To aid potential online offenders, we’ve put together a list of some website faux pas to avoid (please don’t be offended if you are guilty of one or more of the below):
• Animations, interactivity and other froufrou: Maybe you pride yourself on your creativity, and had a super cool idea for an animated intro for your Pest Control website where a termite walks across the screen and then gets sprayed by insect repellent- AWESOME! Your customers are seeking your services as a means to an end, and are looking for information, not entertainment. We understand you want to create an “experience,” but extraneous and gimmicky add-ons are not what make visitors stay. In fact, if visitors can’t get the information they want within a few seconds, they leave.
• Bright/contrasting color schemes: Along the lines of the example above- your website should be easy to read and draw attention to the products and/or services your business is offering. You want your website’s visitors to be able to read your content easily and take their time viewing your site - an overly in-your-face color scheme could be just enough to send them on their way before they can absorb your site’s content.
• Playing music/video and NOT having a clearly visible mute button: I can understand that you really like a song and feel like it sets the mood for your website. However, you want to attract a wide audience, and not everyone has the same taste in music. Do you really think EVERY person who visits your website wants to hear music? I’ve almost fallen over backwards from the audio shock of unexpected music blasting through my headphones when visiting a website. If you need to play music, at least make it easy to shut off.
• Copying the competition: Do not hire someone and point blank ask to rip off the design and interactivity of one of your competitor’s websites. Not only is this in bad taste, but your site runs the risk of playing second fiddle to your competitor, even if in real life you may have superior products. In simpler terms: In order to stand out, you need to innovate instead of following the pack.
Bottom line: Designing a website is a partnership between the client and the designer. As web designers, our ultimate goal is to design what the client wants, but also what we as professionals know to be the best possible product. Designers should not be seen merely as people with better (or faster) mouse-clicking skills. It’s important to trust the designers who are creating your site; if you don’t, therein lies the real issue.
If you need creative AND professional guidance for your website, contact our custom web development team today!
Michael Cahill is a Software Support Specialist at Miles Technologies.