There are many things that can go wrong on your website, but these are the issues we see on a regular basis. Take a look at this simple list to see if your website is in violation of any of these potential pitfalls (In no particular order).
#1 – Fonts Too Small
If you have to squint or put your face up to the screen to read your website, your fonts are probably too small.
Many web browsers do allow the user to enlarge the font size of any website, (Mac keyboard shortcut = cmd + “+”), but it’s not good practice to assume anyone knows this keyboard shortcut.
A safe bet is to never have fonts smaller than 16 point. You can certainly go smaller, but you risk users skipping over this content because of illegibility.
#2 – Images/Icons Don’t Make Sense with Messaging
Your images should always compliment the messaging.
If you’re a company that makes audio recording software, it’s not usually wise to show an image of a person sitting on the beach in a lawn chair. It just doesn’t make sense. Just because you like an image or icon doesn’t mean it’s wise to use.
Pay close attention to what your images are saying. They need to correlate to your look, feel and message.
#3 – Images Cut Off and Cropped Oddly
It’s easy to accidentally cut off faces, heads, products and general intended focus of your imagery if the images are set improperly.
They may look great on a standard desktop computer, but things can get really weird on large monitors or on small phones if you’re not testing and building for all possible screen sizes.
#4 – Broken Images
It’s amazing how many sites contain missing, or broken images.
Few things can destroy the general flow of a website than broken or scattered “broken image” icons throughout a site.
It is important to occasionally check your website for broken images. Nobody intends to break the image links, but it can easily happen while updating or moving website content.
#5 – Too Wordy (over explanation)
It has been proven time and time again that users rarely read through large chunks of text on websites. Since they’re usually looking for specific content, you can lose them quickly if your site isn’t concise, streamlined and easy to digest.
There is no reason you can’t have long articles, but save those for deeper content. Don’t leave long paragraphs or stories on your home or second level pages. Keep those as clean and efficient as possible.
#6 – Not Enough Detail (under explanation)
Similar to being too wordy, it can be detrimental to not have enough detail.
You see this more with ‘artsy’ or ‘experimental’ sites, where the creator is inviting the user to explore the site to discover sections and information, but unless that’s your goal, you’re guaranteed to lose a lot of users if they can’t find the information they’re looking for easily.
#7 – Too Busy. No Focus
Some websites try to cram in as much eye candy and information as possible. You’ve probably seen it before — websites over-stuffed with text, clipart, blinking and possibly a lot of bright colors. The result is usually nauseating.
One thing to keep in mind here is: NOT everything is equally important. There needs to be a hierarchy as far as visual importance, as well logical importance, and this needs to be represented in the design. You can’t stick everything on top and upfront.
#8 – Confusing or Tricky Navigation
Some websites think it’s clever to bury important links in imagery or have odd rollovers that don’t make sense. This is a great way to lose users.
The location of navigation menus have moved around over the years, but they’ve mostly found their way back to the top of the page, and this is for good reason. Users will almost always enter a website at the top of the page, so it will be the first thing they see. Sometimes, when something works, it’s best not to mess with it unless there’s a good reason.
#9 – Website Isn’t Dynamic (Fit All Screen Sizes)
If you’ve ever needed to ‘pinch and zoom’ on your phone or tablet to read text on a website, there’s a good chance that website isn’t dynamically resizing to accommodate the users viewing device.
Websites should be set up to look great on all devices, whether it’s on an old iPhone or a 27” imac and this can easily be set up by any competent web development company.
#10 – Site Relies on Flash
Flash was all the rage a decade or more ago. It was quite impressive as you could add a lot of interaction and animation into your website, but these sites relied on the user constantly downloading updated software to view or interact with the website. If you didn’t download the new version, the site wouldn’t work. You’d simply see a broken link, or a link to download the new “Shockwave Flash Player”. To make matters worse, in 2010 Apple decided to banish Flash from IOS devices because of extremely bad performance.
Even more puzzling – 9 years later, you can still find websites that rely on Flash.
#11 – No, Or Inadequate Contact Info
I constantly come across websites with bad, missing or inadequate contact info. They’re often devoid of phone numbers, emails or even the hours they’re open.
You should have everything, any viewer could ever need, including physical address, email, phone and hours on every page. The Footer is often a good spot for these items, as well as to include these things on a ‘Contact’ page. If potential customers can’t find you, they’ll most likely not use your services.
#12 – Poor Overall Design or UI/UX
The Design, UI (User Interface), & UX (User Experience) can have a massive impact on how a website is used, information is ingested and how clearly your message is understood. There are many good sites out there, and unfortunately a lot of websites that are missing their mark because of bad design or poor UI/UX planning.
This is a large category with deep implications, but you can read more about this here > (Link to my old blog discussing this).
#13 – Bad, or No Call to Action
It’s one thing to talk yourself up, but it can be disappointing to read about an amazing company, only to have no where to go from there. That is what a “CTA” is all about. Once the user reads about why they should choose you, make it easy for them to do so, by placing buttons or links like: “Learn More” or “Call Us Now!”. If you’re not already doing this, you may want to nudge the user with a good CTA.
#14 – Poor, or No SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
You can spend a lot of time and money to make your website looks amazing and works exactly how you like, but if you’re not turning up on search engines, there is a good chance that no one will ever find it.
Make sure your website is living up to its full potential by keeping your SEO up to date.
If you find your website has any of these issues, 729Solutions Studios team would be happy to review it and see how we can help!
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