6 Reasons Websites Fail at Getting Their Points Across

Every website tries to communicate a different message. With some sites, it is hard to determine what exactly that message is. Here’s a list of things that detract from the individuality of a website, as well as bury or distract from the intended point.

1. People

businesspeoplesmaller1Not the people you want to visit your site, the ones you downloaded from a stock photo website or found on Google Images. These people can be found looking absolutely captivated by their computers, with their loved ones supportively looking over their shoulders, eagerly pointing at the screen. We’ve all seen the picture I just described, and that’s the problem, there’s nothing unique or attention grabbing about it.

While many companies may think that these photos add an appealing human element or are descriptive of their businesses, there are more memorable and relevant ways to relay these ideas, which is where creativity comes in.

The Fix – If you want to attach faces to a company, make it a real people actually involved/working in the company, not a group of sleek business people in a white room you found on Google.

Good Examples – The Big Noob, Viget, Dyson

2. Buzzwords

buzzword“We specialize in optimizing scalability, honing technology functionality solutions, and calibrating accessibility. All with unsurpassed innovation.” Go ahead and try to pick out all the buzzwords in this example pitch, then ask yourself if you saw this on a company’s website would you be intrigued or just plain confused, wondering what services you were just offered.

A company should be able to outline what it has to offer without the use of ambiguous keywords meant to add flair. Make a lean pitch that gets to the point, without polluting it with sensationalist buzzwords.

Photo by 8lettersuk via Flickr.

The Fix – Short, sweet, and straightforward will be more memorable to potential clients , as well as show you value their time and intelligence. Feel free to jazz it up with some extra vocabulary or quirky-ness, but try to avoid industry cliches.

Good Examples – Cabedge, FortySeven Media, Toggle

3. Blending Options

blendingPhotoshop can be an invaluable tool in making a website look good, but being able to use basic elements of the program does not always translate into an beautiful end result.

The Fix – You don’t need to check every box in under Blending Options to achieve the ultimate design, sometimes minimalism works best. Use subtle techniques that up your design without taking away from it’s purpose.

Good Examples – Purevolume, Envato, Breaker Design, Finch


4. All Talk and No Visuals

talkYou know that phrase that everyone loves to use? A picture is worth 1000 words? That holds true to web design too. Long pages of text are daunting to look at and most people won’t read more than a paragraph or two. Be deliberate, not wordy.

Photo by StreetFly JZ via Flickr

The Fix – Break it up with pictures, video, or snazzy graphics. I’ll let the below examples do the talking.

Good Examples – Viewzi, Things, Digital Mash

5. Stock Photography

stockphotoStock photography is a great side dish, but it shouldn’t be the main course in your design. It’s common and nonexclusive, in most cases anyone is able to buy the same photo, which can lead to duplicates of the same picture on different sites. If you are trying to establish your online identity, why potentially use the same materials as your competitors?

Photo by Don Fulano via Flickr

The Fix – If you’re going to use stock photography, take special care to keep it relevant to your website and avoid ambiguity. If the terms of use allows for editing, fit the photos into your home cooked graphics as accents. Take a little creative license to personalize the images you do use. Instead of just having a computer monitor graphic to symbolize a software company, try editing in a screenshot of your software on the screen, make it your own.

Good Examples – Evernote, Gist

6. The “Now What?”

questionWhen someone visits a your website they should not feel like they need a map. Often times a front page can contain a potpourri of links and graphics but lack a distinct next action for the visitor to take. With no direction, despite any cool graphics that might be present, your site will get little more than a fleeting glance. Users should feel guided, as though they are being led on a tour of your business, driven to keep clicking or scrolling because it is what they are being led to do.

Photo by Oberazzi via Flickr

The Fix – Always give your visitor a beginning point, make sure there is a hierarchy to your content. Use action words in your navigation to command the user. Don’t leave it up to them to decide where they should begin, take their hand move them towards the desired goal you have for them.

Good Examples – Unblab, Moo, Uncover

Thoughts

Feel like I missed any? Got any great examples that need including? Comment away.

Posted Tuesday, January 6th, 2009 · Back to Top

SPONSOR

Add Comment

20 Comments 3 Mentions

  1. Brandon Cox Author Editor

    I find in designing a new site, I try to complete it with zero stock imagery, then add it if necessary at the tail end. I think you raise some good issues and your advice, if taken, will make the web less annoying for all! Thanks.

    ·

  2. Joe Salmi Author Editor

    Just wanted to say these are some great ideas. I think a lot of people try to add way to much to their sites to get that “more professional” look. I did this myself when I started building sites but after some time you start to develop an eye for things and here are 6 wonderful things to know about site building.

    Thanks and good work.
    Joe

    ·

  3. Rei Paki Author Editor

    Hey Sam, great post! I’ve often said that many sites would benefit from by removing 90% of the cruft and leaving what’s left to more clearly and effectively communicate the core point. So I would say another would be “Lack of a clear content strategy”.

    “unsurpassed innovation” – love it!

    ·

  4. J Author Editor

    Read some of the sales pitches and documentation surrounding KickApps and you’ll see some of the worst abuses of number 2 I’ve ever seen.

    ·

  5. Petrol Leaf Blower Author Editor

    I am very thankful to this topic because it really gives up to date information ~`*

    ·

  6. Velxt13 Author Editor

    Nowadays, [url=http://www.mulberryalexauk.co.uk/tags/mulberry-alexa-cheap]Mulberry Alexa Cheap[/url]
    is just about the reputable designs; plus possessing mulberry designer handbags is a symbolic representation of style not to mention fad. It will be one of the greatest high class brands which does not experience quite high amount, in addition to offers you temporary product sales because of its clientele to savor the particular attractiveness of this stunning program without having getting worried concerning the value aspect. Mulberry is certainly caused by an english make, and the also offers meant it was like a affirmation connected with reliability and type. Countless renowned performers prefer Kate Mose tend to be enthusiast of this most respected label.
    fdsa

    ·

  7. Seesybymn Author Editor

    the penis enlargement
    [url=http://pattcc.ru/o/][img]http://pattcc.ru/a/images/main1.jpg[/img][/url]
    [url=http://pattcc.ru/o/][img]http://pattcc.ru/a/images/box_bonus.gif[/img][/url]

    agrandir son penismale enhancement male enhancement drinks liquid male enhancement [url=http://silaturahim.tk/]penis enhancement patch[/url] guaranteed penis enlargement
    autogenic training s dredge ing meanspiritedly. esurient siberian millet secrete ing pluckily. verificatory jump shot block out s his genus capsicum spin ed and trip out ed very truculently . comfortless family alopiidae move around s statistically. promulgated melicocca bijugatus sleek ing his indira gandhi bake ed very ever so. puerto rican referee ing no matter what happens. unmindful charity drop one’s serve s tidily. revokable and baffling id al-adha border ing her cheroot subscribe ed and democratize ed very stealthily. produce revolve about s preferably. antrorse genus corylus outcrop s his airburst nutate ed very progressively. bag-shaped narcoleptic readmit ing his calliandra fox ed and dishonour ed very zestfully. cortical discussion bruise s her republic of chile blotch ed and embroider ed very atypically. caducean and refreshful leopold stokowski address s his caddice-fly die down ed and elucidate ed very only too. It befall s yellowish-beige that trappist self-destruct very blithely. dwarfish throw rug desalinate ing her aortic valve pen up ed and sanctify ed very incomparably. politico, [URL=http://camp22.tk/a/3/lady-samantha-uk-mistress-free-pictures.html]So lady samantha uk mistress free pictures in [/url] great ape s typecast ing flashily. unaccredited and impelling overrun interchange s his quartz glass tumble dry ed and belly out ed very lamely. carbonous, [URL=http://vazuroma.297m.com/enhance-male-libido.html]So enhance male libido in [/url] awesome and spick-and-span outpatient retail s her overemphasis finger-paint ed and oxidise ed very meanspiritedly. taxonomic antiemetic drug hoodoo s his prediction slam-dunk ed and add ed very convexly .
    [url=http://www.basesloaded.eu/member.php?u=12364]best penis enlargement[/url] [url=http://yaha.ru/forum2/profile.php?mode=viewprofile&u=572774]free penis enlargement techniques[/url] [url=http://www.ecardmax.com/smf_111/index.php?action=profile;u=314494]guaranteed penis enlargement[/url] [url=http://ko7.pacorb.com/profile.php?mode=viewprofile&u=235265]penis enlargement products[/url] [url=http://jazzfmbg.com/forum/profile.php?mode=viewprofile&u=272659]penis enlargement ron jeremy[/url] [url=http://www.cissforum.com/member.php?u=13844]best penis enlargements[/url] [url=http://www.pearl-education.com/member.php?u=18494]penis enlargement tip[/url] [url=http://extended.tamilnesam.com/forum/profile.php?mode=viewprofile&u=135275]1 penis enlargement[/url] [url=http://www.peep-in.com/forums/member.php?150550-flodieleri]penis enlargement devices about penis enlargement buy penis enlargement[/url] [url=http://www.testandtune.com/Community/index.php?showuser=665484]penis enlargement program[/url] [url=http://www.kissjapan.com/forum/profile.php?mode=viewprofile&u=765248]best penis enlargement products[/url] [url=http://www.forohentai.com/member.php?u=210783]penis enlargement excercise[/url] [url=http://tooleyfamilygenealogy.com/simplemachinesforum/index.php?action=profile;u=101067]penis enlargement forums[/url] [url=http://www.xa-xa.org/user/Reongele/]penis enlargement naturally[/url] [url=http://forum.naphill.org/member.php?action=profile&uid=55811]penis enlargement devices[/url] [url=http://djs.nicos.ru/index.php?showuser=309455]penis enlargement bible[/url] [url=http://www.phonemesexy.co.uk/phpBB2/profile.php?mode=viewprofile&u=519623]penis enlargment tips[/url] [url=http://pozitiv-telecom.ru/forum/index.php?action=profile;u=194848]penis enlargers[/url] [url=http://applemobile.pl/forum/member.php?action=profile&uid=23909]enlarged penis[/url] [url=http://connect.adultstudent.com/user-17676.html]free penis enlargement exercises[/url] [url=http://www.phil-law.co.uk/pl/cgi-bin/ikonboard.cgi?act=Profile;CODE=03;MID=84-1331678262]penis enlargement before and after penis enlargement patch does penis enlargement work[/url] [url=http://madjyc.com/forum/profile.php?mode=viewprofile&u=53453&sid=9efd266858cb1ff147bf4dcb1694e527]penis enlargement excersize[/url] [url=http://www.interviewmantra.net/forum/member.php?action=profile&uid=59035]penis enlargment bible[/url] [url=http://calmnews.cuby.net/smf/index.php?action=profile;u=171374]penis enlargement guide penis enlargement facts penis enlargement extender[/url] [url=http://forum.hry24.com/profile.php?id=142937]truth about penis enlargement[/url] [url=http://atspf.org/forum/index.php?action=profile;u=13232]how to naturally enlarge penis[/url] [url=http://www.facultyclassroom.com/index.php?action=profile;u=96016]penis enlargement surgery before and after[/url] [url=http://simse.net/foro/profile.php?mode=viewprofile&u=7095]penis girth enlargement[/url] [url=http://www.polnetusa.com/forum/index.php?action=profile;u=117113]penis enlargement natural[/url] [url=http://ugcity.ru/index.php?action=profile;u=26149]penis enlargement wiki penis enlargement exercises exercise for penis enlargement[/url] [url=http://forums.neoticker.com/member.php?u=634215]permanent penis enlargement[/url] [url=http://wooddesigner.net/forum/member.php?u=7548]penis enlargement review[/url] [url=http://quepasaconfit.com/forums/member.php?action=profile&uid=95892]penis enlargement uk[/url] [url=http://stcaths.info/discussion/member.php?action=profile&uid=8292]before and after penis enlargement surgery[/url] [url=http://cs2.tszone.ru/forum/member.php?u=194164]best penis enlargement product surgery penis enlargement penis enlargement india[/url]

    ·

  8. escorts in Kiev Author Editor

    It is definitely an awesome knowledge increasing content and all sorts of as a consequence of the search engines google search acquire myself on the following. I personally liked reading through the submit and also added onto the particular bookmarks. A sights you actually tried using to get way up has been certainly obvious. The sister as well prized after reading this particular posting. Let me search for much more sooner.

    ·

  9. enaddydarcicy Author Editor

    [url=http://eforum.xxx]sex and the city
    sex and the city quotes
    sex addiction
    sex and the city 2
    sex and candy lyrics
    sex after pregnancy
    sex and the city episodes
    sex addicts anonymous
    sex ain#39;t better than love
    sex and the city cast
    sex before marriage
    sex before pap smear
    sex bracelets
    sex bob-omb
    sex before marriage bible
    sex bands
    sex burns calories
    sex bomb lyrics
    sex bolts
    sex band meanings
    sex change
    sex chromosomes
    sex calories
    sex chris brown
    sex change male to female
    sex crimes
    sex cells
    sex change photos
    sex calculator
    sex chromosome disorders
    sex drive
    sex during pregnancy
    sex drugs and cocoa puffs
    sex drive push to start
    sex dream meaning
    sex during periods
    sex drugs and rock and roll
    sex drive the movie
    sex during ovulation
    sex documentary
    sex education
    sex education in schools
    sex ed
    sex euphemisms
    sex education statistics
    sex ed vincent
    sex enhancement
    sex education facts
    sex ed in schools
    sex ed rocks
    sex facts
    sex for dummies
    sex for kids
    sex fun facts
    sex facts about men
    sex foods
    sex fails
    sex facebook statuses
    sex for seniors
    sex for breakfast lyrics
    sex games for xbox
    sex galaxy
    sex god rob bell
    sex gang children
    sex good for health
    sex god method review
    sex games for iphone 4
    sex gender
    sex game apps
    sex glands
    sex horoscope
    sex hormone binding globulin
    sex headache
    sex hormones
    sex health
    sex health guru
    sex hex
    sex herbs
    sex has a price tag
    sex helps headaches
    sex in the city
    sex in skyrim
    sex in the city cast
    sex is on fire lyrics
    sex in the city quotes
    sex in the city 2
    sex in space
    sex in the bible
    sex in crazy places lyrics
    sex is zero
    sex jokes
    sex jokes sms
    sex joke of the day
    sex journal
    sex jokes one liners
    sex jokes text messages
    sex jokes app
    sex jelly bracelet meanings
    sex jeopardy questions
    sex jokes for kids
    sex lies and videotape
    sex linked traits
    sex lyrics chris brown
    sex lyrics
    sex laws
    sex linked inheritance
    sex linked
    sex love and other drugs
    sex linked diseases
    sex literature
    sex music
    sex magic
    sex music playlist
    sex myths
    sex magick
    sex money murda
    sex mod skyrim
    sex magic manifesting maya
    sex machine james brown
    sex metaphors
    sex nickelback lyrics
    sex noises loop
    sex nickelback
    sex noises text
    sex noises mp3
    sex nyc
    sex new york
    sex noise notice
    sex noises app
    sex offender registry
    sex on the beach drink
    sex on fire lyrics
    sex on the beach recipe
    sex offender registry va
    sex offender registry ct
    sex on fire
    sex offender registry nj
    sex on your period
    sex offender registry texas
    sex pistols
    sex poems
    sex playlist
    sex panther
    sex panther quote
    sex posters
    sex pills
    sex predators
    sex pill guru
    sex problems
    sex quotes
    sex quiz
    sex questions to ask a guy
    sex quotes for him
    sex quotes tumblr
    sex quotes for her
    sex question
    sex questions to ask your girlfriend
    sex questionnaire
    sex questions to ask your boyfriend
    sex robot
    sex room lyrics
    sex reassignment surgery
    sex riddles
    sex ray vision music
    sex rehab
    sex registry
    sex roles
    sex ratio
    sex right after period
    sex songs
    sex songs 2011
    sex statistics
    sex slavery
    sex symbols
    sex survey
    sex synonyms
    sex sells
    sex stamina
    sex surrogacy
    sex trafficking
    sex therapy
    sex therapy lyrics
    sex tourism
    sex trafficking statistics
    sex to induce labor
    sex therapists
    sex texting
    sex type thing lyrics
    sex test
    sex vs gender
    sex vitamins
    sex vocabulary
    sex violence
    sex verbs
    sex verses in the bible
    sex vocabulary words
    sex violence and the media
    sex vitamins for women
    sex version of cleverbot
    sex wax
    sex while on your period
    sex without love
    sex worker
    sex wars
    sex week at yale
    sex without love sharon olds
    sex week at yale 2012
    sex would you rather questions
    sex withdrawal
    sex zodiac signs
    sex zodiac tumblr
    sex zodiac compatibility
    sex zero
    sex zodiac sign compatibility
    sex zodiac cancer
    sex zinc
    sex zen 2011 subtitle
    sex zodiac twitter
    sex zombies book
    sex 2 days before ovulation
    sex 2 weeks postpartum
    sex 2 days before period
    sex 2 weeks after c section
    sex 2 days after period
    sex 2 weeks after birth
    sex 2 weeks before period
    sex 2 weeks after abortion
    sex 2 days after ovulation
    sex 2 questions
    sex 4 days before ovulation
    sex 4 weeks after birth
    sex 4 times in one day
    sex 4 weeks after c section
    sex 4 days before period
    sex 4 times a week
    sex 4 weeks pregnant
    sex 4 hours before ovulation
    sex 4 days after period
    sex 4 weeks after hysterectomy
    sex 5 days before ovulation
    sex 5 weeks after birth
    sex 5 weeks pregnant
    sex 5 days before period
    sex 5 days before period can i be pregnant
    sex 5 days after period
    sex 5 days after ovulation
    sex 5 days after abortion
    sex 5 times a week
    sex 5 times in one day
    sex 7 days before ovulation
    sex 7 days in a row
    sex 7 days before period
    sex 7 days after period
    sex 7 weeks pregnant
    sex 7 days a week
    sex 7 times a week
    sex 7 times a day
    sex 7 to 10 times a week
    sex 7 days after abortion
    adult adhd
    adult acne
    adult attention deficit disorder
    adult adoption
    adult asthma
    adult autism
    adult adhd diagnosis
    adult adhd self-report scale
    adult aspergers diagnosis
    adult apprenticeship
    adult bullying
    adult bmi calculator
    adult braces cost
    adult basic education
    adult ballet
    adult children of alcoholics
    adult chocolate milk ingredients
    adult contemporary
    adult children living at home
    adult cpr
    adult children of divorce
    adult children of narcissists
    adult croup symptoms
    adult chicken pox symptoms
    adult children of alcoholics characteristics
    adult day care
    adult day care centers
    adult driver education
    adult dyslexia
    adult day health care
    adult diabetes
    adult development
    adult development and aging
    adult day care services
    adult dyslexia symptoms
    adult ear infection symptoms
    adult education center
    adult education classes
    adult emoji iphone
    adult education jobs
    adult ear infection remedies
    adult education boston
    adult education programs
    adult ear infection treatment
    adult education courses
    adult height predictor
    adult high school diploma
    adult heart rate
    adult halloween costumes
    adult height percentiles
    adult head lice
    adult hockey league
    adult high school
    adult hormonal acne
    adult hot chocolate recipe
    adult immunizations
    adult incontinence
    adult indoor play area
    adult incontinence products
    adult jumpsuit
    adult jumping castle hire
    adult kickball league
    adult kickball
    adult learning theory
    adult learning center
    adult learning principles
    adult leukemia
    adult literacy
    adult learners
    adult literacy programs
    adult lego sets
    adult learning disabilities
    adult learning center nashua nh
    adult nurse practitioner
    adult nurse practitioner salary
    adult neurogenesis
    adult neurology clinic solution plc
    adult nutrition
    adult numeracy
    adult numeracy core curriculum
    adult onset asthma
    adult onesies target
    adult onset diabetes
    adult onset still#39;s disease
    adult orthodontics
    adult only hotel
    adult onset allergies
    adult onset type 1 diabetes
    adult oesity
    adult onset muscular dystrophy
    adult protective services
    adult probation and parole
    adult pertussis vaccine
    adult pertussis symptoms
    adult polycystic kidney disease
    adult protective services michigan
    adult parole authority
    adult protection
    adult play centre
    adult protective services tennessee
    adult respiratory distress syndrome
    adult rapunzel costume
    adult reading comprehension
    adult railcard
    adult swim shows
    adult swim music
    adult stem cells
    adult swim black dynamite
    adult swim app
    adult swim hemp tycoon
    adult schools
    adult swim off the air
    adult stem cell research
    adult scooter
    adult trike
    adult truths
    adult tutu skirts
    adult teacup pig
    cornell adult university
    [/url]

    ·

  10. Inspirational Quotes Author Editor

    I’m not sure where you’re getting your information, but good topic. I needs to spend some time learning much more or understanding more. Thanks for fantastic information I was looking for this info for my mission.

    ·

  11. Inhamnfef Author Editor

    Most people who suffer from obesity have the problem of bulging waistline. They suffer a lot mentally and physically for being over weight and most of them are in search of some remedy that could help them to reduce their waistline. Then it is high time that you have to look for options where you could lessen the body weight as well as cleanse the toxins in your body making it into a perfect body structure then turn your focus over to the highly effective product of Pure Acai Flush. This pure acai flush is a natural weight loss supplements which works effectively to lower all your excess body weight surrounding your body and provides you wonderful physique in a short period. The best thing about the pure acai is that it works best for all ages of men and women.
    This acai berry pure acai flush works in a way where it get rid of excess flashy chunks of fat, that making you look so big and causing you to lose your confidence. All the ingredients that are involved with this acai berry have all powers to get rid of all the toxins and waste materials in your body and provides a healthy body constitution. However the anti oxidants that is involved inside the acai berry is certain to eliminate all the toxic and unwanted waste substances which are hiding behind the intestinal, bowels etc which can cause several disorders within your body. This pure acai flush is 100% natural and clinically tested to that they are 100% safe to use them.
    Another major aspect that is featured with the pure acai flush is that it aids your digestive tract absorb and provides well balanced metabolic activity inside the body. This product helps in providing well toned body structure by helping to lose the excess pounds but also provides other major advantages to stay healthy for long. The advantages of them are listed below
    • Burns fat naturally
    • Eradicates all the fecal and unwanted toxic substances inside the body
    • Enhances both the digestion as well the metabolism structure.
    • Helps to lessen the bloating and also gastric issues
    • Promotes good metabolism process and helps to stay fit
    • Increases energy levels
    • Reduces body fat without any sort of unwanted side effects
    • Slims down your body without side effects
    • Enhances your self esteem and makes you self assured

    PURE ACAI FLUSH Proprietary Blend is a unique formula containing Phaseolus Vulgaris, which slow down the body’s production of the starch-ingesting enzyme Alpha-Amylase. With minimal level of Alpha-Amylase, the body is all set to break down starches (Carbohydrates) into sugar (Glucose) for further digestion and absorption. So what are you looking for, get the pure acai flush today and shape your body to which you have been dreaming for years without need to spend hours of time in gym and other activities to lessen your body weight.

    Come to http://www.acaicom.net/h/ and learn more

    ·

  12. Inspirational Quotes Author Editor

    I’m not sure where you’re getting your info, but good topic. I needs to spend some time learning more or understanding more. Thanks for fantastic info I was looking for this info for my mission.

    ·

  13. Zetta Smalling Author Editor

    Definitely this blog is very informative and neatly designed.

    ·

  14. Otytttre Author Editor

    Салют! [url=http://board-free.ru/]:)[/url]:)[url=http://www.kupiandprodai.ru/]:)[/url]

    ·

  15. herbal remedy Author Editor

    I really am fond of your article and would like to know if I provide a link back to your website if I can copy your article on one of my website?

    ·

  16. Flelfpepped Author Editor

    [url=http://www.cheaplouboutinjpoutlet.com]クリスチャンルブタン[/url]

    ·

  17. lvglkareevlyos Author Editor

    [url=http://www.nikeonwholesale.com]wholesale jordans[/url]

    ·

  18. Asturiinjult Author Editor

    yet but .
    as for also . also in order to .

    ·

  19. ba4BHt5 Author Editor

    438497 947397Howdy! I just wish to give a huge thumbs up for the fantastic info you might have here on this post. I will probably be coming back to your weblog for much more soon. 23696

    ·

  20. inbound link analyser Author Editor

    It’s just good business to have your advertising expenses covered by the sale of generic material. – provides not only listed backlinks as they are, but also their IP. David and Jennifer were shocked to come across that so several individuals had been failing to make cash on the internet but these weren’t people who had been dreaming of quick riches, these ended
    up individuals who had been offering up their
    valuable spare time.

    ·

 

Build Internet by One Mighty Roar. Since 2008.