Whether it’s your unresponsive web designer or your inaccessible web page design, your website could be heading toward oblivion—and may even be taking your business or organization with it. Poor web design is like the common cold, minus the contagion; it’s, well, common. It seems to spring organically from unnavigable pages to dead links. As more and more people rely on the internet for research, shopping, doing business, etc…an ill-designed website is not only inconvenient for these internet users, it’s likely to steer them toward your competition—the one with the killer website and miles of internet traffic.

All Teched Out

Some websites feel naked without all the technical bells and whistles that can fit on their main page. There is such a thing, however, as being over-dressed—from a technological point of view. Being on the cutting edge of technology could be cutting out your clientele who use older computer equipment or don’t have zippy enough connections to optimally use your site. Your sophisticated features may take too long to load. They may also freeze up the user’s computer who may try loading you up a second time, but if that doesn’t work, there isn’t likely going to be a third time.

But White on Yellow is My Favorite Color Combo!

Text that can’t easily be read may as well not even be there. White text typically needs a bold font and a dark background. Yet, even a color combination that has a strong contrast can be off-putting depending on the nature of the site. Neon green against black may work for a brand like Mountain Dew or maybe to launch Tony Hawk’s new skateboard, but it isn’t necessarily going to work wonders for Willard’s Law Firm or Grandma Rose’s Antiques. Make colors work with your brand—not against it! Similarly, a complicated pattern for the background can also affect the visibility negatively.

Guess that Landing Page

Are clickable terms communicating effectively? If you want someone to click a tab, be sure to clearly state what the tab represents. Sometimes wording can be too creative. While “make this” is an actionable phrase, it can’t compare to the clarity of “recipes.” The web page should communicate clearly in order to make every user’s visit go smoothly. Also, keep in mind that most people look for tabs at the top (or even a side bar) of the page. A site may also frequently contain additional links at the bottom of the page. Organizing your main tabs in some other configuration could be design-wonderful or it could be a little bit akin to organizing the phone book in reverse order.

Busy, Busy, Busy

Busy pages can be complicated to navigate. Though pages with sparse information can also pose problems, a busy design can detract from the quality of the website.

Too many graphics, graphs, or headlines can clutter up the page making important information difficult for users to find. From a design point of view, too much clutter can also detract from the aesthetic value of the page. Some of the best web pages employ a single striking image on their home page with easy-to-find tabs. It isn’t necessary to put too much on the opening page.

Instead, use tabs that draw users more deeply into the site.

Bad Case of the Horizontal Scrolls

When planning your website, be sure that your designer understands in no uncertain terms that the horizontal scroll should have no place on your website. In order words, make all the elements fit within the confines of the horizontal sides. People are pretty good about scrolling up and down, but the typical mouse isn’t equipped with a side scroll. Forcing people out of the box is just adding an annoying element that is unnecessary, indeed.

If It’s Broken, Fix It!

When links don’t work, be sure to remove them! An unkempt website is a messy one and users will know right away about the quality of your site. Suddenly, when items of your website don’t work, you, as a business, organization, or service provider probably won’t work either. An uncared-for website says something about the website owner and it usually isn’t something good. Be sure all the features and links on your site are in working order. If items are problematic, swap them out for features that are easier to maintain. Websites that contain several broken features appear abandoned—not the message a thriving business wants to send.

If you’re baffled by a lack of traffic to your site, consider these elements and see if they apply to your site. Though online businesses can fail for many reasons—design doesn’t have to be one of them! Be sure to work with a savvy designer who already has a portfolio of sophisticated designs. Today, more than ever, a website isn’t merely an add-on for a business; quite often, it’s their face to the world. Be sure to put your best face forward!