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Web design mistakes

or "How to do it really, really wrong"

Web design mistakes :: 1 of 2

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Mistakes in conception and execution - in terms of design, IA, usability and technology - that occur repeatedly and often on web sites. Try to avoid at all costs!

Top ten web design mistakes - circa 1996

  • Splitting a page into frames - very confusing for users since frames break the fundamental user model of the web page. You can't bookmark the current page and return to it and URLs stop working
  • Gratuitous use of bleeding-edge technology - don't try to attract users to your site by bragging about use of the latest web technology
  • Scrolling text, marquees, and constantly running animations - never include page elements that move incessantly
  • Complex URLs - users sometimes need to type in a URL, so try to minimize the risk of typos by using short names with all lower-case characters and no special characters
  • Orphan pages - all pages should include a clear indication of what web site they belong to, a link to the home page and a breadcrumb
  • Long scrolling pages - all critical content and navigation options should be on the top part of the page
  • Lack of navigation support - don't assume that users know your site as you do. Get your taxonomy right and let users know about it clearly
  • Non-standard link colours - by default links to pages that have not been seen by the user are blue; links to previously seen pages are purple or red
  • Outdated information - ensure that you site content undergoes regular, thorough maintenance
  • Overly long download times - traditional human factors indicate 10 seconds as the maximum response time before users lose interest. On the web, this may stretch to 15 seconds. Anymore, and your audience is gone

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