Mistake Number Three: Flash animation. Animation that requires the browser to have and use a flash player to perform groovy animation and a sequential series of images fading in and out is not helpful. Why? Many devices like Apple products, including iPhones and iPads, do not support flash and therefore visitors on those devices typically get a blank screen or blank area, or worse yet a big red “X”. Again, too much animation is too many moving parts. Keep it simple. You’ve got about three to four seconds to capture the attention of the visitor and communicate to them that you can help them with what they need.
Mistake Number Four: Too many points of interest. Loads of navigation buttons, competing images, and paragraphs of text all serve to cause viewers to see a dense forest and miss the individual trees. Again, people are moving fast on the Web and you have precious seconds to capture their attention and communicate to them. Give them your one best thing, not the top eight categories and also the five sub-categories you offer because they’ll see only one or maybe two of those items before they move on.
Mistake Number Five: Bad colors and weird fonts. Have you noticed a theme? Less is more. They have a problem, you need to share how you solve it. Fancy fonts can be hard to decipher and even worse to discern on mobile devices. As well, dark backgrounds with lots of small white text are great if you are in a dark room and have a magnifying glass but that’s not your everyday web visitor. What’s the default background in Microsoft Word? White, with a simple font. That’s done for a reason.
I could go on with a few more points but I’ll bring it to a close to allow you to reflect on your site in relation to these key points. Take a fresh look at your company and competitor websites soon and see how things rate.
Mike Gingerich leads the Digital Marketing and Social Application divisions of Digital Hill Multimedia (www.DigitalHill.com). He is a co-founder of TabSite.com, a leader in Facebook fan page tools for businesses. TabSite offers brands the power to boost Facebook marketing with contests and promotions. For more information on TabSite, please visit www.tabsite.com.