Anatomy of a Bad Professional Website

It’s easy to spot a bad website, but harder to actually put a finger on what makes it bad. Here are a few easy mistakes to make that can really ruin your website:

  1. Using background music. This is a no-no for a professional website. It makes the website take longer to load (especially on a mobile device) and no one has their volume turned on at work. And if they do, they will just be annoyed that your website just disturbed all of their cubicle mates. Save the music for your myspace page.Overacted VI
  2. Use every millimeter of space. Don’t do this! Your square footage of screen space is virtually limitless! Ever notice how nice houses and restaurants have lots of blank walls? It is pleasing and calming to the eye! Use wide borders and “enter” spaces to create some negative space to avoid it looking too cluttered.nonegative space
  3. Put everything on one page. You don’t want to give your reader a finger cramp from scrolling forever. It may be tempting for the novice webpage designer to simply keeping adding to 1 page but try to get comfortable creating tabs and navigation buttons. scroll bar
  4. Use radical color schemes. Use your “color wheel” from 5th grade art class to see what colors work together best. Stick to 1 or 2 complementary colors. Or stick to a neutral palette. Too many flashy or bright colors will make your website look juvenile or amateur.  ugly colors
  5. Use Google translator to translate your whole website. Google translator is way too literal and although it has gotten better over the years, it still has a tendency to translate things word for word. Do yourself and your readers a favor and find a friend who speaks your target language to proofread any translations before you upload them. bad translation

4 thoughts on “Anatomy of a Bad Professional Website

  1. Nowadays even with small budget non-profit organizations can develop attractive and very functional web-site. Low-cost vendors and free tools are in abundance on the Web. Web-service offers “do it yourself” technologies and highly customizable templates.
    This will help solve some of problems you have mentioned in your post.

    To avoid these problems, it is helpful to keep in mind 4 things below:
    1. Select suitable content management system, examples: WordPress, Wix, SquareSpace, Weebly. These web design tools offer modern theme/appearance and aesthetic design.
    2. Adhere to good writing and proofreading. Overall web-site impression is affected by quality of writing.
    3. Use well produced videos and strong visuals/photos. Amount of text can easily turn away potential supporters. That is why strategic use of infographic, videos and images is highly recommended to share message and inspire people.
    4. Provide simple, consistent navigation. As you said, web designers should resist to “put everything on one page”. This complicates information search, slows navigation.
    In summary, “do it yourself” is a realistic option if right tools are used. There are very specific “dont’s” while web-site design you have supported very well with images in your post.

  2. In your post your summarize your points succinctly and illustrate with some entertaining graphics. I have seen and designed many websites and even written code. I have had only a few occasions to hear music on these site and it is very irritating. Sound effects are ok but persistent background music makes me want to close down the site rather than explore it. I have never seen a site that uses google translate.

    Two points I would add to your “Anatomy of a Bad Professional Website”; 1) navigation of site is not user friendly 2) broken links
    besides busy content and colors that do not have curb appeal these two characteristics of bad websites really drive me crazy.

    With the ease of drop and drag website formats, planning and editing websites are within a click of a button. There is really no good reason why anyone has to have a bad professional website.

  3. This was a fun post to read. I really enjoyed your use of graphics to drive your point across. I’m interested to know if you have 1-2 examples of a site that you think is executed well to round off your post with pointing the reader in the right direction. Great spin on all the reading and research done this week!

  4. Quick and easy post to read for website development 101. Just a suggestion on your numbering system would be to combine #2 and #3 and title the header something like “not making it user friendly” and listing all the aspects of poor sites that do not consider making their site easy to navigate. You briefly mention making the site mobile friendly in point #1. With the rise of mobile technology I think this may warrant a section all to itself. I know how often I use my phone and how frustrating it is when a site does not have a mobile format. Good post overall, provided some pretty good points that I believe people often overlook.

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