By Yasmine Robles,Robles Designs
I’ve seen some really bad websites.
I’ve seen ones with GIFs that go so fast – you can’t even read the message. Others have glitter backgrounds that look as if they were pulled off a 13 year old’s Myspace page.
A website’s purpose is to entice your visitor to open up their wallet by becoming lost in the content and falling head-over heels for your offerings.
Unfortunately, many sites are still stuck in trends from the 90’s or early 2000’s – and some were even built recently! Wondering if your site needs to be brought to the modern age? Click here for a free consultation > (https://calendly.com/roblesdesigns/30min)
Here’s a quick checklist to help you make sure your site doesn’t look like it was made 10+ years ago.
Do you have sliders (a.k.a carousels) on your site?
There have been a bunch of articles on this but the main research I refer to was done by the Neilson Norman Group (https://www.nngroup.com/articles/auto-forwarding/), where they found that sliders that moved automatically not only annoyed users but it actually reduced the readability of the message. Definitely not good for getting your promotions across.
Here’s the quick and dirty on why you’re better off without them: they usually go too fast for readers to read the message, they have different messages instead of one focus, and they tend get looked over by the audience (designers call this banner blindness – when you simply skim over the banner instead of reading it).
Are you using Flash?
I started my career in web design as Flash was becoming a faux pas and now only see it every so often. We’re way, way beyond using this now (HTML5 is easier and better to use for a site). Here’s why it’s a bad idea:
SEO and Flash don’t mix! Google ranks these sites lower. Flash doesn’t create separate pages within your site (you could say it just fakes it) which makes it look as if
you only have one page on the entire site.You also can’t watch for outbound links – overall, just harder to use for effective SEO. And if Google dislikes it… well, it’s time to change it up.
Flash is horrible on mobile – and EVERYTHING is mobile. I’ve personally come to websites on my phone where it just won’t work because it’s using Flash. So I forget about the site and that person loses a potential client. More than half your visitors are likely from mobile, so why exclude them?
Slow with security issues. Not only is a Flash based site SLOW, it always seems to have problems with security. Did you know that at one point the browser Firefox even BLOCKED Flash until it fixed the issues it had?
Finally, you have to install it – which is a pain for your site visitors. Flash doesn’t just come with the browser, so when a lead comes to your site, they need to install something – and that can be a turn off.
Are you using Comic Sans?
Using childish fonts (when appropriate) is okay, but don’t go as far as using Comic Sans. There might be some designer out there that still loves Comic Sans but I’ve never been able to find a use for it. Even top childcare centers have mostly moved away from it.
Whether you’re a toy shop or sell children’s clothing, this is the worse font to use if you’re going for: luxury, high-end, corporate, healthy, natural, fitness, or want to be taken seriously in any way. There are many more fonts out there that can get you that same child-like feel, without looking cheesy.
GIFS – This is a love/hate battle.
These are the moving images that often loop. They’re awesome when sending them to others via email – like the one below!
But for a business to use it on their website, GIFS are hard to get right. Putting a promotion on them brings you the danger of making it too fast that no one can read it. ADA compliance dings you for them because the user can’t just stop it in order to see
the message (and because in certain cases, they can cause seizures, yeah, you read that right).
Still want to use GIFs with your brand? Try them in the emails you send out, on social media, or in a few places on your site (without placing any big message on them). Remember: GIFs should delight, not distract.
Do you have an overly done “bevel and emboss” design on your site?
I’m not sure why this trend started in the 90’s but it’s the fake chiseled look on fonts (can also be on graphics). My belief is that these were made in order to increase readability when fonts were over images, were trying to make it look 3D, or to give a “classy” roman/greek look to things. It was a trend that, just like shoulder pads in the 80’s, probably shouldn’t come back.
If you’re using it to achieve readability, try other subtle options such as a clean and small drop-shadow or just decreasing the effect until it’s almost imperceptible. It you’re just going for the 3D effect, you’d better believe that you’re way, way outdated. Finally, if you were going for the roman/greek style – honey, there’s other ways of achieving that – just ask a designer!
Does your website have one (or more!) of these dated trends? Don’t fret. Being able to recognize the issue(s) is one of the most important steps to ease the communication with your designer. You can now have an educated conversation about changes that need to occur.
Yasmine is the visionary behind Robles Designs. She is on a mission to help new entrepreneurs create a “kick-ass” website and brand. For freebies and more information visit her website-https://roblesdesigns.com/