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Common Sense Mistakes in Websites – Part 1

Trying to be too different

It is understandable that everybody wants their websites to be unique in some way; however there is a limit to how far you can take it before things just become confusing.  The last thing any user wants to do is relearn how to use the internet just to navigate their way through your site.  When users visit your site for the first time their eyes are automatically drawn to certain areas of the screen in which they expect to see certain things, this is for no other reason than the fact that 99% of sites out there are arranged in roughly the same way.  For example most websites will have their menus either across the top or down the left side of your screen.  You can use clever design to make your site attractive or unique and still give your users what they expect.  If you run a news site, show your latest news on your homepage, if your run a hotel allow site users to check availability, if you have an online shop show your latest and most popular items on the homepage.

Flash Animation

Flash animation is dated and will not work for many of your users.  Flash animation is still widely used for some reason and this is more than likely due to the fact that a large number of business owners are only viewing their websites on their Windows PC’s and MAC’s, too them their flash animations and intros look great and they are very happy.  What they do not realise is that for their customers trying to view their sites on IPad, iPhones, windows 8 phones, are all being left frustrated because they are unable to view your flash videos and in some cases are completely unable to use your site if you use flash navigation menus.  We are not telling you not to use animation on your site, just too simply look at the alternative ways of doing it.

Intro Screens – What is the point?

When visitors come to your site they come for a reason and we are almost certain that it is not to watch a flashy intro or be greeted with a nice picture and a welcome to our site click to enter message.  They already know they want to enter your site when they clicked your link so give them what they want without having to click through another screen.  In the past we have come across many sites using this method and in some cases the intro took so long to play or the image took so long to load that a large number of potential clients were leaving the site before the even got to enter it.  Our advice is to do away with your landing page and take your visitors straight to your homepage.

Background Music

We have all done it, we are sitting in a nice quiet workplace happily browsing the internet when all of a sudden music (and usually not great music) starts pumping out around the office, everyone is looking and it is a mission to find which tab is playing the music.  In most cases people will not take the time to look for the mute button on your site and lots of people will simply end up closing their browser window and won’t be back.  Customer lost.

Not allowing users to leave your site

It is a very annoying thing for visitors when they have had a look at your site and now they hit their back button on their browser to leave again, and nothing is happening.  Some developers think that it is a good disallow the option of clicking back to leave the site.  They have already finished looking at your business and now is the time to allow them to leave without causing unnecessary frustration, they will soon figure out how to close your site and will most likely not reconsider doing business with you just because you keep them on an extra few seconds.


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