Constructing an aesthetically appealing website is not just a science in itself, but also a bit of an art as well. From the colors and shades all the way to its speed, a lot depends on the personal preferences of the site’s owners and designers. However, there are certain mistakes that should be avoided, irrespective of the design and text elements of the site. Some of them include the following:
The all-important search box
The World Wide Web, at its core, is nothing more than a vast archive of data or information. In fact, there is so much information online that for the average web surfer to find what they are looking for is not really an easy task at all. And often, they end up wasting their valuable time surfing from site to site in search for the relevant data that they need. While search engines can help guide them in the general direction, it is up to the website owner or administrator to make sure they are able to access the desired information on the site itself. This is where a search box might come in handy.
Many sites today often overlook the near critical importance of the seemingly innocuous looking search bar. If for example, it is a site for movie reviews, then a search bar may be able to guide the random searcher directly to the movie they are looking for, rather than going through page after page of views and reviews that they neither the need nor desire to look for. Without that search bar on the top of the site, they will soon lose interest and revert back to the search engine to guide them to a more well-organized site, in spite of the fact that the information they were looking for would actually have been available on the site itself.
Poor legibility or readability
The former essentially feeds of the latter. The simple rule of thumb here is that the lesser the legibility, the more difficult it would be to read the text. This holds even more true for information rather than product based and graphics heavy sites. Using heavily scripted and ‘flowery’ fonts may look really nice from an aesthetically appealing point of view, but if the same are not clearly and lucidly visible enough for easy reading, they will exhaust the eyes (as well as the patience) of the reader who will then be tempted to close the site and move on to a site with more easily digestible contents et el. Moreover, the size of the font matters as well. If it has been deliberately kept too small to basically ‘cram’ the page full of excess information, then it will be very difficult for the viewer to extract the information they want from the pages they read. Yes, information is good – but too much of it on the same page is not.
Lack of organization with regard to content layout
At its core, the main attraction of a website is its content. It is one key point that that acts as a veritable magnet for driving the right traffic towards it. But, merely having content is not all that important, because if it is not displayed properly, the search engines ‘may’ direct traffic towards it; however, the people who visit may not stay for long and thereby significantly increase the bounce rate of the site.
This is why it is all the more important to ensure that the data present on the site is structured in such a manner that the individual visiting it would not need to go anywhere else, in search of the same information. As a matter of fact, the success or alternately its failure is directly dependent on how the content is structured on any particular subject.
Most users will not start reading till they have scanned the overall site in the first few seconds of their visit. If they are able to find certain points of interest on a specific page, they are more likely to stay long enough to actually start reading content, rather than subjecting the same to a cursory perusal.
This is why it is imperative to pepper your web page (or pages, as the case may be) with lots of headings, bullet points, and subheadings so that when the visitor runs his eye over the page, his attention may snag on a particular heading and subheading for long enough to commence reading the actual text beneath the heading, thus ensuring that the main purpose of the site has been served.
Unfortunately, many web designers make the same mistake when it comes to treating their text-based content. They go right ahead and put in a big chunk of text on a page and expect the reader to sift through this humungous volume of information as best as he can. We at WebDesign499 try to make sure that any site we design has been perfected in terms of legibility and content layout so as to make sure that the user has no need to leave in search of the proverbial ‘greener pastures.’
One of the worst ways of messing up the content of a site is to refrain from updating it periodically or do it at sporadic intervals, at best. This holds even more true if the information is not only outdated but also inaccurate. Such information will end up doing a pretty effective ‘hatchet job’ off destroying your site’s credibility.
This is why all the content present on the site has to remain relevant at all time. In case of product based e-commerce outlets, any product that is not available or sold out should be removed from the site as soon as it is humanly possible to do so.
If you need to put up a temporary page while your site is being overhauled or reconstructed, then you have to make sure that the time period for such a page does not exceed a fortnight at the very most.
The above mistakes, if rectified earlier, can help ensure that your website continues to attract the kind of traffic that you really need.