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Five Common Mistakes That Cause a Web Design Project To Fail

Here are 5 common mistakes that cause website design to go off the rails and the project to fail in its intentions, goals and objectives:

1) Not hiring brand designers to develop the image, brand and message.   When you give this job to the  web developers instead of hiring communications and marketing experts, you are on the road to failure with your website.  Web design and branding are two different skill sets.

2) The same goes for content written by the web developers.  Content should always be written by subject matter experts.

3) Trying to be hip or cutting edge where it is not called for.  If you are appealing to a conservative audience, you do not want your website to look like it is a advertisement for Grand Theft Auto.  A culturally inappropriate website design  destroys your value proposition and loses customers.

4) Features that don't work.  This is my biggest pet peeve.  I went to the Home Depot website and searched for reverse osmosis filters.  I knew that they had them, I just wanted to do a price comparison.  The on-site search engine gave me results for everything but that.  I finally gave up.

5) No story boards or navigation planning.  Do an ad hoc websites results in spaghetti navigation.  To logically get your message across, you must have a logical plan instead of links that take you everywhere that distract the reader from your value proposition and buy message.  Excess linking and navigation dead ends just make the surfer hit the home button and leave your page quickly.

The goals and objectives of your web design should be stated clearly before any design work is done.  From those, you create a requirements document and a brand design.  The next step is the coding and then the quality control should happen before your website goes live.

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