PDQ Library:  Web Design Pet Peeves

Web Design Bad Practices

Don't be this designer.

  • Web site only work in Internet Explorer. Other browsers and devices are being used - remember to test using them.
  • Web site asks you to register in order to access their online information. (Forget it, I'm gone.)
  • Home pages don't have any actual text -- just images, flash, and scripts. (Search ranking will be poor too.)
  • Home pages that don't fit on a laptop screen - never mind a phone. Phones can be as small as 320 pixels high.
  • Pages take more than a few seconds to load. (I'm gone.)
  • Pages have bad links within the website. (I expect bad external links since designers routinely move pages without leaving a trail to follow.)
  • Drop-down lists and menus are not obvious on a touch screen, and much harder to use. Don't use them unless your CSS provides for touch screens.
  • "Optimized for ... browser" message brands you an amateur.
  • Links that force a new page to open is only useful on search result pages.
  • Pages with audio/video that starts automatically. (Yikes, I'm gone.)
  • Seller sites that do not identify the name and location of the company on the home page (I'm gone)
  • Seller prices that don't specify "dollars" in American, Canadian, etc.
  • Seller sites without a list of countries they ship to (I'm gone)
  • U.S. sellers that ship to Canada by courier, adding large custom brokerage fees which can exceed the cost of the order. Ouch! (Offer USPS - postal service option)
  • Pages using small text. The worst use small GRAY text on either white or black background (unreadable)
  • Text styled with a fixed font size. If you must reduce font size for an important reason (using 3 columns is NOT a good reason), at least use "relative" sizes (smaller, 90%) so a reader without perfect sight or a "designer-size" screen can enlarge it.
  • Web designers should remember that it's all about the user. Test your site with newbies - taking notes silently - to find problems early in the design. Saves a lot of time later.

And last, we must mention websites that do not display on different sized devices used to connect to the web. Web designers must adapt websites to display well on small phones, tablets, phablets, laptops on up to huge screens. A tutorial from Google Webmaster Tools can get you started: https://developers.google.com/web/fundamentals/layouts/rwd-fundamentals/

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