Ten Fatal Mistakes That Make Web Sites Stink

Since you'll spend lots of time and money to create your web site, don't you want to make sure you're not making mistakes that at best irritate users, and at worst make you lose customers?

After all, when you alienate users, you lose potential revenue. Who can afford that?

Dr. Jakob Nielsen, Principal of the Nielsen Norman Group, says that the top 10 website mistakes include:

1. Not listing prices. Pricing in the most specific piece of information users need to understand the nature of offers. By not providing pricing, people feel lost and it reduces their understanding of a product line. Prices let users differentiate among products.

2. Inflexible search engines. Overly literal search engines reduce user ability because they're unable to handle typos, plurals, hyphens, etc. It's also bad when search engines prioritize on the basis of how many query terms they contain, rather than on each document's importance.

3. Horizontal scrolling. Users hate scrolling left to right. Pages that require horizontal scrolling in standard-sized windows (800x600 pixels) are terrible.

4. Fixed font size. About 95 percent of the time, this fixed font size is tiny, reducing readability significantly. Users need to be able to resize text as needed.

5. Blocks of text. These are boring and can lose users quickly.

6. JavaScript in links. When links don't behave as expected, users feel lost. They also hate unwarranted pop-up windows.

7. Infrequently asked questions in FAQs. Don't list questions you wish users would ask.

8. Collecting email addresses without a privacy policy. When websites ask for email addresses, users react negatively. In the age of spam, no one wants to give away this information without some guarantee.

9. URLs over 75 characters, which make it virtually impossible to email a friend a website address. If it's too long to show in the browser's address field, users won't know how to select it. If the link is broken, users may not know how to paste it back together.

10. Mailto links in unexpected locations. Don't place mailto links on names, instead make it clear that mailto address are just that - addresses.

There are many companies that will help you avoid these website mistakes, including Web Builder Express (www.WebBuilderExpress.com).

Avoid Nielsen's top 10 website mistakes when you create your web site. Your users will have a more enjoyable experience on your web site, which is a very good thing.

http://www.WebBuilderExpress.com

Herb and Monica Leibacher operate Web Builder Express. Create a professional web site for your business or non-profit organization with Web Builder Express. At Web Builder Express, you can request your free Quick Start Guide that tells you how to create a great web site.

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