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Top 5 Mistakes Made When Building a Website

By: Heath Meyette at Think Tank Designs

Submitted on Wed, May 14th, 2008 7:19 am

Mistake 1: Lack of logical navigation and usability.

Make your navigation straight forward and simple. Don't confuse visitors by changing page layouts or moving navigation from page to page. Use the same layout for each page of your site. Get your visitor to the info they want as quickly as possible. Make sure to also let visitors know where they are and where they've been by distinguishing between active and visited links.

Mistake 2: Poor programming.
Your site should load quickly and make proper use of html/css. Sites that are put together wrong can be penalized by search engines. And does your site function just as well in Explorer as it does in Firefox, or even Safari?

Mistake 3: Form over Function.
Ahh, the age old argument of form vs. function. Although design plays a large role in building credibility and branding, too much design can easily overshadow your message/content.

Mistake 4: Text that doesn't speak to your visitors.
On the web, honesty is the best policy. Answer all questions that your visitors might have, especially the ones you don't want to answer. Unanswered questions is why most visitors leave a site. Remember, they don't have someone behind a counter to ask questions of. This is the difference between losing a visitor and gaining a customer.

NOTE: It's a good idea to have someone outside of your company write your copy. That way, personal biases or office politics can't hinder your efforts.

Mistake 5: Not monitoring your website's effectiveness.
You can monitor your website's effectiveness with Google Analytics. It's a free online tool that gives you all sorts of helpful statistics that you can use to make your website more effective. A good programmer can setup your free account and begin your statistics.

About the Author

Heath Meyette
Think Tank Designs
Heath earned his BFA degree in Graphic Design from Cal State Fullerton during the late nineties. He quickly became focused on web design and emerging technologies that would eventually shape the future of eBusiness and online marketing strategy. Heath began his career in Irvine, CA at a web technology company where he helped create business and marketing plans for startups looking for venture capitalists. "There I learned a lot about what makes a company successful, and more importantly, what makes them successful online," comments Heath. "If you had the right kind of eyes, you learned a lot from what happened during the dot.com bust. Putting a dot.com behind your name was no replacement for solid business planning and in-demand products or services." Heath would eventually co-found Think Tank Designs with Robin Lindblom in 2000. There he is project lead and oversees all web and online marketing strategy projects from concept through completion. "Every client comes to us with a special challenge. Often, they're getting bad customer service and low quality, which usually means their web person has stopped listening or has reached the limit of their knowledge. You won't get that with us." Heath's meticulous nature and dedication to client satisfaction is one of the fundamental reasons for the success of Think Tank Designs. "Our business model is based on a simple but often ignored principle: If we focus on each client's business, our business takes care of itself." He contributed to the book, Breaking Into Graphic Design: Tips from the Pros, which provided insight to other graphic designers on how to start their careers in design. He's also had his work published in American Corporate Identity, a showcase of the best corporate identities across the nation.

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