Responsive website design goes a long way to making a site more user-friendly, as recently acknowledged by Google. But the fact is, there’s a lot more to site user-friendliness than just that.
Remember the good old days, when a website was basically a digital flyer? Yup, when we were all watching the later seasons of “Seinfeld,” wearing Tommy Hilfiger tube tops, and unabashedly eating Olestra-based snacks, we didn’t think about how our websites would age. Unfortunately, an old website has even less value than a timeshare. And timeshares are worthless.
Because we have become so dependent upon our social media presence, it can be easy to ignore the brand mothership: the website. Sure, you’ve become Facebook and Instagram-savvy, so all you have to think about are the quality of your posts and photographs. Things like responsive web design and whether or not you should add an infinite scroll feature are put off—sometimes indefinitely.
Take a minute and visit your own website, and see what you find. If it’s any of the following, you’ll need an overhaul, and contacting a talented web designer might not be a bad idea, either.
1) Endless Spice Girls Tracks with No Mute Button
We understand the desire to appeal to the trendy and the young. Unfortunately, nothing stays trendy or young for long; eventually, everything will become unfashionable and grizzled. Just like the Spice Girls themselves!
You might not have gotten the memo, but everyone hates automatic website music. Everyone, without exception. For some reason, web designers of old thought that incorporating loud and inescapable music or sound effects was a good thing. They clearly didn’t anticipate the possibility that a person might be opening their website while at work or next to a sleeping spouse. There really is no compromise—just get rid of it.
2) Seizure-Inducing Animations
Now that you’ve recovered from your neurological event, take a moment to think about alternative ways you can make your website unique without resorting to animals cutely dancing the Funky Chicken.
Dancing animated GIFs on your homepage was sooo late-’90s. (OK, so maybe the phenomenon was slightly later, but it feels really old.)
Back in the day, you might have thought that web animations were cutting edged or witty, but that was only because you never visited a website that used them. We spend a huge amount of time staring at computer screens. We don’t need any more migraines.
3) A Lack of Responsive Design
Check your website on your smartphone. If your screen displays only one letter at a time, you really should think about responsive web design. This is especially important if your service is likely to be used by customers on the go. It’s the wave of the future! In only a few short years, we’ll be accessing all of our online information on our smartphones.
Of course, we predict that soon our smartphones will have apps that display 48-inch projections of our touchscreens in life-like holograms, so … maybe it won’t be all that necessary.
4) Latest Blog Post Is about: Windows Vista
Here’s the thing about blogs: They’re only good for keeping your website nice and fresh. Once you allow your blog to stagnate—even for just a few months or a year—you immediately make your website irrelevant.
Oh, and whatever you do, don’t try to circumvent the age of your blogs by failing to include the posting date. That’s just cheater-y and obnoxious. Whether your blog was written in 2010 or 2015 makes a huge difference, darn it, and it’ll show, regardless.
Website maintenance doesn’t necessarily need to be constant, but it does have to stay in accord with consumer expectation. While it might be unnecessary to arbitrarily add invisible navigation and carousel graphics, you should make sure your website is user-friendly. Bite the bullet and make the necessary changes. At the least, remove the guest book and the visible site counter. Those are just ancient.