Biggest web design mistakes I see

The two biggest web design mistakes I see are based around most websites being developed by graphic designers. Follow these two tips to make your website work much more effectively.

1. One of the biggest web design mistakes is users don’t read long winded text.

Perhaps the biggest web design mistake I see is text that is not written for the web. Your text needs to be written specifically for the web. Importantly try to avoid long winded ‘marketing type’ content.

The following two examples (taken from nngroup.com) clearly show how the second version is much easier to digest.  They both pretty much contain the same information.

Make sure your text is summarised at the start of the post and regularly use bullet points and headings to split up your content.

[example 1]

Nebraska is filled with internationally recognized attractions that draw large crowds of people every year, without fail. In 1996, some of the most popular places were Fort Robinson State Park (355,000 visitors), Scotts Bluff National Monument (132,166), Arbor Lodge State Historical Park & Museum (100,000), Carhenge (86,598), Stuhr Museum of the Prairie Pioneer (60,002), and Buffalo Bill Ranch State Historical Park (28,446).

[example 2]

In 1996, six of the most-visited places in Nebraska were:

  • Fort Robinson State Park
  • Scotts Bluff National Monument
  • Arbor Lodge State Historical Park & Museum
  • Carhenge
  • Stuhr Museum of the Prairie Pioneer
  • Buffalo Bill Ranch State Historical Park

2. Users are dumb, really dumb and far dumber than you could possibly imagine.

The second biggest web design mistake I see is people that make their site overly complicated. Your site needs to be so simple, so easy, so obvious. See the link below on users skill levels.

Check out the links below which contain details on what an average user is able to do. You may be surprised, even users you might think are web savvy can struggle with anything but the most basic tasks.

So to avoid these biggest web design mistakes, make sure you site is simple and easy to navigate.

More information

The following articles from Jacob Neilson describes this in more details and gives you some more tips.

[article] Writing for the web (opens in new window)

[article] Web users skill level (opens in a new windows)

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