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Learning from Poor Design Mistakes

Learning from Poor Design Mistakes

The Internet has come a long way in terms of web design. This blog article highlights some of the bad designs that small business websites once had.

For a long time the Internet had only been used by high level university and research centers, where websites were essentially just text based. In the mid 1990’s, the Internet started to slowly come into the average person’s life, at home, at work, at school. Some small businesses were realizing that having a website could be useful for increasing business, and signing up new customers. Back then, website design for small businesses was pretty primitive.

In the early years of the Internet, when graphics were starting to become popular, many websites were designed badly. Just put in a search term like “website designs from 1995” and see what comes up. It’s pretty horrendous. It seems like website designers for small businesses centered on the idea of having a bright splashy background to attract attention. The only thing it probably did was made people want to put on a pair of sunglasses, and protect their eyes. Or, there was the opposite mistake, where no contrast between the background, text, and even graphics were used. Trying to read navy blue text on a black background is not just difficult, but extremely frustrating for people wanting to find out about your small business SuSure it looks neat, but it’s probably too much for a small business website.

Some of the website designs for small businesses in the early days of the Internet seemed to want to put everything about their business on one page. Pages filled with text after text, buttons, and graphics made a very headache inducing website viewing for the reader. Some websites were hard to navigate – trying to find out how to contact someone at the small business could be like trying to get out of a labyrinth. Then of course there are always the animated text and graphics that were so popular back then. Why wouldn’t customers want to know more about your company after seeing three rows of bouncing smiley faces?

It’s amazing how much website design has improved in the last 20 years, more so in the last 10 to 15 years. Now a website designer for small businesses focuses on the idea of bringing information to the reader (the client/customer or potential client/customer) in the best, clearest, and easiest way to read and navigate possible. In fact, one of the biggest mistakes a business or anyone, can make when it comes to website design is designing a website without thinking who’s actually looking at the website. You might think a giant picture of your dog Mr. Pickles on your business website would be a good idea, but for your reader it could just be, tacky, unprofessional, and distracting. The last thing you want is for a visitor to lose interest in your small business website and leave without contacting you.

If you’re unfamiliar with how to create a good website, get in touch with 99MediaLab. Our designers will help your business have a professional website that you and your customers will like.