What makes a website “bad”

Thumbs down - bad website designOften, in order to figure out what is “good” we need to first look at what is “bad”, and website design is no different.

Many of us have our pet hates – mine is audio blaring without warning – so here at Direct Digital Solutions, we have asked around and compiled a list of those things that make people leave a website seconds after they arrive.

  1. Slow load time: a bane for many e-commerce sites. If your site moves at a snail’s pace as people are trying to find out more about your product, they will soon leave to find a faster site. Slow loading is often caused by a cheap hosting service or too many/too big images.
  2. Huge Flash intro: See above. These things take forever to load and people would probably rather see your products than some animation that belongs to the ‘90s – when Flash was cool.
  3. Never ending pop-ups: You know the kind. Those that break your browsers “back” button so you can’t seem to escape without closing down the internet. Do people really think this will sell a product? I can imagine the discussion now “I know, how about a huge pop-up button with the words BUY NOW in neon that people CAN”T escape from. That way, they are bound to purchase”. Um, no.
  4. Poor spelling and grammar: Yep, that’s right, it may be 2012 and text-speak might be all the rage, but if you want people to actually read your content, please take the time to use a spell checker.
  5. Music: People who are surfing the web at work love this one the most. All they want is a little warning before the music blares and the boss discovers they are not actually finalising the monthly account spread sheet.
  6. Broken links: Check links regularly to make sure visitors are not continually getting Error 404 messages. It’s just a professional thing to do.
  7. Horizontal scrolling: It drives people insane if they have to scroll back and forth to read lines of text. So don’t make them do it. Simple.
  8. Too many banner ads: It’s OK, we get it. You need to monetise your site. Honestly, we don’t mind. Unless, of course, there are so many banner ads that we can’t quite figure out if your site sells widgets or is a haven for online gamblers.
  9. Animations: If your website has too many moving things – words scrolling, banner ads flashing, balloons popping, arrows chasing each other around the frame – it makes it very hard to concentrate on the text. And if people can’t concentrate on the text, they can’t decide if they want to buy your product or service.
  10. No contact information: And we don’t mean just a Paypal link, or contact form. We mean real contact information – a phone number, email address or street address. Sometimes, we don’t want to trust technology and we would rather speak to or email a real person.

Direct Digital Solutions employs only the best web developers and designer to ensure our clients’ sites don’t fall into any of the “bad” traps. If you need a new website, or your current one needs refreshing, call us now on 02 9557 7623 or email  us@directdigitalsolutions.com.au