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How to Avoid the 12 Common Web Design Mistakes

By Herman Drost
Posted Friday, June 25, 2004

Are people visiting your web site but not buying? This may be a
sign and the time to do some redesign of your web site. Often
you are so close to what you have created, that you can’t see
obvious design mistakes. I often do the same when writing an
article – everything looks fine when I have finished, yet when I
review it the next day and I’m amazed at how many mistakes I
have made.

Let’s look at some of the most common Web Design mistakes:

1.Sloppy Web Site Copy – your heading and first paragraph should
clearly indicate the purpose of your web site. “Content is King”
on the Net, so make sure there is plenty of focused information
for your visitors. The content should draw the visitor through
the site to take action in the end. Include contact information
on every page in case people have questions.

2.Bad Color Coordination – avoid using dark text on a dark
background. Use dark text on a light background, such as black
on white. Use colors that blend well together – observe nature
or look at paintings to get some idea of good color

3.Pages Load Too Slowly – using too many images or inserting
large images on a web page, slow down the loading time of your
web page. Optimize your images (reduce their size) before you
insert them on your site, otherwise your visitors will leave
before your site is loaded.

4.Poor Navigation – this means visitors can’t easily find the
information. They experience broken links, error pages or
discover too many moving objects (animations, flash, scrolling
text, marquees) – all these will annoy the visitor and cause him
to click elsewhere. Keep your navigation simple by creating
clear links on all web pages.

5.Orphan Pages – these are pages other than your homepage, where
the visitor has no idea how it fits in with the overall
structure of your web site. You should always have a link to the
homepage, so visitors know where they are on your web site.

6.Long Scrolling – the visitor has to scroll horizontally, or
many pages vertically to view the whole web page. Create the
width of your web page to fit on one screen, to avoid horizontal
scrolling and have a maximum of 3 pages to be scrolled

7.Meta Tags Missing – without optimizing your web page with a
description or keywords, people can’t find you on the search
engines. Research key words or phrases relevant to your site
content. Include them in your title, description and Web Site

8.Lack of Marketing Strategy – a beautiful lawn without sun or
water will soon die. A Web Site without visitors will soon die
also. They are the life blood for your website. Create numerous
marketing strategies to attract visitors to your web site – you
never know which one will be the most effective.

9.Poor Layout and Design – create an aesthetically pleasing
design to keep the visitors on your site. Create enough white
space between your text and images by using margins. Don’t
overlap text and images and avoid capitalizing all text – it
gives the impression you are shouting at your visitors. Use
font type such as Arial or Verdana to make it easier to read on
your computer screen.

10.Avoid Using Frames – frames don’t allow you to bookmark the
page or return to it and sometimes the URLS stop working.

11.No Cross Browser Compatibility – you may be losing many
customers if your Web Site is not compatible to the browsers
most people are using. Internet Explorer (IE 4, 5, 6) is
currently the dominant browser, and most users are displaying
800x600 pixels or more, with a color depth of at least 65K
colors. ( .
Therefore check your design with these statistics in mind.

12.Outdated Information – your web site is like a garden. If you
allow weeds to block out the sun and take over your garden, it
will be destroyed. Attracting and keeping web site visitors,
means continually adding new information (i.e. latest news),
deleting irrelevant, outdated information and removing broken

Continuous maintenance of your web site is crucial to
attracting and retaining visitors. If you don’t have time to do
it yourself, hire a Web Gardener (Web Designer), to keep your
site looking fresh, clean and fast loading.

About the Author
Herman Drost is a Certified Web Site Designer, owner and author
Site Design and Low Cost Hosting

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