Web Design – Usability Mistakes to Avoid


Edward Marquez

Aug 1, 2013


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Usability is an essential element of web design. A site with good usability is simply one which is easy to use. Good usability will play a key role in enhancing visitor’s opinions about your site, and even your business. Here are some of the most common usability mistakes you need to avoid in web design.

1. Not highlighting links

Some people make the mistake of having pages where the color of the links is similar to that of the content. In such cases, visitors find it frustrating to navigate since they don’t know where to click. It is therefore imperative to have your links in a color which stands out. In most cases, the default color for links on a webpage is blue. If for some reason you don’t want to have your links in a different color, you can highlight them using underline or text-decoration. However, visited links should be highlighted using a different color. This will enable visitors to know which pages they’ve already visited.

2. Poor typography

When it comes to typography, many people focus on functionality instead of aesthetics. This is a big mistake. No matter how attractive your typeface is, it is useless if visitors cannot read it. Therefore, you need to ensure that the typography used makes it as easy as possible for visitors to read the content. Some of the things which can enhance readability include selecting a legible font, using the right font size, increasing line-height, and breaking text into different sections.

3. Leaving out vital information

When people visit a website, they are looking for specific information. For instance, when they visit company sites, they might want to know more about some products and services. Therefore, it would be a big mistake to withhold vital information which people might require. For instance, if you are selling shoes, it would be pointless to have a list of shoes without prices. You should, therefore, take time to figure out why people visit your site. If they intend to play games, make sure games are easily accessible. If they want to download web templates, direct them to the download page. If they are coming to buy your products or services, display your prices!

4. Missing contact information 

Failing to provide contact information is a sign of poor customer service. When people can’t find a way of reaching you, they will end up frustrated and might lose confidence in you. Therefore, make sure you provide at least an email address which visitors can use to contact you. If you want to avoid cluttering your inbox, you could create a secondary email. Alternatively, you could consider collecting information using a contact form. Sharing your Facebook or Twitter details will give visitors additional options for reaching you.

5. Inconsistent design

You need to ensure that all the pages in your site have the same layout. Having different layouts on every page will only end up confusing visitors. One of the best ways of having a consistent layout is by using a grid system for fixing the number of columns. The principle of consistency should also apply to typography, background color, design principles, and link colors.

6. Mandatory registration

Asking visitors to register first before accessing information or trying out the demo version of your product might only end up driving them away. It would be more advisable to allow people to get a preview of the product or information first. When they are interested in what you have to offer, they might be more willing to sign up. Remember to keep your registration forms brief. At the onset, you could only ask for a name and email address. Once the visitor has signed up, you can then request them to submit more information.

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