You’ve invested substantial time and money to make your website as attractive and informative as possible – hoping that your website draws potential customers in. But once they are there, does your website make them comfortable? If potential customers have an enjoyable user experience, they will stay longer, view more pages, place more orders and keep coming back.
Look at your website again from your visitors’ point of view. Is it easy for them to read your content, or is it a test of concentration? Does it offer them optimum user experience and comfort?
Here are 10 pitfalls to avoid while designing your website, to ensure you don’t drive away potential customers!
- Use of animated GIF and Flash – They can be irritating. Particularly, if your main banner has animated images that change rapidly, viewers may want to leave without waiting to read what your site is about. Even if they want to stay and read on, animations, GIF and Flash make it difficult to concentrate.
- Scrolling or moving text – Having text that blinks, flashes, moves or scrolls is extremely distracting. It takes attention away from your content, which is what visitors are at your site for.
- Careless use of fonts – Avoid bold, heavy and curvy fonts. It is very important that your text is easy to read and doesn’t hurt people’s eyes. One way to ensure this is to choose the font and its size wisely. Fonts like Arial, Verdana, Calibri, Tahoma, Trebuchet work well on websites and point size 12 – 16 is considered standard for paragraph text, depending on the font used. This is important as most computers are come equipped with these fonts. If you use a font that is uncommon, most computers will replace it with some other font, thereby upsetting the layout of the page.
- Flashy and Clashing Colours – The website colours should be selected thoughtfully. Stay away from flashy colours as it hampers reading. It is best to use your company logo’s family colours only. The colour of the font matters too – dark text on a dark background, or light text on a light background would be impossible to read comfortably. Black or dark grey text on white always works. Limit the number of fonts and colours to three, no more. Parts of text highlighted in different colours are a strict no-no, unless it’s a link for ‘read more’ or a ‘call to action’.
- Cluttered pages – Does your website have everything but the viewer’s attention? Is there an information overload? Remember, a cluttered page with no room to figure out what is important is confusing and it is very likely that the viewer will leave! A clean website with plenty of white spaces helps the viewer to focus on your message.
- Popup windows – These are extremely annoying and one of the worst things a website can have.
- Audio or video that the viewer cannot control – With laptops and notebooks, people could be viewing your website just about anywhere – a library for example. Imagine their horror and embarrassment if your website opens with loud music or a welcome speech which they are unable to switch off! The only way out would be to leave your site as fast as possible.
- Slow loading images – Most viewers do not have the time nor the patience to wait. A page should load in 20 seconds or less. Any longer than that and you’ll lose more than half of your visitors.
- Incorrect spellings and grammar –Typos, incorrect grammar and punctuation, or wrong spellings are unforgivable on a website. They leave a bad impression and tend to prejudice the viewer about your product. Your website should be carefully proofread before making it live.
- Links that don’t work – Everything on your website should work as expected, including hyperlinks, contact forms, site search, and so on. Links that do not work can be frustrating and may disillusion the viewer. Intuitive navigation makes for a pleasant website browsing experience.
How many of these does your website have? Isn’t it time you made your website more comfortable for your visitors? Not sure? Request for a free review and we will tell you if it’s time for a redesign.
Sadhana Karnad is a research writer at Abhiyan, where she develops engaging content that builds thought leadership and revenue opportunities for clients. A website critic, she reviews Internet properties in terms of design and content. Reach Sadhana via LinkedIn.
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