Friday, March 30, 2007

26 common web site mistakes




From a Google search on "common web site problems", lists of top web design mistakes at Jakob Nielsen's, and the posts of various bloggers, here are some of the more frequently encountered web site errors.

(1) Domain name that does not match company name or product area, or is subdomain of a web farm site for amateurs (e.g., Tripod, Geocities, MySpace).

(2) Insufficient contact information (e.g., absence of company land address, staff email addresses, land phone, VoIP).

(3) Faulty printing parameters (e.g., the right edge of page/text gets chopped off).

(4) No research on audience, thus poor targeting of message.

(5) Poor branding of online presence, and lack of integration with other marketing venues.

(6) Narcissistic ("we are _____, we have _____, we do _____, we're happy to _____, we provide _____, look at our _____, our staff is _____, our mission is _____, our experience is _____, we want _____, our quality is _____") orientation of site, rather than Altruistic: focusing on customer needs with "you" orientation.

(7) Unclear positioning or identity of company.

(8) Slowloading pages, usually due to large graphic files.

(9) Distractions, like automatic audio playing, animated banner ads, and blinking icons.

(10) Wallpaper or tiled backgrounds that look like old web design and make the text harder to read.

(11) Poor quality, non-optimized photos.

(12) Poor SEO (search engine optimization), usually due to frozen content, infrequent updates, shallow content, hard to parse code, absence of incoming links, and lack of keywords.

(13) Frames.

(14) Amateur, ugly, old fashioned, inappropriate design.

(15) No call to action, sales decision, contact form, article-integrated comment thread, or other type of interaction for users on site.

(16) Links with poorly worded labels (e.g., "Ping Station" instead of "Contact Us").

(17) Dated info that makes site look abandoned or very low priority.

(18) Dense body text that should be broken into shorter paragraphs, or have a Read More link to a text continuation page.

(19) Unreliable hosting of site, so it's frequently down for "maintenance" of "technical problems".

(20) Horrible colors.

(21) Link rot (e.g., links to online sources that were mis-typed, or that have changed their URLs, have been deleted, moved to another site, or are no longer public and now require a paid subscription to view).

(22) Shallow content, not enough information or entertainment to be sticky, viral, or memed.

(23) Web disconnect: no links to, or quotes from, or blogrolls of, other relevant sites.

(24) No signs of credibility (e.g., unprofessional design, typos, anonymous, questionable ads, no references to leading authorities and known experts, absence of links to reputable sites for prestige by association).

(25) No attempt to evolve the site, improve the design, give it a fresh look.

(26) Not keeping pace with customer needs for new functionalities (e.g., video, audio, contact options, price quotes, VoIP, web conferencing, reader comments, deep information for product model/brand comparisons and purchasing decisions).

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