Following on from our list of web design dos, here are a few basic don’ts that you need to bear in mind during any design project:
DON’T forget your target audience. It’s easy to forget who your audience is sometimes, particularly with a lot of different opinions floating around, but it’s important to remember who you’re actually creating the site for. It isn’t to suit the preferences of your project leader, the graphics guy or even the CEO—your target audience always comes first and it’s these people you need to cater to, so make sure you know as much as you can about your potential customers before designing a site they can relate to.
DON’T use jargon. In essence this is a similar point to the above—your target audience won’t necessarily know who you are or what you’re all about, so don’t bombard them with jargon, clichés or technical terms. You need to tell visitors exactly what you do in simple language, ensuring they don’t get put off by your OTT phrasing but instead take a closer look at what you’re offering.
DON’T stick to stale, static content. Content is everything these days, particularly in light of Google’s algorithm changes, and that means you need to be providing fresh, relevant and information-packed content on a regular basis. Not only is this keeping Google happy (and therefore boosting your SERP potential) but it keeps customers happy too, so make sure to incorporate a blog or news section in any website you produce.
DON’T use Flash. You’d have thought that companies would have got the message by now, yet some still insist on using Flash to design their website. This is a big mistake. Flash can have a major impact on your overall sales potential as it won’t work on mobile devices (and when you consider how much traffic comes from such devices this alone makes it a reason to give it a miss) and its content won’t get crawled by search engines either, making it difficult to optimise and ultimately meaning you won’t get the visibility or sales you’re looking for. The solution? Stick to Java.
These are just a few basics you need to keep in mind whenever you’re embarking on a new web design project, and once you’ve got the foundations right everything could fall into place for a design that works on every level.