TIP 22: Top Design Mistakes

These aren’t necessarily the most common or the worst mistakes I see on rakeback websites, but they are pretty egregious and I encounter them way more often than I should.

In no particular order…

1. Colored text that is hard to read.
Text needs to be a very dark color on a very light background or vice versa. There is very little middle ground here, always have sharply contrasting text – no one wants eye strain.

2. Text that is too small or too big.
Paragraph text should be between 10 pixels and 14 pixels. Headings should be no more than about 30 pixels. Almost anything that falls outside this pretty specific range looks awful.

3. Too much noise!
Don’t be tempted into building a banner farm. It immediately scares many if not most potential browsers away very quickly and makes your site hard to navigate, view and even look at. Avoid having hundreds of links on any page. Keep the promotions you do feature uniformly presented and well organized. If you decide to add a few banners please avoid anything with excessive motion or flashing. If you wouldn’t want to stare at it for hours then don’t expose your visitors to it!

4. Poorly conceived navigation
Without a good navigation system, no one will want to linger at your website, much less sign up for rakeback or a bonus. If you are inexperienced, keep your navigation short and simple. If your navigation is over crowded, poorly executed, or difficult to read, the entire flow of your site will break down completley.

5. Ugly, unprofessional logos/graphics
If you are not a skilled designer, you’re better off using stock images or just text and plain colors. An elaborate but inexpertly or poorly conceived heading sets the tone for your entire website. If you are not very confident in your ability to judge quality, keep your logo and other graphics very simple. It is often the simplest logos that are the most memorable and effective.

6. Highly Personal taste
Love neon colors and animal print? Your viewers don’t. Stick with neutral colors, and designs that are likely to be attractive to a broad range of people. Your personal taste will always influence your design choices, but ultimately your are building something to please an audience, not yourself. Not sure if something is too personal? Just ask a few friends who aren’t afraid to offer constructive criticism.

7. Browser Incompatibility
Be sure to test your design changes in multiple browsers, especially if you are making adjustments to layout or adding complex javascript plug-ins. More than half your viewers may be experiencing a broken website while you are completely unaware.

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