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Top 5 Website Design Mistakes

Many consumers, myself included, expect certain things when we visit websites these days so rather than join the list of sites that people find irritating for one reason or another make sure you review our Top 5 website design mistakes and use this knowledge to your benefit.

Will these mistakes irritate or annoy everyone? Of course not, but even if the disrupt the usability of half of the visitors to your site then you are doing yourself and your business a disservice by not correcting these faults.

Top 5 Design Mistakes

  • Auto-Play Sounds – This is a huge irritation for most users; sound that plays without promoting. It is bad enough when it comes from ads, but then when it comes from the primary site as well it is just double trouble. Users want to feel in control of their environment and when noise erupts from a speaker not by choice that control is obviously not there. Many people, if they are unable to quickly toggle user controls to no sound will simply bounce from the site rather than stay and feel frustrated, especially those at work. At the very least if you must do it, have a large mute button available.
  • No Search Function and/or Bad Navigation – This is really two things but they are a similar complaint that has to do with a user finding what they want. Navigation menus should be obvious and basic so that people understand them with at least click patterns or general flow utilized to direct people visually. For sites that have a lot of information a basic search box is a necessity, not a luxury! If I get to your site expecting to find something and then am not given the tools to find it, why should I stay?
  • Readability Issues – This can stem from contrast issues or problems with font and colors. The bottom line is that if someone can’t easily read your site they won’t stick around. The contrast between text and background, text and images and even buttons and background colors need to be strong enough that people can easily define individual elements. The use of contrast, spacing and color is critical so that users aren’t confused or irritated because they are having a hard time reading words and deciding on actions.
  • Overusing Images – Images are wonderful and can bring a site to life. Incorporating excessive images or using images badly can create a problem of visibility of the design elements. Much like readability issues above, doing too much with photos can make text hard to see and also using too much text over an image can ruin the value of the image itself. Everything should have a purpose in the design and should accomplish something; not just included because it is a trendy idea and the design needs to “be more current”.
  • The Missing Link – Broken links are bad enough, and earn an honorable mention on this list, but missing links are just as bad because they strand users on pages with no thought as to how they should get back to where they might want to go. There should always be a Home On a similar note, make sure not to include too many in-text links in a design because they are often small and hard to work with on mobile devices. This too can lead to frustration during navigation when you accidently send yourself to another site you never intended to visit.

While there are plenty of other things that tick countless users off, such as spelling errors, tiny button or a lack of call-to-action, these are the top 5 website design mistakes we feel cause the most irritation; causing users frustration and possibly to leave your site never to heard from again.

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