As a web designer, you should design your websites to give your visitors the greatest amount of ease, the best impression and most important of all a most welcoming experience. Whether you have the greatest product in the whole world is irrelevant — if your website is poorly done you won’t be able to sell even one copy of it due to the visitors being driven off your website by a lousy design.
When I say “good design”, I’m not only referring to a good graphical design. A professional web design will be able to point out that there are many inner workings which contribute to a good website design — accessibility design, interface or layout design, user experience design and of course the most straightforward element, which is graphic design.
For this reason, I have highlighted some features of the worst web designs I’ve come across. With a bit of hope, you will be able to compare that against your own site as a checklist and if anything on your site fits the criteria, you should know it’s about time to take action and make some changes!
1) Background music
Unless your site promotes a band, a CD or anything related to music, I would really like to advise you to stay away from putting looping background music onto your site. It might sound pleasant or fun to you at first, but imagine if you ran a large site with hundreds of pages and every time a visitor browses to another page on your site, the background music starts playing again. Any visitor would just turn off the speakers or leave your site altogether. Furthermore, they just add to the visitor’s burden when viewing your site — users on dial up connections will have to wait longer just to view your site as it is meant to be viewed.
2) Extra large/small text size
As mentioned above, there is more to web design than just mere graphics — user accessibility is a big part of it too! You should design the text on your site to be more readable and reasonably sized in order to enable your visitors to read it without straining their eyes. No matter how good the content of your website or your sales copy is, if it’s not easy to read you won’t be selling anything!
3) Popup windows
Popup windows are so blatantly used to display advertisements that in my mind, 90% of popup windows are not worth any visitors true attention so I just instinctively close them every time each one manages to pass through my popup blocker (yes, I do have one like many users out there!) and, well, pops up on my screen. Try to imagine if you had a very important message to convey and you put it in a popup window that gets killed most of the time it appears on a visitor’s screen. Then your website will lose its function immediately!
In conclusion, try to remember that as a webmaster your job is to ensure your website does what it’s meant to do in an effective manner. Don’t let any minor mistakes prevent your site from functioning to its optimal value.
James Reid is contributing editor at WebDesignArticles.net. This article may be reproduced provided that its complete content, links and author byline are kept intact and unchanged. No additional links permitted. Hyperlinks and/or URLs must remain both human clickable and search engine spiderable.