Internet users are largely goal-oriented. They visit websites for a variety of reasons â€“ to seek information, to just enjoy reading its content or to make purchases. The last thing you'd want is to waste your customer's time by applying the bad web design ideas I am about to share with you.
It's safe to assume that many of your site's visitors are busy people. They have no time to waste on slow loading times, badly laid out web pages, overly expensive features, bad navigation and, worse, irrelevant content.
As a web designer, it is your job to make sure that the websites you construct are easy-to-use. Think "customer convenience". The more comfortable a user feels while browsing through your site, the more likely it is for him to stay longer, buy something, tell all his friends about your site and make them buy something from you.
So what bad web design ideas waste customers' time?
Any poorly designed website is bound to waste the time of its visitors. That's why it's important for web designers to not just think about how cool that full-Flash splash page would be on their websites. Good web design goes far beyond aesthetics.
Here are some bad web design ideas that waste customers' time:
Ridiculous load times. Because of the extent to which most web designers can express their creativity, functionality suffers. A good web designer will always find ways to optimize his web design for speed. Anything above 30 kilobytes and the page will download very slowly on dial-up connection. Speed is important, especially when your customers are on your website to buy something. The last thing you'd want is a customer cancelling out on a sale because of how slowly your Checkout page loads.
Bad layout, navigation and typography. After landing on your home page, a visitor has about 4 seconds to figure out where to go to find the information he wants. If he doesn't find what he needs, he will leave. You, as a web designer, need to make sure he finds what he needs in record time.
Some web designers are in the habit of naming navigation links so they'd sound "cool". Visitors wouldn't want to spend their time trying to guess whether the link that says "on a bed of roses" will lead him to a page containing "rose pruning instructions" or "rose flower arrangement". If your navigation menu doesn't make sense to a visitor, you just wasted a few seconds of his time.
Bad layout is another pet peeve of mine. Information on a website should be arranged in a manner that makes sense. Don't require your customer to go through hoops to figure out where the main content of the page is. As a web designer, you have to make sure that the key elements of a web page are distinct from the others â€“ make sure your text ads aren't formatted the same way as your main content, your call-to-action a different color from your navigation bar, etc.
Typography is another important aspect of web design. Center-justifying a big wall of text isn't going to make your customer want to stay on your site and try to make out some sort of structure from your words. Information should be displayed in a manner that's easy for your visitors to SCAN (not necessarily read). Visitors do not read unless they're sure the article they're looking at is worth their time. They scan.
There are a lot of web design ideas out there that waste customers' time. These are probably the most common among all those mistakes. As I always say, good web design isn't just about aesthetics, it's about user experience.