When you design your website, you always want to think about the people you intend to explore it. This is because it’s the user experience that determines how successful your website will be.
When it comes to user experience, this is one aspect of the design phase that is much more than making things look nice. It’s about creating an experience that resonates with the customers.
But there are a number of design mistakes in the web development process that you don’t want to fall into, as these mistakes can have huge ramifications for your site.
So let’s take a look at 7 crucial mistakes that you never want to make if you want your site to succeed.
- No SEO in Page Titles
When it comes to discovering your website, the search engine tends to be the most common place. The search engines are also one of the most common ways that users will find their way around your website. An effective page title is thus, your only way to attract users to your site through the search engines results. That’s why you want to ensure that they are as enticing as possible.
- Disabling the Back Button
Some time ago, web designers figured out a way of disabling the back button on a user’s browser so that one of several things occurred when someone attempted to click on it. They’d either be redirected to a location, not of their choosing, the web page stays where it is, because the back button is not active, or a new pop up window appears and overtakes the screen. My advice to you is to never do it. The only thing you’ll succeed at doing, is annoying your visitors, and you can be sure they’ll never come back.
- Slow Server Performance
If your site is hosted on a server that is very slow, then it’s an invitation for them to leave your site. Studies have shown that the average customer will wait no more than 4 seconds for a page to load on your standard ecommerce website. If your site takes longer to load than that, then you need to get to work immediately. There are caching plugins you can use, you can also consider lowering the quality of your images, removing unnecessary plugins or choosing new hosting.
- Using PDF Files for Reading Online
Your typical end user absolutely loathes having to read from a PDF file while surfing the web. This is because it breaks up the flow, which is why you want to integrate all your content into your web pages. Alternatively, you can utilise PDF giveaways via email.
- Poor Navigation
When people log onto the internet, they expect everything to flow at a certain pace. If internet surfers are unable to navigate through your website, with very little effort, then they’ll simply find another website. It’s very annoying and frustrating having to go back to previous pages on a site, just to get to new ones, within the same website. It also wastes a considerable amount of time. You want a navigation bar to be present on every page of your site, so that visitors can access every part of your site, at all times.
You can position your navigation bar either at the top of every page or on the left hand side, that way, people will know where to find it. You may also want to add a sitemap to your site, and make it accessible from the navigation bar, that way end users can go through it, if they’re trying to find something specific.
- Not Using Data Analytics
When you use analytics programs, it makes it incredibly easy for you to track what is going on with your website. You can easily determine which pages are yielding the best results, and which call-to-actions are resonating with your customers.
You can also figure out which pages are not getting the amount of traffic that you hope. All these details can be used to help you improve your site. As you know which pages work well and which ones require your attention.
There are many different analytics programs you can use, with Google’s very own analytics service being one of the most popular. Simply add it’s tracking code to your site, and you’re ready to go. It’ll immediately begin to collate data, which you can use to further enhance your site.
- Too Many Pop Ups
The vast majority of those who will visit your website, will be annoyed by pop-ups appearing right after they’ve clicked on a link or while reading content on your site.Such pop-ups tend to be very intrusive and only end up making your website less user friendly.
In order to rectify this problem, you’ll want to position your pop-ups in more strategic locations. You also want to ensure that the end user can pursue what he/she is looking for, without being bombarded with pop-ups requesting things. Consider putting these pop-ups at the very end of a page or the end of an ecommerce site, that way you can be sure it won’t get in the way of whatever someone may be doing, while on your website.
Uchenna Ani-Okoye is a former IT Manager who now runs his own computer support website where you writes extensively on computer questions and answers and other related topics.