Having a poorly designed website causes businesses to lose customers. Unfortunately, this occurs with an alarming frequency. Many small business owners design their own websites to save money and have more control over the project. Many times, they don’t truly understand the concepts of good web design which leads to a website that’s less than ideal.
A well-designed website is a valuable investment that will generate revenue for your business—but studies show users won’t explore a site if they find it unattractive.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO HAVE GOOD WEBSITE DESIGN?
Before you start exploring different types of website design mistakes that you can avoid let’s take a look at what is essential for every great business website.
Before purchasing any product or services users conduct in-depth online research to learn more about the products and services a business offers. Your website will play a major role in the decision of potential customers to purchase or do business with you.
There are a number of factors, elements, and design choices in web design that can make things harder for the user; harder to navigate, harder to connect with and harder to trust.
COMMON MISTAKES TO AVOID
Unless you’re trying to repel your target audience, read on to discover the biggest website design mistakes highlighted in this article:
1. Hiding Your Site’s Navigation
Your menu should be visible on the desktop version of your website, not hidden in a hamburger menu. While this might not look as clean, it’s better for SEO (because Google will read it as soon as it scans your site) and it’s much easier for visitors to find where they want to go.
2. Custom 404 Page
The 404 page is (ideally) what users see when they try to visit a broken or non-existent page in your website. Broken pages happen, and users don’t always type in the right URL. That 404 page should be designed to make your users smile with links to help them get back on path.
3. Using Poor Quality Images & Photos
In almost every business nowadays, a website is the first introduction to a potential client. Using a poor-quality image or photo can ruin your first impression. You must avoid using any blurry or low pixel picture.
The photos on your website should be plagiarism-free and of the highest quality. It is better to use the original picture of the products you are offering. However, if that is not possible, then you can always use stock photos. These photos are readily available on the internet free of cost or at an affordable price.
4. Not Strategizing Hierarchical Aesthetics
Another web design mistake that most designers need to avoid is not strategizing the visual hierarchy of content, including CTAs. Well devised user journeys can be efficiently implemented by designing efficient visual hierarchies. This can be achieved by using appealing words, colors, images, and small animations. Spacing between these elements and their size can also be very crucial in driving user engagement. Getting this wrong means less user interaction and can hurt your website’s success.
5. Not Including Your Favicon
If you don’t know what a favicon is, you aren’t alone. It’s a common thing that many people (including designers) forget to add to a site. A favicon is the image that appears in the browser tab (you see them every time you open a website).
Your favicon should be a simple image of your brand design with good contrast. They are generally a PNG that’s 16×16 pixels and has a transparent background.
6. Insufficient Contrast Between Your Colors
This is a mistake we see so many people, including designers, making. Light gray might look great in your color palette, but it’s too hard to read for many people. Contrast is an important factor in your website’s accessibility, which more and more people are recognizing as important in 2022.
Use a tool like WebAIM’s Contrast Checker to make sure your colors are legible to all visitors.
7. Poor Navigation
New website developers often fall victim to the poor navigation trap on their websites. This is the most common mistake which makes the site difficult to navigate. It can frustrate the visitors because they can get lost and may never revisit your website.
A problematic website is unacceptable in this competitive era. You must add a visible navigation bar so it could be seen on the screen of any size.
A more straightforward and easier to navigate website can generate much more traffic because it leads to repeat customers to your website. You must also add a sitemap which allows the users to jump to any page on your website.
8. Filling Pages with Long Paragraphs
Just like the layout, you don’t want the design to be cluttered with text. If you have long-form content on the website, create a clean, spacious design that divides the content into readable chunks. You can do that by adding ample white space, using images, and thus creating a proper flow.
9. Using Too Many Fonts
A website that uses five or more different fonts loses users in seconds because it takes too much effort to read. Too many fonts on the screen can make a website look chaotic and unprofessional. The ideal number of fonts is three: one for main headings, another for sub-headings, and the third for the body text.
Font size has a huge impact on legibility. It’s important that they’re neither too big (taking up half the page) nor too small (uncomfortable to read). The sizes of your fonts should reflect the importance of each element. For example, section titles and taglines are more significant than the body text, so they’re bigger. This helps readers scan the content too.
10. Using Too Many Images
Too many images will crowd out your message, so use them sparingly and impactfully. Remember, search engines can’t read images very well, so don’t rely on them to convey text. If you’re using a background image, keep it under 1 MB. Large images slow down your site’s loading time.
11. Missing Your Target
As a small business owner, you understand how important it is to know your target audience. You’ve probably spent hours creating customer profiles and figuring out how to attract consumer attention. This is just as significant in web design. The way your site looks and “feels” will naturally attract a certain type of visitor. Some websites are highly professional, some are trendy and hip, while others are fun and bubbly. Sometimes, a website tries to speak to too many audiences. If you try to please too many types of customers, you’ll end up with a muddled website. Identify and profile your target audience and cater to them.
12. Lack of Contact Info
Strangely, a lack of contact information is another common mistake. The moment visitors decide to make a purchase or use your services is crucial. It’s imperative they have the necessary contact information the second they decide you’re the right company for them. If a visitor has to search through your site for contact info, he or she will likely get frustrated and leave. Your “Contact Us” page should always be just one click away or your information should be at the bottom of every page.
13. Using All Caps
It’s difficult to read text that’s all uppercase if it’s more than just a few words. While uppercase text can help visitors scan your website by distinguishing headlines or titles, it should only be used for one headline type. If a headline is going to be more than 7-10 words long, it shouldn’t be uppercase.
14. Missing Image Metadata
Every image you add to your site should have meta data relevant to that image. The best meta descriptions are short but very descriptive. For image-heavy websites and pages make sure your meta data includes keywords.
If you haven’t been updating the meta data on images as you’ve built your site, slowly go back through and make updates starting with your most popular and important pages.
15. Not Using Keywords in Your Content
If you’re writing great content aimed at your ideal clients, but they can’t find it, your website isn’t working for you. That’s where keywords come in. You need to know what people use to find your website (and what you want to be known for) and use those keywords and phrases throughout your site.
16. Cluttering Up the Page with Too Much Content
Using too little information and you run the risk of not delivering the content your user is looking for. Using too much information and you may end up building a page that is hard to understand, consume, or access. In their sheer desperation, designers can overwhelm the visitors with too much information and end up delivering a highly cluttered website. It is important to maintain consistency for the users.
One of the common web design mistakes to avoid is not building scalable designs from the very beginning. This is the core reason behind so many businesses revamping their website design. Unstructured, un-templated website design is a growth bottleneck because after a few hundred pages, it becomes erroneously difficult to maintain, develop, and scale these websites.
17. Having a Site That’s Slow to Load
18. Making Your Sign-up Process Too Difficult
You want to have the least amount of friction possible while still making sure that visitors understand what they’re getting. Present just enough information to get someone to take the next step but don’t overwhelm them.
For example, your sales page should include the same call-to-action in a few places and then link directly to the next step (checkout, contact form, etc.). You don’t want people to have to navigate through multiple pages just to add something to their cart or book a call with you.
19. Having Website Content That Isn’t Scannable
People don’t read websites that same way they do books. Instead of reading every word in order, visitors to your website will scan to find the information that’s relevant to them. You should use headlines, bullet points, and images to make your content easy to scan and highlight the most important points.
As a bonus, Google reads headlines before paragraphs, so keyword rich headlines will also help your search engine rankings.
20. Less Whitespace
When it comes to text content the white spacing plays a crucial role in making your content accessible. It helps in improving content readability, maximizes clarity, and grabs more user attention. If there is not sufficient whitespace available on your website then the reading of the content can become overwhelming for your site’s visitors.
21. Unclear CTA
CTA stands for Call to Action and it’s the part of the website that encourages the audience to do something. It helps a business convert a visitor into a lead for the sales team. CTAs can drive a variety of different actions depending on the goals of the business. Make sure your CTA is concise and tells customers exactly what to do.
By now you must be aware of why you need to have good website design and what website design mistakes you can avoid to create an attractive and converting website. The website you create acts as one of the important assets of your business. A small mistake in your website can affect your business as well as your business reputation. That is the reason why it’s essential for every business to create a positive impression about their business. It’s essential for you to avoid the common mistakes outlined above.
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