Web design brings all the elements of a website or a web page together. However, it’s not all about looks or beauty. It’s about relevance, navigation, ease of use and overall functionality. Great web design isn’t just about a beautiful web page. It’s about responsiveness, speed, UI, and minimalism.
In this regard, there are people that still make mistakes that can kill traffic on a website. They either prioritize function over fashion or the other way around. Here are 10 web design mistakes that you shouldn’t make under any circumstances.
A cluttered web page is useless to a new user. When they can’t figure out where the relevant content is, the page isn’t useful to them. Hence, decluttering a page is a very important part of web design. White spaces and clear areas don’t confuse the consumer; they actually help them concentrate on the content present.
Whether it’s images, text, animations, videos, gifs, etc. all of them need to go if they’re cluttering up a page. While minimalism may not be the best way forward, essentialism surely is. If you keep what is essential on your website, then user navigation becomes all the easier.
Don’t put irrelevant images on your website. Remember that they are elements of web page that can be searched as well. They need to be optimized as well. So place images where they are needed the most and select the most relevant ones.
If you fill up your website with beautiful images that aren’t relevant to the content, you’ll increase clutter. Not only will that bring down your SEO ranking, but it’ll also slow down your website by rendering useless data.
Mobile Unfriendly Design
Since mobile browsing is close to dominating internet browsing in general, websites should be optimized for mobile use in general. Still, there are websites today that commit the cardinal sin of not designing their websites for smartphones.
If the website doesn’t offer a great user experience on mobile, then it won’t succeed. For most businesses, their target demographic is on smartphones. What’s more, mobile phones allow for convenient access to the internet anywhere in the world. If you’re not capitalizing on that, you’re losing out on a huge chunk of the market.
Client-Oriented but Not User-Focused
Web designers tend to stick to the client’s requirements when designing their web pages and website. However, they miss the mark completely if they don’t look at their target market. The main culprit here is a lack of research or not being clear on who your users are.
This leads to designing decisions based on assumptions or conventional wisdom. The one basic rule of web design for SEO is that user-oriented websites tend to increase traffic and conversions. At the end of the day, if you build a website for consumers, you’re going to get greater traffic. If you build a website for just client-based use, you’re not going to get very far with the average user.
No A/B Testing
A/B testing is essential for a successful website design. If you don’t test which elements work together in the best way, you’ll never maximize your conversions. Hence, testing different themes, banners, fonts, structures, etc. is essential for the optimal website design.
No Speed Prioritization
Whichever website design service you hire to create a website for you, they should prioritize speed. Page speed doesn’t just show a user that the website works well, but that it won’t waste their time. Most users click off a website if it takes more than a couple of seconds to load.
That contributes to the bounce rate of website. The greater the bounce rate, the lower the SEO rankings for the website.
A Call to Action identifies what a company or an online business is selling. For every page, there should be a clear call to action that sells a single product or a service. If not, then the page misses the mark. It’s like a story without an ending. The call to action is supposed to be the climax at the end of a pitch. If it’s not there, the buildup would’ve been for nothing.
However, the only thing worse than no call to action is an unclear call to action. Whatever phrase or sentence you use to market your product or service should be highlighted and clear. Otherwise, the customer may miss it and gloss over it. Whether it’s the link to a new subscription or a new service, it should be visible to anyone that scrolls through your website.
The best place to position a CTA is either the beginning or the end of a page. Those are the two places that people stop regularly when they’re scrolling.
Trends and Style Over Substance
Remember that trends and style can only help you so much. You have to fill your site with relevant content that makes it appealing to your core customers. Capitalizing on trends is essential in some cases. For instance, when the holidays roll around you’ve got to have a sale.
However, if you capitalize on trends that have nothing to do with your product, you may end up doing harm. The capitalizing should be backed by solid facts and benefit your company directly.
The same goes for style over substance. If you’re adding beautiful graphics and animations to your site, they should serve a purpose. They shouldn’t slow down the site and make it less responsive or cluttered. They should also be relevant to your brand and the products and services you’re pushing.
The artwork or elements you add may look cool, but if they don’t serve a purpose, they’ll turn away customers. That will have a detrimental effect on your traffic.
Inconsistency in Design
Consistency is the key to design for any website. You can’t have different themes, structure, and design for every single page. Not only does that confuse the users, but it shows poor design. Your website design should reflect your brand image as well as your company’s aesthetic. You can mix and match design elements all you want, but you have to settle on one.
One design makes it easier for people to identify your website according to its style, structure, and aesthetic. It also makes it easier for them to navigate throughout your website. Staying on a website for long enough increases your SEO and improves your ranking on Google’s search results.
No Social Media Links
It still boggles the mind that after all these years, certain websites don’t integrate with social media. It doesn’t have to be a live feed all the time. All you need to do is place some social media icons with links to your handles on the page.
They should occupy a section of every page so that users can navigate to them whenever they please. This improves the user’s familiarity with your brand and may lead to a conversion through a different channel.
Anyone browsing a website would want to reach point B from point A in a single click. Hence, a website’s design is very important in terms of navigation. A navigation pane should have all the options needed to navigate to any section of a website. This should be available on every page so that multiple clicks aren’t needed to go from any part of the website to the other.
That reduces the effort of the user and thus makes your website more pleasurable to navigate. That automatically improves the chances of a user staying on your website for longer. That not only helps your SEO, it helps you get more conversions.
Committing any of these mistakes will cost you traffic and valuable new users. So remember to make your design as user friendly and decluttered as possible.
Dave heads the web design department at Content Development Pros. He oversees all the web designers that work on every project in that department. He enjoys skiing, reading crime thrillers and playing Fortnite.