Since the advent of web design, as a professional that is, there has been a long list of common mistakes, made by those designers. Over the years, those mistakes have evolved, and changed, so that today, the types of mistakes designers make can be considered significantly different, at least in some respects.
However, the real reality is that the main concerns of web design, are still somewhat relatable. Web design has grown quite a bit.
Below are the 5 biggest mistakes that a lot of web designers make:
1. Using Frames
When you split a page up into several frames, it can and typically does create confusion for the site visitor. This is because it breaks the fundamental user model for websites in general. Fundamentals like, the inability to bookmark the page, so that you can return to it at a later date, URLs not working as they should, and printouts being all but impossible. This is further compounded by the inability to determine what the visitor may do while on the page. Who even knows if all the links work as they should, whether they direct the visitor in the correct direction!
2. Odd Content Locations
If people can’t find it, then they can’t read it. Many sites feature poor category names that don’t accurately or adequately describe the content that is contained within it. Other sites are arranged in a manner that best suits the company, rather than the site viewer. When a website is structured in an unconventional manner, it makes things difficult for the visitor, as he/she is unable to predict where things will or should be, of what is standard across the hundred other sites they were on, before arriving on yours.
Your best option is to seek feedback from site viewers. Whether it’s through conducting tests, feedback forms or friends and family. You want people to look at your site, and give you actionable feedback, so that you can minimise the kinds of things that put viewers off.
3. Islands of Information
Some websites like to sprinkle content all across their site. Offering pieces of content, here and there, that have little to no connection to one another.
When visitors encountered a website like that, with disjointed content, they have little reason to assume that other areas of the site may expand on anything they’ve read anywhere else on the site. Thus, if people are looking for additional information on a topic you’ve already expanded on, they’d more than likely leave your website and visit a competitors.
Users who attempt to find the same information on your site, may end up in a different location, with similar but different information. Panting a completely different perspective on the same information. Those who are able to find the same information, are stuck, trying to join all the other pieces of information together. Either way, their perception of your website is none too pleasing, as you’d expect.
For the organisation, this can be viewed as both a content management issue and as a failure on the user experience level of the website. If you have information contradicting itself all across the site, then you’ll lose your viewers.
The most effective way of arranging your content is by putting links on your pages to related information. An even better solution would be to consolidate all the information across your website, putting related information together, and choosing the appropriate location for all of it. This way, you can minimising the replication of similar data, and you can better structure everything. One area, containing information on one topic, and so on, and so forth.
4. Orphan Pages
You always want to ensure that all the pages on your site, clearly identify themselves. That means, they provide a clear indication of which website they are on, because users can access some of these pages, and typically will, without coming through the front page. For this reason, you’ll want to ensure that every page is linked to the home page, as well as some indication of its location on the website (this is called breadcrumbs).
5. Non-Standard Link Colours
The standard is, links to pages that have not been clicked on, by the visitor are blue, links to pages that have already been clicked on, are either red or sometimes purple. This is one area that you do not want to mess with. This is because the ability to determine which links an end user has clicked on, and which they haven’t is a standard across all websites and browsers. Using a different colour format can in some instances hide the links, as the visitor is unaware that the link is even clickable.