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5 Web Design Blunders

Posted on 1.29.2014

A website is the digital face of an online business, which makes it very important that a brand's site leaves a good impression with its visitors.

Much too often, however, these important digital properties contain design blunders. While some of these blunders are simply annoying to frequent Web surfers, other blunders can actually disrupt the user experience and result in lost customers and revenue. Avoid making these mistakes on your site, by learning more about five of the top design blunders below:

1. Lack of a Favicon

Favicons are the small 16x16 pixel icons associated with a particular website (or page) and are typically displayed next to the URL in the address bar, next to the page name in a browser tab and/or next to the page’s name in a bookmark list. Not having one of these icons is one of my personal pet peeves. Although this design feature isn’t as important as other features, like calls-to-action or navigation, it does help site visitors identify a brand’s website among the numerous tabs open in their browser or sites saved in their bookmark list. WordPress sites that are lacking a favicon can take action against this blunder quickly, by simply leveraging a plugin like “Favicon Generator” or “All In One Favicon.”

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2. No Social Love

Nearly every brand has a social media presence nowadays, yet some brands still don’t feature these handles prominently on their websites. Featuring social follow icons in an obvious place on a website is important for all brands, but it is especially important for small businesses because it is the simplest way to grow a following. Plus, it can be hard for customers to find brands with a small number of fans in the search results of social networks, particularly Facebook. There is a plethora of places on the Web where brands can find social sharing icons to add to their sites, but one of the most popular platforms is AddThis.

3. Bad Stock Photography

Sometimes it is necessary to use stock photography, but it shouldn’t make up the bulk of your creative materials – especially for enterprises with big budgets. If you do use stock photography, however, please avoid ridiculous (featured below) and boring images, or ask your designer to modify the image with text or other effects. Conversely, try avoiding stock photography altogether by leveraging user-generated images or assigning projects to designers and illustrators.

4. Not So Secure…

In today’s digital age it is vital that e-commerce sites not only have a secure checkout, but also leverage security symbols like VeriSign or TRUSTe to show customers that the site is secure. In fact, online retailers should feature security symbols on just about every page of their sites to ease customer concerns, but these symbols are especially vital for closing the sale on checkout pages. 

5. Where are the FAQs?

Chances are that most site managers think that their company’s website is really simple to use and self-explanatory, but some visitors may not see it the same way. Luckily, featuring a frequently updated FAQ page on your site can help customers answer their own questions and prevent a brand’s call centers from being flooded with common questions. Unfortunately, some brands still choose to either not include this handy webpage on their site, or they place it in a hard-to-find location (like in the footer). Save both your company and customers some time by maintaining the FAQ page and placing it in an area of the site where it is easily found, like Tillamook does.

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