10 Ways to Fail at Being A Website

There is a real art in making a truly amazing website. All the key elements such as usability, design and functionality all need to be in sync in order for a site to be truly great. There is a number of ways to be awful, let’s take a look.

1. Inconsistant/Unclear Navigation

Now you see it, now you don’t. Those websites that have no clear navigation, or it’s at the top one minute, and the next it’s jumped to left. Say what?

2. Text Overload

Here, have some information. Oh and before I forget, here’s some more… We’ve all seen it, or have we? Unless your website is an encyclopedia you don’t need to write so much, or if you do, break it up with images. People tend to ignore large slabs of text and don’t read it – defeating the purpose of having it. We all have busy lives and are unlikely to put time aside to read 1000 words about your company. There is a real art in saying more with less.

3.  Use Flash

With the birth of iPads and iPhones which don’t support flash, you’d be foolish to use it. Even if you’re anti-Apple, try using Flash on your Android or Windows phone, see how great the experience is. It’s power hungry and not required so get rid of it.

4. Rotating Banners

This is a common one, having many rotating banners on the homepage of your website. Statistics show that people rarely will pay attention to banners beyond the first one they see. Lucky for you though, you can show multiple banners, just don’t make us wait on your homepage to see them.

5. Too Much

OMG! Where do I look? INFORMATION OVERLOAD! We’ve all seen it, that site that tried to tell you so much it ended up telling you nothing.

6. No Call To Actions

So I’m here, what do I do? Help a user out and add a clear call to action that tells me what I should do on your site (e.g. contact you).

7. Too Many Colours!

Red writing on a green background – very christmasy, not readable though. You know those sites that seem like the creator found the mysterious text and background colour button and just wanted to use it for everything? I often wonder if they have the same approach to their clothing…

8. Designed to suit 640 x 480px displays

Yep, not even joking, there are still a few of these around. Back 10 years ago or so displays could only show 640 x 480px – these where those old fat monitors that now wouldn’t fit on your desk. Believe it or not some websites are still designed to only suit this display. At least it will still work in Netscape Navigator I guess.

9. Support Internet Explorer Only

Until recently Internet Explorer was the most popular browser in the world, this led to many sites being optimised only for Internet Explorer. Today Google Chrome holds this title, and given that there is no Internet Explorer for Mac, or iPhone, or Android, pretty much any device you would actually want to use – it’s not really the ideal way to go.

10. Everything “Above The Fold”

Arghhhh! This one is the worst. “The Fold” is a term used to define the bottom of the view port on your screen. The only issue is my screen is a different size to yours, so is your neighbours, and Joe from the pub’s. This ultimately ends up with the website having a lot of white space on bigger screens and being cluttered on smaller screens. Scroll wheels were invented for a reason.

Up next: Nine Scarily Accurate Technology Predictions From Way Back When…

Read More