Don’t Design Your Website Like This!
Once you start working in website design, you start to develop certain pet peeves when it comes to how sites look. You might be able to get away with some of those same design tactics with the general public, though. Certain things, however, are going to make any web surfer run away as fast as their Internet connection will take them. Here are some things to avoid if you want people to actually stay on your site, and view some of the content.
No Mobile Site or Responsive Design
Pick one, but don’t try to get away without choosing either. A lot of people are going to surf to your site from a mobile device. The site either has to be responsive, or there has to be a separate mobile site. No one is going to put down their phone and walk over to their computer to see what wouldn’t load.
Using the Wrong Font
Let’s include the font size and color in this category as well. If your font is unreadable, there isn’t enough contrast with the background, it’s too tiny, or it’s obnoxiously large, no one is going to want to read anything on the page.
Loading… Loading… Loading…
That’s about how long you get before someone bails on your site. Data heavy sites that don’t format their images or videos properly are going to lose viewers who don’t have the patience for loading times in our digital world of instant gratification.
There are some great techniques for grabbing a viewer’s attention, and directing them to a certain part of a website. If everything on the site looks like a gimmick, though, the viewer might just lose their mind. If every inch of the page is crammed with blinking lights, flashy text, ad banners, and other obnoxious content, most users will feel the need to close the browser immediately, expecting the malware to start downloading any second.
Loud Music or Ads
If something is going to autoplay on your site, make sure there’s an easy way to turn it off immediately. Better yet, let the viewer choose to play content with audio attached instead of being surprised by an ad, video, or website soundtrack.
In short, your site should be easy to read and navigate (even on a mobile device), uncluttered, and devoid of anything that will immediately cause the viewer to regret being there. Not chasing off viewers immediately will give your well-selected content a chance to hold their attention.