9 common usability mistakes in web design

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If there’s one thing all good web developers and designers agree on, it’s the importance of usability in websites.

Websites with great usability are important for keeping visitors happy. After all, nobody wants people who visit their webpage to end up frustrated and annoyed.

Here are 9 common usability problems that visitors face – you need to avoid them at all costs!

1. Tiny click areas

The first thing you need to do is look at all the clickables on your site. How easy are they to click?

Links and buttons that are on the smaller side are difficult to click. There’s a very simple reason for this: humans aren’t very accurate with the mouse.

To solve this problem, make sure anything clickable on your site is either large enough, or has sizable padding around it.

2. Too many pages

Pagination – splitting content onto multiple pages – is something you have to be careful with.

Of course, when you have a lot of content, splitting it up is a good idea to keep your load times fast.

However, blogs tend to split their content into pages to increase page views. But it doesn’t work as users get frustrated and leave.

It also negatively affects SEO rankings because each split page ends up with less keywords.

3. Duplicate pages and titles

In the HTML code, the page title comes between the <title> tags in the <head> section.

It’s a very common mistake to put in a generic title and end up forgetting about it. Titles help users recognize which page they are on – having duplicate titles and pages is super annoying.

Perhaps even more important is that titles are super important for SEO. Bad titles lead to bad ranking.

4. Difficult content

Nobody wants to read long paragraphs that go on and on, or look at badly placed photos.

Your content needs to appeal to the reader. Keep sentences short. Use larger fonts and bolder colors. And use high quality images. 

5. No contact information

User engagement is important. Not just for building a loyal audience, but also for solving critical issues for your clients. Make sure your contact information is accurate and easily accessible.

6. No search bar

Nobody has time to browse through your entire website to find what they want. A search bar will save your users precious time and energy.

7. Too many functions behind registrations

It’s okay to require registration for some functionality, but don’t lock away too many features behind log-in barriers.

8. Outdated permalinks

Websites need to be restructured every now and then. Make sure you revisit all old permalinks after each renovation to give them a 301 redirect. You don’t want your visitors to see a ‘404 – Page cannot be found’ error.

9. Lengthy forms

Avoid anything that takes longer than 20 seconds to fill in. Long, lengthy forms are not just frustrating, they tend to discourage users from spending time on your site.

At the end of the day…

Usability is all about less thinking, less effort and less frustration. All you have to do is try and make your website as easy-to-use as possible, and you’re good to go!

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