There are thousands of websites that are launched each and every week. Because of the high volume of websites that are launched and the increase in competition for website visitors, your website needs to stand out. However, it is important to consider some common website design mistakes to ensure that your website is not negatively affected after launching.
A professional web designer can create the look and feel you need in order for your product or service to attract and convert visitors into customers. What you don’t need is a website that suffers because of design issues that render your online presence virtually useless.
When this happens, your business also suffers. The best way to prevent this from happening is to have a professional web designer work with you on your website. However, here are some of the many mistakes to avoid with the design and operation of your website.
Poor Website Design Issues To Avoid
1. Bad Navigation
Navigation is the term used to describe how someone travels through the pages of a website and to quickly find what they are looking for. Typically buttons, menus, and links are located in obvious places on each page you visit, to direct a visitor to more information. Much like a road map, they direct you to different places inside the website you are visiting.
Confusing layouts, hard to find or missing buttons and links are not going to help potential customers find out more about you or your products/services. In fact, if a website visitor cannot find what they are looking for within three clicks, they will likely leave and never come back.
This is why navigation is so essential in website design. You do not want your visitors to feel trapped somewhere they can’t easily find their way around, so simple and direct navigation is most successful. Think of it in terms of giving directions to someone… easy directions usually work the best.
2. Poor Colour Selection
Unless your website and online business deals specifically with ugly colours, there is nothing that hurts a website more than a bad selection of colours. This includes the background colour or pattern and the contrasting font colours, colours of navigation buttons, etc.
The idea here is to make your website stand out based on the quality it contains and not because it’s the one with the worst colour choice on the entire internet. You want to make important sections stand out, and ensure the text is easy to read, and not blend in with the background colour or image.
That being said, unless your corporate logo and colour palette contains extremely ‘interesting’ colour combinations, always attempt to make your website colour selection as visually appealing as possible. This will be welcoming to the visitors, and not distract them from what you want them to do.
3. Hard To Read Fonts/Font Sizes
Some poorly designed web pages also contain fonts that are difficult to read and are too small. Remember, not everyone visiting your website will be viewing it with a large desktop computer screen. In fact, it’s a possibility that the majority of your website visitors will be seeing your site on a handheld device.
Whether it is a tablet or smartphone, the type of font used for all parts of your website needs to be easy to read when viewed on smaller screens. It also means that the website needs to automatically adjust to fit smaller screens properly. Click here for more information on why having a mobile responsive website is important.
4. Domain Name Issues
One of the website design mistakes that is made before anyone even starts building a website is related to domain names. The domain name is the website address you used to find the site you are visiting. And choosing a domain name is an important step. However, some people try to get a bit fancy, instead of just using their business name as their URL.
Misspelling your business name or using some other trick or abbreviation that makes it hard to remember a domain name can be about as effective as having an unlisted phone number. You are trying to make it easy for people to find your website, not difficult. ‘Nuff said.
More Common (& Basic) Website Design Mistakes
5. Too Much Clutter
Have you ever visited a website that has so much blinking, flashing, and winking going on that you are too distracted to go any further? How about a web page that has thousands and thousands of words of copy with no breaks and just looks like an endless string of words?
These are just two examples of major mistakes in website design that make it hard for visitors to your site to be able to find out what they are looking for. This, however, does not mean you should opt for something dull. Each and every page should have a purpose, and you should make it easy and clear what you would like a visitor to do.
Also, don’t be afraid to use white space on your site. It can help to create a good user experience, makes it easier to navigate, and helps the page to “flow” properly. Adding functionality and features within a white space can help to focus the attention. That being said, too much white space can have the opposite effect, so the key is finding the right balance.
6. No Call-to-action
Bad website layouts include those that are not clear on what you are supposed to do. If you are selling a product or service, potential customers need to see the information they are after right away to get them interested and looking deeper. Use calls-to-action to direct visitors to where you want them to go.
Easy ones typically say “Order now!” or “Click for more information” or “Contact us”, or have some other form of getting you to make a commitment of some kind. Without a clear and obvious call-to-action, some visitors to your website will just leave.
Others will search for awhile and may contact you and may not. It’s a risky gamble to not have a call-to-action that is useful and easy to find. If they struggle to locate the information you want them to find, they may leave your website and go to your competition.
7. No Contact Information
Make your contact details easy to find.
When a potential customer of your business wants some more information about a product or service, often they will just want to contact you. They may wish to do this in a variety of ways, whether it is by calling you directly, sending you an email, or leaving a comment in an online form.
If you have a bricks-and-mortar business, it is common to list an e-mail address along with a street address and phone/fax number in an obvious position on the website. If you do not include any of these things, you make it difficult for website visitors to connect with you. Not only can this have an effect on your online business, but it may also send the wrong signal to a potential customer (eg. “What are they trying to hide?”)
How to Avoid Website Design Mistakes
The easiest way to avoid issues that can result from website design mistakes is to have a professional web designer design your website. Good website designers are aware of what goes into a website to provide a good user experience and can design the site with the aim to maximise conversions.
So rather than designing a website yourself, you may wish to utilise the services of an expert website designer. This way, you can rest easy knowing your online presence is in safe hands. There is no excuse for bad website design.
And since this is what we specialise in, if you need a new website or a strategy session to see what changes can be made to your existing site, make sure that you get in touch with us. Click here for more information.