You see a beautiful person across the dance floor. They’re an incredible dancer and their very presence commands your senses.
You take them to a booth and begin talking over dry martinis (shaken not stirred). And throughout the conversation, you feel something is off. You politely excuse yourself to the restroom and Google them. They’re wanted in ten states for murder. You escape out the back door.
Are you worried your website is sending people out the back door? It may be a beautiful site to behold, but there might be something lurking in the background you’re unaware of.
Here are a few hidden design flaws to check for.
1. No Favicons
Imagine you owned a retail shop. You didn’t put a sign above the door and you made your employees wear masks and generic matching clothes. Do you think people would come back? Would they even enter?
Favicons are sorta like a business sign or a friendly face who is consistently there. They’re the little icon in the website tab indicating what site you’re on.
If you work online, you understand the value of these little icons. Right now, I have 26 tabs open. Some of my friends report keeping even more open when they work.
If you want people to re-find your site in their tab pile, use a unique favicon.
2. That one Generic 404
If you hit a dead end in a maze, you just find your way out and keep going. If you hit a dead end on a website, you’re likely going someplace else.
Why? Because you clicked on that link because you wanted something specific. If that specific thing isn’t there, it’s not there (even if it might actually be someplace else on the site). In fact, only 20% go back to try and find the info they were looking for.
Be vigilant and test your UX navigation paths regularly. Fix those links as soon as you find them.
3. The Carousel
This list shows plenty of better design ideas than a carousel format at the top of your home page. Use those, please.
A carousel is an abysmally slow and cumbersome feature that’s weirdly popular even in the most credible websites. But it does several things to your site that will confound users.
First, it takes up too much space for very little content and few links. You could use that space for actual content or links.
The UI on carousels is clumsy and usually not mobile friendly. On desktop, you have to either click the little nodules at the bottom of the carousel to advance it (if it even advances manually) or you have to move the cursor over the images for an arrow to show up which advances the carousel.
Lastly, people don’t have patience to sit around and find out what’s coming up in the carousel. Any images later in the carousel are just wasted bandwidth slowing down your site.
Function and Form Together
Don’t be satisfied with a pretty face. Yes, it helps. As designers, we want everything to look beautiful. But it must remain functional as well.
If your website is slow, clumsy, or broken, people will just ditch and go somewhere else.