Tuesday, January 11, 2011

7 Deadly Sins of Website Design

Why are there so many bad website designs today? Everyone sees them daily, and they make us all bleary eyed. It’s one thing for a 17 year old to design a headache-inducing intro for his band; it’s another thing entirely for your company's home page to look like the result of an explosion at the font factory.

Designing for different media is a challenge for graphic designers. Among other things, it requires the designer to think about the purpose of the design and how that design is being used by the reader/user. It's not okay to just make it "look pretty".  It has to achieve the desired results. 

Whether you are the designer or the designer's customer, you need to be aware of the things you should avoid when designing a website. Obvious things like spelling and grammar are a given. This short list comprises the seven most common mistakes web designers make. 
1. Don't choose text colors that do not contrast well with the background.
2. No flash. If Flash is used, it needs to be relevant to your company and easy to skip. Flash is not searchable, so your 90 second intro containing your company's value statement won't even be found.
3. Keep it short and sweet. Don't put too much on one page. Too much content on one page is overwhelming.
4. Confusing or clumsy navigation. Users should be able to see where they are and how they got there on every page of the site.
5. No music or sounds in the background. This is one of the most annoying things you can do.
6. Keep images and other content small so that the web page loads quickly. Your page should load within 4 seconds or less.
7. Be clear and concise. Have a focal point and make it easy to understand and follow. Your home page should get the point across quickly. Someone should be able to understand what your site is about in a few seconds.
Is your website guilty of any of these? Want professional help for your web site? Let Creative Characters help you plan your web site to be successful. Ring 215-923-2679 and ask for me, Brigid, or email me at brigid@creativecharacters.com. I would be delighted to speak with you.