Design Don’ts

Posted on October 15th, 2008 by Jason Shindler

By Jason Shindler

Ever wonder if your Web site is cutting-edge or outdated? We at Curvine Web Solutions still see design trends that should have fallen by the wayside years ago. For customers who frequently shop online, these outdated trends may signal a company out of touch, apathetic, and unprofesstional. Below, are just a few such things to be aware of.
A “welcome” message on your homepage is the good way to turn away customers. The standard rule is this: if visitors can’t tell what your site is selling, it’s time to redesign the Web site. The site design – including the main body content and images – should sell the story of your business all on in one glance.
The next feature we’ll discuss is scrolling text. Since people tend to associate this feature with news broadcasts, it isn’t usually a good idea to incorporate this into your design. Unless your industry is fast-changing and news-worthy, using this feature probably won’t enhance the overall design and functionality of your site.

Those flashing, color-changing, bolded words in the middle of a site’s main body text are distracting at best. But, in reality it brings to mind walking onto a used car lot where there are huge, garish signs everywhere encouraging you to buy now or pay for it later. If you have to resort to such matters, then the service you’re selling probably isn’t worth the money – or at least, that’s the impression visitors will get.
Speaking of visitors, it’s also a good idea not to include visitor counters on your site. Although we usually see these on personal Web sites rather than business sites, we thought it worthy of mention. Publicly-viewed visitor counters are unprofessional, and frankly, useless. There are far better ways to keep track of that information; if you really want to know how many people are visiting your site, use a site analytics program. Google’s program is free and gives a lot more helpful information that just how many people have clicked on your homepage. (Check out our February 2008 issue for more information.)
If your site contains any of the above design faux pas, you may wish to consider disposing of them. Sometimes just a few simple changes, or even deletions, to a Web site can make your design look fresh and new. If you need some assistance in sprucing up your site, contact Curvine Web Solutions today.

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