- Moving too fast
There’s a natural cadence to developing relationships. Sites that violate that cadence suffer. If you want a user to subscribe to your newsletter, make it as easy and unthreatening as possible. Remember, it’s early in the relationship. Determine the minimum information you need, and just ask for that. Do you really need their full name and address or just their email? Once you’re communicating with them regularly – through a newsletter or other shared experience – you’re likely to get whatever additional info you need.
- Publishing a badly designed website just to get noticed.
Sounds counter intuitive that a company would publish a site that makes them look bad just to have a web presence, doesn’t it? Yet we’ve all seen ‘em. Publishing a badly designed, amateurish site is just dumb. Websites are the first impression many people get of a company. Don’t have the budget or time or where-with-all to publish a professional looking site? Then don’t.
- Posting “under construction” anywhere on the site.
On the internet, where instant gratification is hardly fast enough, the under construction notification is irritating at best. Websites by nature are works in progress. Great websites are developed iteratively over time. If a function or aspect is not ready, publish it when it is.
- Rabbit hole clicking
How many times are you gonna make me click to get what I want? Remember, the one with the fewest clicks wins. Check out the domain search site Domize.com for a good example of minimum clicks.
- Fat, slow Flash
Who’s got the time or patience for a 30 second Flash intro? Worse yet, a site completely developed in Flash? Search engines ignore them and visitors click them away, so save a bundle and forego the impulse to bathe in the perfume. A lite spritz is more attractive than rolling around in it.
- Browser incompatibility
Sites that work fine in one browser but not another alienate and confuse users. Public facing, commercial grade sites should be compatible with IE (6.2 and 7), Firefox, Safari and Opera at a minimum.
- Poor navigation
We’ve all been on sites where we’ve hunted for what should be absolutely unmistakeable. Navigation should be clear, consistent, always present.
- Too many graphics
Eyes full, head empty. Unless your Flikr, Google Images or a stock photography site like iStock, you probably should use graphics sparingly. Use them like spice on the food rather than the food itself.
- Too much text
Eyes empty, head gorged. Too much text is almost as bad as too many images. Like Aristotle said, “moderation in all things”.
- In your face ads
Don’t let the ads on the side of the arena interfere with the main event. Case in point: a user zooms the text so they can read the small print, only to have the enlarged text hidden by an ad.