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Ten Fatal Mistakes That Make Websites Stink

Since youíre spending lots of money on your website, donít you want to make sure youíre 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. And in this economy, who can afford that?

Dr. Jakob Nielsen, Principal of the Nielsen Norman Group, says that the top 10 website mistakes of 2002 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 theyíre unable to handle typos, plurals, hyphens, etc. Itís also bad when search engines prioritize on the basis of how many query terms they contain, rather than on each documentís 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 donít behave as expected, users feel lost. They also hate unwarranted pop-up windows.
  7. Infrequently asked questions in FAQs. Donít 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 itís too long to show in the browserís address field, users wonít 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. Donít 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.

Web Builder Express also features great ideas like a breadcrumb trail, which allows users to see how they ended up on a certain page in your site, as well as how to get back to where they started; calendar functions; and page change notifications.

Web Builder Express even offers a comparison chart of their services versus their competitors, which includes pricing, so users donít have to leave their site to do research. Thatís pretty smart, because the longer a user is on your site, the better.

By avoiding Nielsenís top 10 website mistakes, your users will have a more enjoyable experience on your site, which is a very good thing.


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