Saturday, 7 May 2011

Common Mistakes

There are some usability mistakes that bloggers
tend to make over and over again. We will list them
here, so that you can use it as a checklist.
No search box: Internet users resort to the search
box whenever they need to find something specific.

Some people even use search to navigate around
websites. If you don't have a (visible) search box on
your site, those users will get very frustrated.
No archives: It is essential to have a page where
the visitor can browser through all your posts. Apart
from improving the user experience, this page will
also be healthy for your search engine optimization,
as it works as a sitemap.
No contact page: It is very annoying for visitors if
they have something to tell you and can't find a way
to get in touch. Secondly, you risk losing valuable
feedback if that is the case.
Complex navigation: Try to make your navigation
structure as simple as possible. This involves using a
main navigation bar, having a link back to the
homepage on all internal pages, avoiding drop-down
menus and so on.
Bad typography: If people can't read your content
comfortably they will just head somewhere else.
Make sure that your font is big enough, that the
letter and line spacing is adequate, that you have
enough white space surrounding the content and so
on. Invisible links: Hyperlinks are cornerstones of web
navigation, and they should always be easily
recognizable. Try to make your hyperlinks
underlined. If you don't like that, at least make sure
that their color stands out and that users won't get
confused regarding what is clickable and what is
not. Too many ads: Many bloggers tend to assume that
in order to make money blogging they need to jam
ads all over their sites. This is not true. To make
money blogging you need to have quality traffic,
and too many ads will reduce your quality traffic
over the long term. Start with as few ads as
possible, and move your way up consciously, always
putting your visitors' experience first. We will talk
more about monetization in the last chapter of this
ebook. Badges, buttons and widgets: This is another
very common mistake. Since it is so easy to add
badges, buttons and widgets, many bloggers fill
their sidebars completely with them. Most of those
items, however, won't add much value to your
visitors, while cluttering your design and possibly
driving traffic away from your site.

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