Website Design: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

Posted by: Lisa on November 2nd, 2010
In Website Development

No matter what the purpose is for you website or the type of design, a good website always requires three key factors. Here are a few mistakes and improvements some companies have in website development and marketing, when constructing their sites.

Posting content for the sake of posting content

A number of web developers and marketers continually add content without recognizing the clutter they are adding to their web pages. If people cannot figure out the purpose or mission of your website within four seconds, you have lost the attention, patience and future potential of building customer equity/lifetime value. Some marketers fear they will miss providing information to their viewers. However, a long web site creates excess information that is not relevant to your website and results in a waste of time and money. Visit www.Arngren.net for an example.

Improvements: Before you post any content onto your website, you must determine the purpose and target audience you wish to connect with. Then you must decide whether information is relevant to your desired audience and consider submitting content that will generate ‘lock-in,’ or loyalty-building strategies to discourage customers from switching (Nowell, 2008).

Getting carried away with dynamism

Oftentimes, web developers and marketers utilize one too many flashy graphics to capture a viewer’s attention. Graphics are also used for text instead of posting written content in text format. Too many flashy graphics distract the viewer from the written content and further confuse them about the purpose about their web site. Visit http://anselme.homestead.com/AFPHAITI.html for an example of web site that overuses (to say the least!) the use of graphics.

Improvements: A minimal amount of graphics should be used to enhance and support the content, not override it. Graphics should have proper alt tags to describe the image and the size of the image should be related to the product (so as not to overload the broadband loading time with a big file).

No structural/design layout

One of the most common problems with ineffective web sites is the complexity of the navigation menu. Some websites fail to incorporate complementarities in their pages, which help to make things simpler and more efficient on the site. Common errors include the use of various navigation menus on the same site, poorly worded and confusing links and no links back to the home page (Nowell, 2008). Check out the following link as an example of a poorly designed navigation: http://www.goldenmean.info/

Improvements: An information hierarchy is essential to creating an effective and clear menu to be understood easily by different audiences. Several questions must be answered with the navigation your create: Where am I?
 Where have I been?
 Where can I go next?
 Where’s the Home Page?
 Where’s the Home Home Page? Navigation must be simple and consistent.

Sources:

Boaq, Paul. (2009). “10 Harsh Truths About Corporate Websites.” Smashing Magazine. Retrieved May 20, 2010 from http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2009/02/10/10-harsh-truths-about-corporate-websites/

Filimonov, Yuri. (2007). “When to Use Graphics on Your Website.” Web Pro News. Retrieved May 20, 2010 from http://www.webpronews.com/blogtalk/2007/05/15/when-to-use-graphics-on-your-website

McGovern, Gerry. (2004). “Are you publishing too much on your website?” New Thinking. Retrieved May 20, 2010 from http://www.gerrymcgovern.com/nt/2004/nt_2004_04_05_focus.htm

Nowell, David. (2008). “Marketing on the Web.” Nowell Enterprises.

Web Pages That Suck. (2010). “Biggest Mistakes in Web Design 1995-2015.” Flanders Enterprises. Retrieved May 20, 2010 from http://www.webpagesthatsuck.com/biggest-mistakes-in-web-design-1995-2015.html#5

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