6 Common Web Design Fails You Can Easily Avoid

by Laura Peragallo October 25th, 2011 

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A website works for you 24/7. Be certain you take advantage of the access your site can provide and make the most of your online presence by avoiding these typical pitfalls.

1. Make Your Customer Hunt Around For A “Buy” Button

When a potential customer wants to buy a product or service on your website, make that process simple.

If the e-commerce feature of your site isn’t easy to use and clear, your customer may go elsewhere.

2. Your Contact Information Isn’t Prominent

Your business phone and email should be highly visible throughout your site. Have different ways for customers to get in touch with you in case they have questions.

Don’t be afraid of providing an email address. I know some may have privacy concerns, but can a business really afford not to have one of the easiest ways for someone to contact them?

3. Have Music Or A Video That Automatically Starts After A Page Loads

Here’s a little known secret, people search the web while at work or other public places where music suddenly blaring out of their computer is frowned upon.

Let the visitor have control over sound and video, it’s just respectful.

4. Visitor Counters

A popular and cool feature back in 1995. One of the things that dates a site, in my opinion.

To succeed in the competitive online market, just knowing how many visitors have viewed your site is not enough. There are free tools available that integrate with your site and give you much more information about your visitor such as what pages they are viewing and how long they are staying.

5. Your Content Lacks Content

Your content is has to be relevant to your business.

Show your personality, be unique, but save the how I met my wife stories for the family.

Don’t bore your customer with excessively long paragraphs.

Share your information in a manner that is concise and easy to read. And don’t over use bold text, use it for important ideas only.

6. Missing Or Broken Links

This is also a usability issue as well as a design issue.

Links that don’t work or lead to the wrong place, frustrate your visitor and they will leave.

Always test every link to make certain that it functions as it should.

Laura Peragallo

I take design very seriously, sometimes dreaming in HTML. The rest of life...not so much. See more of my design-related thoughts at http://www.lpdesignhelp.com.

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9 Responses to “6 Common Web Design Fails You Can Easily Avoid”

  1. "Content Lacks Content" – good point. I notice excessive use of bold text on multiple websites, which is really bad.

    Thanks for the article!

    • Thank you for your comment Obaidul. I tend to want to click on bold text, thinking that it's a link. If you try to put emphasis on too many elements, as you said to excess, you wind up with a muddle. It should be used only for key ideas.

  2. what if the design of the site is not very beautiful?
    does this thing counts?

    • Thanks for your comment Stiri. I very much believe that the look of a site is very important. I base my career on that belief in fact. Even though good design is a major part of making a site successful, these other issues will effect a user's experience of a less than beautiful site as well. I can put with up with a sloppy site if I can still do what I came there to do. If the site assaults my senses and frustrates me because of broken links or blaring music, I will not stick around.

  3. Tory McBroom says:

    Nothing makes me leave a sales page faster than an auto playing video that has no controls like pause or play and doesn't display total length ( I like to know how long I'm going to be watching). I hear, though never tested myself, that these videos are high converting, but I find them annoying. Anyways, good tips here Laura!

    • Thank you, Troy, for your comment.

      A user does want to know how long they might be watching a video, I know I do! Knowing the length helps me decide if I have time to watch the video in its entirety at that moment or if I'll save it for another time. Great point!

  4. Jody says:

    I so hear you about the music. I will promptly leave if music comes on. No and's if's or but's.

    Another important point is that the content needs to be in well written English. Poor grammar or spelling is another reason to leave in a rush.

    • I'm glad to hear that you agree about the annoying music, Jody.

      You make a great point about making sure that content should be well-written. Spell-check is built-in most programs for a reason! If the owner of the site doesn't care enough to be certain that the content is grammatically correct, it speaks volumes to how much they care about their business.

      Thanks for your comments.

  5. Mike says:

    I'll totally admit it. My sites are ugly Adsense sites lol… But they do have good content and that is what most of them are looking for.

    With regards to video and music, I landed on 1 site the other day and this lady just walked out into the webpage and started talking to me. It wasn't a video. She just wanked out into the website, like a hologram or something.

    I've never seen anything like this before. It was cool (if not a little weird).