Designing a good website for your business is both easier and harder than it looks. You want it to look good, obviously, but you also want the form to match the function, and to funnel visitors to the most important pages as naturally as possible. Unfortunately, there are a lot of misconceptions out there about what makes a good webpage, and quite a few things that you want to avoid, whether you’re hiring a web designer or attempting to do it all yourself. Here are some of the most prevalent web design myths.
The ‘Flash’ier, the better. With so many people and businesses creating new web pages all the time, it’s a natural desire to want to stand out and have your page look “cool.” Flash gives you lots of interesting tools to do just that, but way too many people go overboard with it and do not know how to use the tool correctly. You don’t want to create such an elaborate Flash intro, for example, that people are forced to wait… and wait… and wait to get to the relevant information. Also, you risk alienating a significant portion of the internet population that doesn’t even have Flash installed on your browser.
More colors/pictures/videos will make my site stand out. Maybe. Or maybe they’ll make your site look psychedelic or incredibly cluttered. Remember, you don’t want to overwhelm your visitors. The site still needs to get clear and easy to use, or you’ll have people clicking away. A good design is attractive and draws the user’s attention to relevant information.
A fancy new site will mean fancy new visitors. People talk about how the broadcast TV networks in the United States have it bad because they’re now competing against hundreds of other channels where there were only a few dozen a generation or two ago. Well, the internet has that problem multiplied by the thousands, and just making your site prettier or better functioning doesn’t mean that people will suddenly come flocking to you. Rather, creating or updating a site is the price of doing business – you still have to do the hard work of marketing yourself to the audience you’re trying to reach. The difference is that once you get them to your awesome site, hopefully there’s a better chance they won’t want to leave.