In our last article we tried to provide some perspectives on common web design mistakes. We would like to bring you more insights from web design field specialists:
If you think achieving all the best practices principles in designing websites is sometimes challenging, at least you should try to avoid some of the most common mistakes. The Internet provides dozens of lists which help us to identify possible web design mistakes, but still, for those of us who, shall we say are less savvy, it is difficult to follow and respect all of these aspects that should be followed to optimize the design.
We thought it might be valuable to offer a short list identifying basic web design mistakes which you might find helpful in your design efforts. Previously, we offered some tips in this area, and decided it would be helpful to come back with a more comprehensive list. Keep in mind that these are common sense attributes which do not require the need for specific web development knowledge:
- Using fancy or tiny fonts. Not using readable fonts will annoy your website’s visitors and will make them give up reading your content. Make sure you use a common font that is easy to read and delivers the message straight to your visitors.
- Using blinking text or words. Users simply find this annoying and will make the content virtually impossible to read.
- Using fixed font sizes. The fixed font size reduces readability for most people over the age of 40. You should respect your visitors’ needs and provide them the option to resize the text as needed.
- Not changing the color of already visited links. Your visitors should know where they have been. Using different colors for visited/unvisited links is a useful feature that enables your visitor to avoid navigation confusion.
- Overusing Flash and using ‘intros’ will increase your website’s loading time and will cause your visitors lose their patience. You can’t force anyone to watch something before accessing the content and, ultimately, even your customers will avoid your website knowing that they will waste valuable time waiting for it to load.
- Using a lot of links before accessing the website’s content. The fewer the steps to the content, the better for users.
- Not providing search options. Your visitor should be in control when he/she is on your website and you should provide him/her an easy way to find what they are actually looking for.
- Using ‘drop down’ menus. You should provide your visitors with a clear perspective of the website’s navigation. A ‘drop down’ menu, for example, could hide the information your visitor is looking for.
- Using images for navigation. Yes, we know, it is one of the most artistic ways to make a website more appealing, but the use of images in navigation could also be a challenge for those who “turned off” images for browsing the Internet.
At CodeMyIMAGE we can help to assure that your website design will be free of the most common mistakes in web design and our specialized development team will anticipate and address the mistakes with you in order to deliver the optimal design and web experience for your users.
In our last article we tried to provide all of you with a comprehensive web design best practices checklist. However, we know that more resources on web design principles are anytime welcome:
In some of our previous articles, we have discussed the concept of web design best practices, focusing on textures, ADA compliancy, usability, coding and specific needs for ecommerce websites and finally eco friendly web design.
We know that there are many issues that need to be taken into account for a website to meet most best practices and we thought a comprehensive checklist would be helpful.
We believe that, before launching your website, it would be beneficial to make sure that the following elements are working properly:
- The main navigation links are clearly marked
- The navigation system is easy to understand and user friendly
- The website’s map, breadcrumbs, and skip navigation links are easy to access
- There is at least one search tool (i.e. the search box)
Functionality & Accessibility
- All internal and external hyperlinks work
- All forms function
- HTML has semantic meaning for a wide range of user agents
- There aren’t any CSS errors and your website uses optimized CSS
- Graphics are optimized and do not decrease download time
- The layout doesn’t break if the font size is increased
- The home page downloads fast even on dial-up connection.
- There is no responsiveness delay for dropdown menus
- It works well across current and older browsers
- It works well in various browser window sizes
- An informative page about your company or website is always available
- The footer area embodies a copyright, which was recently updated, and contact details
- Every page respects the basic design principles: contrast between text and background, proximity, and alignment
- The use of color and graphics does not distract the user
- There is a clear visual hierarchy with easy distinguishable heading levels.
- Links are clearly underlined
- The photo tags use the `alt’ attribute to configure alternate text to display if the browser does not support images
- The audio and video files do not distract from the website’s content
- Synchronized captions are provided for each audio or video file used
- Download times are indicated
- Common fonts are used
- Information is easy to find
- Content does not include outdated material
- There is an alternate text equivalent for the content provided in graphics or other multimedia tools.
Although we have tried to cover a large area of web design best practices, there are still many aspects to be taken into consideration. At CodeMyIMAGE we can help you to assure that your website meets the best practices principles, to satisfy your specific audience, business category and online presence’s goals.
In our latest article, we discussed about some of the most important new CSS3 features. Today, we would like to bring you more resources about other CSS3 features and some tips for using them: