If someone offered you a dollar for every time a potential customer was turned off by some poorly designed element of a website, you’d be a millionaire within minutes! And yet websites all over the Internet refuse to learn the importance of usable web design. Part of the reason is ignorance, but a part of it is also plain stubbornness. After all, usability takes a lot of work, so why not give it a slip once you have a great-looking website?
The Web is a tricky turf where visual design is only half the battle and if you want your website to fail, then that’s the only thing you should focus on. If you don’t however, then you need to make sure your website makes the browsing experience smoother by steering clear of these egregious web design mistakes:
- Neglecting search: You’d be surprised at how often people try the search bar on their favorite websites (or spend time trying to find it), only to be disappointed. For websites that have content buried deep, a powerful and visible search bar is just indispensable.
- Contact information: Not everyone prefers to write a tiresome email or fill up forms just to get through to the team. You’ll do your customers and yourself a huge favor by including email, phone, mobile, social media, location and other contact information clearly and prominently.
- Painful registration process: Having to register on a website when you are just a step away from the final information feels like an onslaught of epilepsy – no one wants to suffer it. That’s why it’s advisable that you keep formalities to a minimum and let people have a fast and smooth browsing experience.
- Using multiple content pages: Splitting content across multiple pages makes sense on websites that are design-heavy, but for the normal text-image combinations, it only serves to irritate the readers. While some might argue that it increases page-views, in the long run, the loss of a loyal user and goodwill will prove more telling.
- Getting too creative: The Web works because people expect websites to offer consistent information intuitively. That’s where getting too creative can hurt badly, especially if your buttons look like fig leaves and the search box can’t be distinguished from a chalk stick. So be creative, but don’t confuse or convolute the design.
Usability is an extensive field of study in itself and we hope that this blog post will help guide website creators and business owners to appreciate that aspect of web design and in-turn construct their portals to be more intuitive and user-friendly.