Usable websites offer great user experiences, which leads to happy customers. It’s challenging to build up a website but the challenge does make your website usable. The problem is that most web designers don’t keep in mind that the website wasn’t created for themselves but to solve the users’ needs. They give creativity priority over practicality and usability.
In case your website is designed wrong, there is more likelihood that you’ll lose lots of money and ultimately the potential revenue that you could be making from a well designed and properly functioning website.
Here are the 10 most common mistakes you’re probably making as a web designer. Learn these mistakes and correct them if you commit to overcome the hurdles we are all guilty of.
Read Part 1: Top 10 common mistakes in Web Design (Part 1)
5. Page titles with low search engine visibility
As you all know, search is the most important way users use to reach their information. The humble page title is your main tool to attract new visitors from search listings and to help your existing users to locate the specific pages that they need. For page title to be clickable for listings on SERP, it must contain the HTML<title> tag. For other pages than homepage, start the title with a few of the most salient information-carrying words that describe the specifics of what users find on that page.
6. Not using DRY approach with your CSS
DRY approach should be used for yourself and your users’ benefit. What does DRY mean? It stands for Don’t Repeat Yourself, which helps to keep your code neat and concise just in case of styling up your website. Traditional CSS requires a lot of repetition when styling particular elements inside other ones. Your selectors commonly grow in size and end up taking more time to write. Use classes throughout your design rather than styling each element you have in your HTML independently. Less and Sass will help web designers and developers to write fewer lines of code without repetition.
As you all know, Hyperlinks are clickable. Once you design the hyperlinks, they should be usable in the sense of being easy to click. If the links are too small, it will takes more effort of users to click and your tool is not efficient. Have a look at the following highlighted areas:
This is an example of the comments links that are designed too small while the other one of the same interface is larger and more clickable:
The movement of the mouse isn’t precise enough to focus on small areas. That is the reason why users always want a larger clickable area to make it easier to hover the mouse cursor over the link. How to make it larger? The solution lies on the whole link and padding around the link with supports from CSS “padding” property.
Recommended code: <a href=”http://www.examplesite.com” style=”padding: 5px;”>Example Site<a>
8. Wrong pagination purpose
The purpose of pagination is to divide the content into several pages. You find this quite often on site with long content or list of items such as picture gallery, news post, blog articles, etc. Fortunately, using pagination for this purpose will help to make your page manageable and increase loading speed thanks to the reduction of items on one page.
However, some others may use pagination to split blog articles into several pages. What is the purpose? Content writer aims to increase the page views rather than reluctantly have to split them up because it’s too long to put all in one page. Since lots of blogs and magazines get their benefits through advertising, more page views come along with the increase in views and charging for each ad. In fact, users don’t fine it convenient and feel happy to continuously move to the next page and wait for it to load just in one article, which is a waste of time.
Another reason for the pagination is SEO purpose. Search engines use the content on your page to make sense of what it is about and then index it accordingly. When the content is divided into several pages, it is insipid and each page makes less sense on its own and contain less keywords related to the topic. This is one of the reasons that negatively affect the ranking of the article in search results.
9. No way to search
To save time, many users tend to look for search box once they get on your website. If they know for sure what they need on the site, users won’t go around the web page as to save time. According to Jakob Nielsen, these are called “search dominant” users:
Our usability studies show that more than half of all users are search-dominant, about a fifth of the users are link-dominant, and the rest exhibit mixed behavior. The search-dominant users will usually go straight for the search button when they enter a website: they are not interested in looking around the site; they are task-focused and want to find specific information as fast as possible.
You don’t have to code your own search feature; meanwhile, search engines like Google and Yahoo have likely already indexed most of your website’s pages, hence all you have to do is to pick the one you want to use and plug in a search box.
10. Require too much regination
Your site may contain various information that requires users to register before using. Watch out for this. Some interactive web applications such as email, document editing and project management limit 100% of their functionality to registered users. Other webs such as social news don’t. In fact, some blogs ask users to register before posting, which helps to reduce spam but it also significantly reduce the number of comments you see, too.
Long registration forms
As being mentioned above, registration will consume user’s time a lot and reduce quite a number of viewers as well as great amount of traffic to your site. So does long registration form. It will take lots of users’ effort to fill in information and get verified via email or SMS code. People have to spend time registering and then they have to remember user name and password to sign in in the future.
Instead, we can save up their time and make the access easier with short sign-up form. Because the purpose of registration system is to identify and control the users, there should be basic information required from them such user name, password, birthday, email address, etc.
In short , usability is all about making things easier to use. Try to make the website convenient and comfortable enough for your customers to re-visit. This will increase their experience of your website, organic traffic and more attention. Start reviewing your website right now.
Source: Top 10 common mistakes in Web Design (Part 2)