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Top 10 Deadly Web Site Design Mistakes
You need three things to succeed on the Internet:
- A winning product or service
- A web site that sells
If you don't have a good product or service that
people want, don't waste your time on anything else. Go develop or
look for one.
Traffic is the
key. No traffic, no sales. You should spend at least 80% of
your time on promotion once your online business is up and
On the other hand, you can spend every waking moment promoting your site, but if
it's not a well designed site to begin with, you're fighting a
What should you do to develop a "good"
site then? Well, it's
probably easier to tell you what you should not do. In this article,
I'll discuss basic web site design mistakes, not sales copy writing, not
credibility building, but basic flaws in the planning and
execution of the site itself.
These top 10 web site design
your online business yet we see them everywhere on the Internet. No
wonder 95% of online businesses are not making any profits! Want to
make yours in the top 5%? By all means avoid these:
Web Site Design Mistakes #1:
You land on a site, and wait for minutes for the site to fully load.
You see pieces of graphics appearing here and there. Or worse, you
stare at a blank screen wondering what's happening. Finally, 2
minutes later, the whole page and each of the
graphics is downloaded.
My question is, are you really still there 2 minutes later?
You may have a site that provides the best content and the most
beautiful graphics in the world,
but if it takes forever to download no one will hang around long
enough to view it. The longer it takes your site
to download, the fewer visitors will ever view it.
You can see this mistake everywhere, especially at big corporate
sites made by graphic
designers from larger web site design companies that have high-speed connections to the Internet.
These designers create wonderfully complex, large graphics or
flash movies, and
naturally desire to show them off. The whole thing looks great on their high-speed system, but for a home or office with
a 56K dial-up modem - where your end users are - the graphics may take forever to download.
When visitors hit your site, they're looking for information,
services, or products. For the most part, they are not interested in
your new graphics at all. It's tempting to present a cool
stunning graphic or flash movie to your visitors. But if they can't see it within 10 seconds, you are out. Your competitors are
just a click away. There's simply no reason why any surfer is dying for
any particular web site, including yours.
You have to carefully balance between image and
download time. There is a happy medium where the site looks
the file is small enough to download fairly quickly.
As a general rule, make the total graphics and text load
for any single web page no more than 50K, preferably less. Even if
you have no choice but to make your site a big flash movie, it is
possible to start playing within 3 seconds - if your designers
know how to do it right.
Keep in mind, don't just add something because it looks
must serve an important purpose or it should be deleted.
Web Site Design Mistakes
#2: Hide Your Product Or Service Deep Inside
Have you ever been to sites where you would see
something like this: "ReallyCool company was formed in 1998. Our state-of-art
technology helps our customers achieve higher productivity and
better quality at easily affordable cost. With our one-stop solution, any business can..."
good and standard. But after reading all these nonsense, you are
still wondering what the hell the company does?
You'd be amazed at the number of sites that don't tell you
exactly right at the beginning what kind of business they're in.
You look at the home page
and maybe scan an "About Us" page, end up with a
mission statement telling you nothing useful.
Don't make your visitors search for your products
or services. Just tell them plainly right at the top of home page.
If your visitors have to figure out what products or services you
offer, the chances are, they won't.
Visitors can not care less about your company
history, board of directors, your business philosophy... What we want to know
is, what's in it for me? What can you do for me? Tell me straight,
as soon as possible, in simple
Web Site Design Mistakes
#3: Wrong Color Scheme
There is nothing more frustrating than going to a site that you
feel will be exactly what you're looking for, only to find that the
information is unreadable due to poor background and text color
For any business site, white or off-white is usually the best
background for text readability and to make graphics pop out. Keep
it simple and traditional here: black on white. Simpler
is better for both readability as well as download time.
Designers sometimes reverse colors,
using dark backgrounds with light letters. While dramatic, light
on dark is harder to read. If you do choose to stray from black on white, make sure that
there is enough contrast between your text and background colors so
that your visitors will not have trouble reading your content.
don't make your site too colorful. Choose 2 or 3 colors that match
your logo or graphics and stick to the same color scheme on every
Web Site Design Mistakes
Netscape 2.0 introduced
frames, and soon frames were the rage. Now most
careful designers avoid them in nearly all circumstances.
theory, they sound like a great tool while in practice, they are usually
confusing at the best and harmful sometimes. Yes, frames could provide a very convenient navigation
system for a site, but most of the time they don't.
tend to cut up the screen into windows that require excessive scrolling to read the text.
Frames that require ugly gray scroll-bars, look, well ...
Frames do not always print out correctly on some browsers.
Frames cannot be bookmarked easily.
The worst thing is, search engine spiders don't
like frames either.
Use frames only if you know what you are doing.
Web Site Design
Mistakes #5: Inconsistent Layout
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Article by Zac Hewlett at
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