Top 30 Web Design Mistakes

30 web design mistakes

I created Does Your Web Site Suck? Checklist 1 —165 Ways to Kill Your Web Site so that people could go through the list and easily determine whether or not their sites were making these mistakes.

Mistakes were broken down into five categories:

  1. First Impression / Big Picture
  2. Text and Links
  3. Graphics, Video, Audio
  4. Navigation
  5. Content

Each of the 149 mistakes had a checkbox and I asked visitors to check a box if they felt their site was making the mistake. To count the number of clicks for each item, I used CrazyEgg heat map software. The tests ran over different time periods.

This link takes you to the complete checklist sorted in descending order by each group.

this link leads to a videoIf you see this image in front of a link, it leads to an online video.

The List of the Top 30 Web Design Mistakes

Rank "Votes" Top 30 Web Design Mistakes
  1 630 Our site tries to tell you how wonderful we are as a company, but not how we're going to solve your problems. 
  2 617 We've designed our site to meet our organization's needs (more sales/contributions) rather than meeting the needs of our visitors. 
  3 289

We say "Welcome to..." on our home page. The only exception to this is if you have a really cool graphic—something like the graphic below—then it's OK to use a "Welcome to" statement.

This is the only cool Welcome To message allowed

  4 275 It takes longer than four seconds for the "Man from Mars" to understand what our site is about. 
  5 244 The man from Mars cannot quickly find the focal point of the current page. Where in the heck is the focal point at this site? (
  6 222 this link leads to a videoOur site doesn't make us look like credible professionals. 
  7 177 Our home page — or any page — takes more than four seconds to load. 
  8 177 We never conduct user testing. 
  9 174 We don't analyze our log files. 
10 171 We don't know which design items are not necessary. 
11 162 Quickly scanning the page doesn't tell our visitors much about its purpose. 
12 159 We have not eliminated unnecessary design items. 
13 157 The man from Mars cannot quickly find the focal point of the home page. 
14 129 We don't know if our site looks the same in the major browsers. 
15 128 Our pages have too much / too little white space. Another example of too much white space.
16 124 Our site mixes text colors on the page.
17 123 We don 't put design elements where our visitors expect them. 
18 121 Logo is not on the top of every page and clicking it doesn't lead to the home page.
19 118 Visited links don't change color.
20 113 Our site doesn't make visitors feel they can trust us. 
21 113 this link leads to a videoWe don't identify PDF files with an icon. 
22 110 Our site uses divider bars.
do not use animated divider bar images
23 108 Our logo does not look like it was professionally made. Another example.
24 107 No one has spent the time figuring out if our color scheme alienates our international users.
25 103 Our site breaks when visited with the Javascript turned off.  (People turn Javascript off for security reasons.)
26 101 Our site doesn't have a privacy or legal statement page.
27 100 this link leads to a videoOur site mixes and matches text sizes on the page.
28   97 We don't know what content is popular.
29   95 Our site's design was "borrowed" from another site. And here is a video on the topic.
30   93 The important content does not fit in the first screen. 
30   93 We use justified text.