Rules are made to be broken but remember your number one task is to deliver information clearly and create a good user experience.
Missing or hard to find ‘contact us’ page:
How many times have you gone to a site and you just want a phone number or email address? Don’t make it hard for your customers to get in touch. Put a clear contact us link in your navigation. Don’t bury it.
Don’t forget the 3 click rule:
‘a user of a website should be able to find any information with no more than three mouse clicks.’
Use the three click rule to help keep your site organized and easy to navigate. While some studies show users won’t necessarily give up after 3 clicks on their search for valid content, don’t make it tough for them. Try to envision what your users are most likely to look for on your site and try to give it to them in 3 clicks or less.
This goes hand in hand with the three click rule, if it’s an important part of your site, make it easy to find in a simple nav bar. Sub-menus are for less important content, or content that is logically contained within it’s ‘parent’ menu.
Slow load time:
Make sure your content is optimized for a quick download. Users are impatient and will reduce their number of clicks if they have to wait too long.
Intrusive audio or video:
Unless there’s a really compelling reason to break this rule, avoid using intrusive audio or video that plays without the user triggering. If you do have video or audio playing be sure to make the off button easy to find. Users don’t want to hear your favorite 70’s disco tune while they read your content!
Just like in any good design, if you can’t read the copy easily, it’s bad design. No matter how much you love that zebra striped background, resist the temptation if it’s too hard to read. Go for easy to read font sizes on backgrounds that don’t interfere with legibility. Also, the more contrast you have between your background color and the font in front of it the better.
Mobile and Tablet viewable:
Don’t forget more and more people view content on their smart phone or tablet. Make sure your content is served in such a way as to make the user experience pleasant on any size screen.
Responsive Web Design (RWD) is a Web design approach aimed at crafting sites to provide an optimal viewing experience—easy reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling—across a wide range of devices (from mobile phones to desktop computer monitors)