Identifying Bad Web Design

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Avoid Pitfalls of Poor Design

There are as many ways to design a web page as there are ways to create a work of art.  In fact, your website IS a work of art.  While tastes may vary in styles and format, there are some pitfalls that turn people off.

Confusing Navigation

Have you ever found yourself returning to the home page simply because you feel lost, or still do not understand what a company does?  Has it ever seemed like you have scoured a website for basic information like a phone number, location, or hours of operation?  Have you ever clicked a link and tried to get back to your page and couldn’t find it?

The last thing you want to do is frustrate a potential customer before you have even started.  Design your navigation simply so your readers can focus on the information, and not how to find it.

Cluttered Space

Don’t overwhelm your reader with widgets, icons, pictures, and ads.  A cluttered website means working harder to find what you need.   In this fast paced busy culture that we live in,  people seldom stroll around the virtual world.  Even when I am “window shopping”, like you do on Pinterest or Google Image search, I scroll pretty quickly through the pictures.  You want to control the direction of eye movement seamlessly over your page, landing on focal points designed for purpose.  Think of it like putting a beautiful flower arrangement on a counter top loaded with dishes from the last meal.  With the unlimited space on the internet, there is no reason not to have a place for everything and everything in its place.  Adding a page for a calendar or a table of contents in order to clean up a side bar might give the eyes enough peace to find the main focus of your page.

Poor web design in pictures

This page has all your design pitfalls in one handy location!

Unity Begets Serenity

This is my motto for organization, and I believe it holds true in web design as well. A well organized space still looks like a hot mess if it is organized into assorted shoe boxes and cans.  Placing everything in matching baskets with clear labeling transforms the space without any reorganizing whatsoever.  This same idea can be helpful on the screen as well.  Pictures cropped to the same size and lined up neatly, matching typography and formatting, and using the same color scheme throughout your site give a feeling of continuity and …serenity.  Ahhh!

Unexplained Icons

I can’t begin to complain enough about unexplained icons–that is, icons that the author assumes you understand or thinks you can just figure out.  Icons are great.  Humans are visual creatures after all and it is a handy way to create more space.  BUT…icons have to be trained.  We know that the blue F is for Facebook because we saw it for years with the word Facebook next to it.  And some things are just “duh” like a picture of a house where you would expect to find a home link.  But what are these…

I didn’t want to offend so I found these generic “icons”.  It’s the kind of thing that makes you want to say, “at least use a tool tip or a mouse over morons!”  Always expect new visitors to your page.  Don’t sacrifice user friendly and simple design for something less just because it is cute and trendy. As we say to the children…”use your words”.

Slow Page Loads

As the curtain slooooowly rises the reader is wondering…hoping…praying that what lies beyond the blank bottom of the screen is the information he is hoping to find…..Nope.  He waited all that time for nothing!  Maybe its heeeeeeeere……watching the page appear with all the pictures missing showing only the little “x”.  One by one revealing this link and that.  See ya.  Back to Google search results.

Your website is like an interview for your customer.  Use your web design to dress your best, be on time, and make a dynamic first impression.

If this article was helpful to you, or if you would like to share an example of poor web design, leave a comment below.  Be sure to subscribe to get updates from MK webdesign by email!

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