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Top Web Design Mistakes of the Week

When was the last time you shopped your own website?

I visit hundreds of websites every week and I’m starting to notice a number of similar issues that keep showing up.

To help the readers of my blog, I’m starting a new blog post each Friday with my top website design mistake of the week.

Top Web Design Mistakes of the Week –  June 24-30

Search Box

I was on an e-commerce website this past week looking for a particular fishing lure.

Since the site was pretty large and I was being a little lazy, I went directly to the provided search box.  I typed in what I thought the product should be called and got “No matches” .

I tried a couple of different names and still got No matches.  Then out of desperation, I tried a generic name for a totally different lure and that is when I figured out that the Search Box was not working.  A visitor to your website would have left way before I did.

I visited a prospective client’s website that included a search box and the site only had 8 pages. There were no PDFs, Catalogs or Brochures on the site.  I could not understand why with only 8 pages they found it necessary to have a search box.

I recommend having a search box if you have a significant amount of content and it will be easier for your website visitors to use a search box then your page navigation.

However, if  you have a limited amount of content the answer is no search box.

When was the last time you did a search on your own website?

Pretend you are a first time visitor to your site and you are not familiar with all the products your company carries.

Type in the different names that someone might call your product. Start with generic names, descriptions then be more specific each time you search.

How about a specific part number?   Try your part number, then try your competitors part number. I’m serious, if your competitor’s part numbers or names are more known that yours, people will be using their part number or product name in their search. Think like a Google search, that is what your web visitors are used to.

The main purpose of a search box is make it easy for people to find what they are looking for.  If your current search box is not making life easier for visitors to your website, fix it or remove it.

Check back next Friday.  You never know if the problem I post is one that you are having on your website and don’t even know…