As a web designer, your focus should always be on the end user. Providing a great user experience is key and all the flashy design features and optimisation tactics will mean nothing if you’re not giving customers what they’re looking for, and there are a few things you should avoid at all costs if you want to achieve the desired results:
Difficult browsing. OTT menus, links that don’t lead anywhere, confusing navigation and horizontal scroll bars will win you no favours. The first 10 seconds on a site are crucial and if the first impression your users are getting isn’t up to scratch they’ll soon click away, so always make sure your site is as user-friendly as possible.
Splash pages. This kind of design should really have fizzled out by the end of the last decade, but if you’re considering it then stop. Now. Splash pages offer nothing other than an “enter site” button and the only time they can be remotely beneficial is if you need to offer different language options, but with load times being long and the distinct lack of content you should generally avoid them like the plague.
Painful colour schemes. You can have a high-ranking site and a business that boasts high-end products and flawless customer service, but if you get the colour wrong you won’t get those conversions. Poor colours schemes can quite literally be headache inducing and people don’t want to squint in order to read your content, so make sure you use colour effectively (and remember the importance of white space) if you want to offer the best user experience.
Too much information. Simplicity is key—you want anyone to be able to click onto your site and know where they are and what they’re doing within a few seconds, so you’ll need to remember the importance of proper layout, white space and scannable text whilst keeping the use of images and fonts to a carefully-considered minimum.
Too many pop ups. Pop ups are annoying, but if you must use them (for example to get people to sign up to a newsletter) make sure to use them sparingly and always make it easy for users to see how to close them.
No mobile optimisation. People expect to have a great user experience no matter what device they choose, so make sure your site is mobile optimised (ideally by using responsive or adaptive techniques to ensure consistency) unless you want to drive mobile users away.
These web design no-nos should be avoided at all costs, so don’t make these mistakes and you can be confident of giving users the experience they deserve.