There are some fabulous businesses in our region but time and time again I see basic web design mistakes still being made – more often than not it’s not the business owners fault – as the website has been ‘designed’ by a ‘web designer’ who should know better.
Here’s my first six for starters:
1. Forgetting about the end user
Who? You know, the person looking at your site whom you hope will do a positive thing like placing a booking, or buying a product or service from you.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Is the site easy to navigate – are pages / sections easy to find
- Does each page provide an easy way to get in contact with you
- Is the page content presented in a way that is easy to read (test it on friends and relatives)
- Does each page on the site give visitors what they are looking for
2. Inconsistent formatting
Inconsistent formatting is unintentionally having different styles, fonts, sizes, colours on the same page or across your website. It’s usually caused by dodgy coding, poor attention to detail by amateur designers or just a mistake where non-technical users are having to edit their own HTML. Use a proper content management system such as WordPress to help make this a non-issue.
3. Slow speeds
So you’re proud of your new photos – that’s great, but remember that website users are not downloading the images from their local PC as you might be. Make sure your images are optimised – they should be no bigger than 100kb each maximum and overall your total page size should be no larger than 1MB.
Even with fast internet connections nobody wants to hang around waiting for your website to load – they’ll just move on.
4. Poor content
Whether you’ve invested £300 or £3,000 in your new website, make sure you’ve spent quality time writing content for each page of your site. Never ever think that last seasons text is fine – the market and your customers tastes and requirements change, and so should your copy/content. Content includes the text within the page, good quality photos and search engine keywords and descriptions. Good content informs and influences website design (or should do) so it’s critical you get it right. Get copyrighting help from a professional if you’re struggling – it’s cheaper than you might think.
5. Over-use of Flash
6. Mobile and other browser compatibility
This is a massive topic and one that will be covered in detail at a later date but in short think about this. A prospective client is in your area, they decide to stay the night and are looking for a B&B. What do they do? They get out their mobile phone and Google something like “B&B Skye”. Firstly they need to find you on the search engine (this can be tweaked using search engine optimisation techniques). Secondly and assuming they do find you – can they view your site with ease? No? At least get it fixed so that it’s visible – you could go the whole hog and make it a mobile responsive design like this website.
What’s your opinion?
Do you have any thoughts on design mistakes? Let me know in the comment box below.
Get in touch if you need help with any of the above points for your website.