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The 7 Biggest Web Design Errors And How You Can Avoid Them

Joel Brown (Founder of Addicted2Success.com)

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Website-Design Errors

A web presence is a must-have for any 21st century business, but newcomers to the field can often be led astray by trying to do too much with their site.

In this guide, we’ll help you sidestep some of the common pitfalls that plague those making their first forays into website design.

 

 

7 Common Web Design Errors

 

1 – Busy pages make bad pages

Trying to cram too much on to a single page is a sure fire way of putting visitors off. Not only is this practice generally a bad idea, but it can actively impede users logging on via a mobile device (of which there are ever-growing numbers).

White space is a good thing and gives users valuable breathing space to digest content. Make sure you’re spacing out columns, graphics, text and especially links. Above all, don’t try and do too much on one page.

 

2 – Hiding your links away

Links are arguably the most important feature of your website, so don’t hide them away or obscure them. First and foremost, you want to be consistent with how you highlight links, then apply this format across your entire site.

The opposite also applies, so don’t make un-linked text look like linked text. Some easy ways to distinguish links from regular text are with colour, underlining or bolding.

 

3 – Needless navigation is a no-no

It’s hard to overstate the importance of navigation on web design. This element will impact how easy and ergonomic your site is to get around, so spend some serious time putting yourself in the shoes of a new visitor.

While arty navigation (e.g. turning the page on a virtual book) is both pretty and tempting – and was fashionable for a period – it’s remarkably unintuitive to use. When setting out navigation for your site, bear in mind the key tenet of content being easy to find with the least amount of effort.

You should apply this doctrine to every aspect of your site, from drop-down links to images and beyond.

 

4 – Where’s your call to action?

Having a brilliantly designed and easy-to-navigate site is all well and good, but if it doesn’t prompt visitors to do the thing you want (i.e. click on something, share something, sign up to something), then it’s of no use at all.

You need to make sure that you include a clear call to action in a relevant place. However, this should by no means be intrusive, nor should it annoyingly interfere with navigation.

 

5 – Search and ye shall find

If you’re running a website (and particularly an e-commerce site) there is no excuse not to include a search function. Whether you have the resources to create this yourself or outsource it to a specialist, this is a necessity in the 21st century.

Not only will this improve the functionality of your page, but it will also help to keep visitors who couldn’t immediately find what they were looking for on-site. One easy solution for newcomers to site design is Google’s Custom Search. By simply copying over the appropriate HTML code, you can incorporate a custom Google-powered search box for your users.

 

6 – Testing

Like GLaDOS from Portal, this should be your watchword. People will visit your site via a growing variety of means and it’s more important than ever to ensure an ergonomic experience for all.

Some common issues to look out for include being able to view the site in different environments, browsers and with different settings (e.g. having JavaScript disabled). There’s a vast variety of tools for such tasks available for free or at a marginal price, so there’s nothing holding you back from getting stuck in and keeping your website functioning at its peak.

 

7 – Keep your content coming and current

If you do opt to include a news, blog section or social media feed on your site – make sure to keep it up to date. If you fail to keep content relevant, it can make it appear like you’re out of businesses or are vastly behind the times.

Even if you have nothing to say yourself, it’s always possible to curate content you – and ideally your target audience – will find interesting and relevant.

 

Conclusion

Successful web design is more of an art than a science, but what doesn’t mean you can’t be empirical about the process. Look at your competitors’ sites and see what they do well – and badly – and then co-opt or discard these elements as needed.

Test the functionality of the site on those who’ve never used it and above all, have empathy. When viewing your work, try and put yourself in the shoes of a first-time visitor and alter elements accordingly.

 

This article was brought to you by Gerald Heneghan on behalf of Custard, a bespoke online PR agency, which provides a comprehensive range of tailored services.

I am the the Founder of Addicted2Success.com and I am so grateful you're here to be part of this awesome community. I love connecting with people who have a passion for Entrepreneurship, Self Development & Achieving Success. I started this website with the intention of educating and inspiring likeminded people to always strive for success no matter what their circumstances.I'm proud to say through my podcast and through this website we have impacted over 200 million lives in the last 10 years.

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9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. Avatar

    ravi janardhan

    Jul 25, 2013 at 4:45 pm

    Good one! Website design is an art, at the same time, it should be intuitive with seamless navigation. Also as someone already suggested, it should be at least SEO optimized, to meet its objectives.

  2. Avatar

    Website Designer

    May 28, 2013 at 2:17 pm

    Great article and well written. Good tips everyone should know of!

  3. Avatar

    EZRAH TREVOR RWAKINANGA

    Feb 28, 2013 at 8:27 am

    This is very informative but if you so wish, you can advise me on my website.
    http://www.greenempowermentforafrica.org

    Thank you.

  4. Avatar

    Brian Schur

    Feb 11, 2013 at 10:20 am

    All relevant, but without generating quality traffic through good SEO practices then even the best website in the word will not generate revenue. Customer acquisition must come into the web design process to help the website generate the correct traffic – then all of the above should be considered best practice.

  5. Avatar

    Emma Jones

    Feb 11, 2013 at 6:54 am

    thanks for explaining with such a detail, as i am in web designing field. highlighted the most common error which which a common designer come across with.

    Emma

  6. Avatar

    Kola

    Feb 6, 2013 at 3:43 am

    awesome tips! i think my favorite is number 1. there’s nothing more attractive than a clean, well thought out page layout in web design!

  7. Avatar

    feumar

    Feb 5, 2013 at 6:32 pm

    The biggest mistake is to provide lots of animation, movement, flashes or anything else that will distract visitors while reading content.

    Another big mistake — yes, i know it’s trendy (just like slide-shows) –is to fix the width of the page. No! That’s not what the web was designed for.

    Sadly, this page breaks those two rules — and some of your own.

  8. Avatar

    Mike

    Feb 5, 2013 at 5:36 pm

    These are great tips for anyone about to dive into the web design world. The key is to keep usability at the top of the list!

  9. Avatar

    website pro

    Feb 4, 2013 at 5:51 am

    Nice, agree with that all 100% also sitemaps with every link and categories can help!

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Success Advice

5 Things You Can Learn From The 5am Club by Robin Sharma

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It has been said by Robin Sharma, “5 AM is the time of least distraction, highest human glory, and greatest peace.” This also happens to be the central idea or the core value he has discussed in his book, ‘The 5 Am Club.’ Speaking of early mornings, at what time do you wake up? Are you annoyed by the fact that you wake up on the edge of time and then rush to work in haste? 

The life lessons put forth by The 5 AM Club are exactly the learning and motivation you need to challenge your complacency. In your race against time, you may not have the time to read this fabulous book. So, we have summed up the key book’s takeaways for your convenience.

1. The vigor of waking up early

This is what the book’s most fundamental advice to everyone is. Waking up at 5 am every day can work wonders to avert failures and make success a natural habit. When we wake up at 5 am, we have more time on our hands than others. Besides, this is when we have minimum interruptions and maximum powerfulness of the mind. 

To add, the early morning peace is priceless! You can schedule your most important tasks of the day between 5am, and 8am. This book teaches us in the simplest way, how we can train our mind and strengthen it to deliver the highest productivity by waking up early. This energy that you have when you wake up in the morning and the few additional hours in your day are what serve as perfect ingredients for success.

“The secret to productivity is simplicity.” – Robin Sharma

2. The power of finding the right balance in life

The book talks about a precious lesson of finding the right balance within. We often talk about the need for mindfulness and achieving the right mindset to perceive things. But this book goes a few steps ahead of our usual approach to life. It highlights the vitality of mindset and introduces the concepts of heartset, healthset, and soulset.

These terms may seem new, but they are self-explanatory. The idea of heartset endorses the essentialness of emotional stability and well-being. Next, the perspective of healthset indicates the need to look after physical health. At last, soulset is an attribute of spirituality. As explained in this book, success prospects can be enhanced big time by achieving the right balance between these internal virtues.

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In the first 20 minutes of the day, you should prioritize your physical fitness and exercise. In the next 20 minutes, you should energize your soul and spirit via self-reflection and soulful meditation. This will prepare you for the rest of the day and will enable you to bolster your commitment and focus. In the last 20 minutes of the first hour, you should read and learn. But what are you going to read about in those 20 minutes? Read about successful people and their inspiring journeys to the pinnacle of success.

4. The significance of a proper sleep schedule

In this book, there is a mention of ‘a ferocious global sleep recession’, which is intriguing and enlightening. It hints at the state of sleep deprivation that this world is sinking into gradually. We often associate success and hard work with the notion of staying up all night and testing our endurance beyond limits. But that is not the right approach to accomplishing success, or rather, it is a flawed methodology.

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“If you want to have the results only 5% have, you must be willing to do and think like only 5% do and think.” – Robin Sharma

5. The art of evolving

The book sheds light on the need to be spiritual and master self-reflection. However, do you realize the purpose that the routine of reflection each morning serves? The idea is to keep learning, keep reflecting on the mistakes and keep evolution an ongoing process. You should evolve every day and strive to be a better version of yourself every day. So, one of your primary goals after waking up should be to reflect on your actions and missed opportunities of the previous day.

To recapitulate, The 5 AM Club is a must-read book if you are a passionate reader. It has the prowess and charm to refurbish your perception of life altogether. Even if you cannot read the book for some reason, make sure you incorporate the above key takeaways into your life. By starting your day at 5 am, you can rediscover your lost soul and enthusiasm, and you would not have complaints to make about the lack of time. If you can own your mornings, you can go places on the ladder of success, for excuses are only for those who are not committed to their goals.

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