will be to look at. Nothing is more repulsive than a cluttered home page with text, images, headings and animations everywhere. Remember that the close button is not really far away for the user.
Can’t wait to see your beautiful website. Send it to me! I wanna see! I wanna see!
meet Rajaram Rajendran
Entrepreneur, designer, digital artist, wannabe musician and a jack of all, who thinks black & white photography is very cool.
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Disclaimer: The views expressed here are that of the author and do not represent the magazine's.
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