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Econsultancy lists web flaws to banish

Chris Lake, director of product development at Econsultancy, has created a list of 20 design- and UX-oriented aspects of web design and development that he believes should be banished in 2013. His ire appeared primarily directed at usability issues, including commerce sites lacking search, scrolling issues, links appearing in new windows, and problems with form labelling and validation. However, stern words were also reserved for increasingly common mobile design wrongness, such as using tiny fonts for key navigation.

Speaking to .net, Lake was quick to point out that things are actually far from bad in the industry, and that sites are generally better than ever these days. However, because the user experience bar has been raised, silly errors stand out from the crowd: "We expect everything to work, and we're annoyed when the basics aren't in place. I compiled my article on things the web should banish to point out that the detail matters, and that some of the most successful companies still do things badly. For example, Gap doesn't have site search functionality. It's absolutely insane."

According to Lake, form shortcomings would be the thing he'd most like to sort, given some kind of digital magic wand. "Bad forms really annoy me, in particular when I'm shopping online. Form optimisation isn't perceived as being sexy, but it's absolutely crucial if you want to make the most of your traffic. The smallest of improvements can have such a large effect on conversion rates. I'm surprised that there aren't more specialists operating in this area." However, he also added that in 2013, designers and developers must start taking more notice of the details when it comes to mobile: "Most companies – ourselves included – are still in catch-up mode, but mobile is now such a big deal. We need to design websites to be responsive – or adaptive, depending on which side of the fence you sit. But we should also do this in a way that scales up, for people with 27in Macs, as well as down for smaller screen sizes."