Top ten web design mistakes, 2005 edition

Jakob Nielsen's annual list of web design mistakes is out. Top Ten Web Design Mistakes of 2005 contains some of the web design stupidities that annoy me the most. Here's the list, with my comments added to some of the mistakes:

  1. Legibility Problems: Tiny, low contrast text is hard to read, even for people with perfect eyesight. But some think it looks good and use it anyway.
  2. Non-Standard Links: Why make your visitors guess where the links are? You don't have to stick with the default link colours, so there is room for creativity. But don't rely on colour alone.
  3. Flash: More people use Flash well now than a couple of years ago, but there are still way too many examples of Flash used badly.
  4. Content That's Not Written for the Web: I'm not sure I agree that content always has to be written specifically for the web. I do know that what annoys me more is badly written content. Fix the spelling mistakes and bad grammar before publishing. Please.
  5. Bad Search
  6. Browser Incompatibility: Good point, but it would have been better if he mentioned web standards instead of specific browsers.
  7. Cumbersome Forms
  8. No Contact Information or Other Company Info
  9. Frozen Layouts with Fixed Page Widths: If you've been reading this site for a while, you know that I am an advocate of liquid or elastic widths. I especially dislike layouts that are overly wide and fixed.
  10. Inadequate Photo Enlargement: After spending countless hours looking at real estate sites I'll tell you that I find it extremely annoying to click on a "view larger photo" link and get a popup window that displays the same photo. What is the point of that?

Agree? Disagree? Let's talk about it.

Posted on October 5, 2005 in Usability