You are going to know your business better than anyone else and only an experienced web designer will be able to mould that knowledge into a functional, user friendly, aesthetically pleasing website design. That said it doesn’t hurt to know some of the major website pitfalls that clients can sometimes “encourage” web designers to include in the finished product.
There are so many top tip blogs and articles online that it can be confusing so hopefully this series of blogs will help you understand the pitfalls of website design. This blog focuses on Text & Content. The image below is a prime example of how not to create a website.
What is this site for? – A customer that can’t work out the purpose of a website within the first couple of seconds is basically going to hit the back button quicker than you can blink. Clear content and company branding will help reduce user confusion.
Text overload!! – Users are generally multitasking so make sure the key elements and facts in your content are noticeable at a glance. Bullet points, lists, small paragraphs and minimal use of headers will help.
h1, h1, h1, h1, h1, h2, h3 – H1 headers are normally the most noticeable title on the page because they are generally formatted to be the biggest and boldest. This doesn’t mean however that you should place lots of them in your content. Not only will this make your SEO specialist cry it will also distract from your key points in your content. One h1 tag is all you need so take advantage of the other head tags (h2, h3) should you need more titles.
It looks pretty but what does it say? – Avoid fancy fonts in your content at all costs. It might look sophisticated but if you make a user work for the information they desire they will move on to easier pastures. Stick to Sans-Serif fonts like Ariel and Helvetica where possible and use italics sparingly.
Is that a line or a sentence? – If you have to reduce the text size so much that it’s difficult to read then you’re trying to insert too much content. Consider putting the same content into simpler bullet points or small paragraphs.
Why won’t this link work! – That’s because it’s not a link and it’s just content that’s been underlined. Historically underlines = hyperlinks so try to not to confuse browsers as it will only bring on frustration which is not emotion you want linked to your online customer experience.
Did you see that? There it is again!! – Flashing or blinking text may grab a browsers attention but it quite often becomes a nuisance and frustrating very quickly. It’s also very 90’s and nothing good came from the 90’s*
*might be based on a personal opinion
At the end of the day a strong website developer or designer will want to make a fantastic tailor made website for your business because it will become part of their portfolio for other clients to peruse. Trust their years of experience so you don’t end up with a website that suffers from the above text and content pitfalls.