A study has determined that badly designed websites are often not read, trusted or visited for any length of time. “Poor interface design was particularly associated with rapid rejection and mistrust of a website,” the study states, “In cases where the participants did not like some aspect of the design the site was often not explored further than the homepage and was not considered suitable for revisiting at a later date…”
And don’t try to justify a poor website design by saying ‘at least my content is great’, because 94% of the reason the participants rejected a site was for design related issues, while only 6% was for content-related issues. So, your content could be stellar and as top-notch as ever, but a poor website design can bring it all to a crashing halt.
So, what things should you look out for when designing your website? These are the things that participants of this study noted were deal breakers: Busy layouts, lack of navigation aids, boring web design, pop up advertisements, slow introductions to a site (splash pages, slow-loading flash introductions, etc), small print, too much text etc.
Keep an eye out for sites you find successful, and try to pinpoint why they are successful and introduce this into your own online endeavours.