When designing a website, it is extremely important to create an aesthetically pleasing layout that is both functional and easy to use. You want customers to enjoy your website.
Often, a website is a customer’s first impression of your company, so you have to make it count. Many companies have lost potential customers because of simple and easily avoidable mistakes in their website design.
Now let’s discuss these common mistakes; how they affect our designs and how can we avoid them.
Relevant Content: Web Design Trend Guesstimates for 2014
Web Design Mistakes
1. Using a free web design template:
Templates are easy to use and can make web design a quick and simple task. However, quick and easy does not always translate to high quality. Templates are typically generic, cookie cutter ways of designing a website. It is difficult to create or market a recognizable and memorable brand using a template, and you run the risk that your website will look very similar to all other sites created from the same template.
Another issue to consider is that templates are rarely designed to be SEO friendly. If search engine spiders are unable to find your website and rank it, the chances of customers finding your website from a search engine decrease drastically. When your business’ reputation is at stake, do you really want to rely on a website template that is difficult to customize, used by other websites, and not geared toward search engine optimization?
2. Poor readability:
If your website is difficult to read for any reason, your customers will likely not stay. Some websites use a font that is too small in an attempt to fit more information on the page, while others may use brightly colored letters or strange font styles to draw the reader’s eye. Unfortunately, these tactics only wind up making the page harder to read. Make sure the style, size, and color of your text are all inviting and easy to read. The writing itself must also be simple, but effective, in delivering your message.
3. Poor internal navigation:
One thing all websites need is simple and efficient navigation between pages. For example, when a customer wants to learn more about the health aspects of your diet pill, have a working link that takes the customer directly to your page about health. If links are missing or difficult to find, the customer is far more likely to leave your page in frustration.
Many websites also have external links, directing customers to different websites like the company’s social media pages. If these links are not working, the customer will not see the external pages that work to support your company. This decreases the likelihood of a customer finding these pages and becoming a fan or a follower of your business.
4. No search function:
Almost every successful webpage has a search function. Normally, this is a box in the top right hand corner of the page which allows the customer to search your site for a specific keyword. The search function makes it easier for customers to find what they are looking for when they visit your webpage. The lack of a search box means customers will be forced to look through every page on your site in order to find the information they were hoping to locate quickly and efficiently. This can leave customers frustrated, or they will leave all together.
5. Unorganized Content:
The way your content is laid out on your website is another factor that affects readability. One common truth about internet users is that they rarely read the full text on a page. If the page can be scanned quickly and the important information located, then your website will be much more attractive to potential customers. Pages with blocks of text that are unformatted, lacking any title, bullet points, or subheadings, are far less likely to be read than bulleted lists of information.
6. No clear purpose:
When a random internet user visits a webpage, he or she wants to know immediately what the point of the webpage is. If the website is vague, and the purpose is undefined, then the customer will likely leave the site. Make sure the intentions of the webpage are clear and understandable.
7. No knowledge of the audience:
One of the most important aspects of all business is marketing to a specific target audience. One thing many people forget in the rush to get a website up and running is performing enough research. It is important to know as much as possible about your target market: their interests, likes, dislikes, and even how they think. If all of this information is synthesized and taken into account when creating your website, then viewers will be much more interested in your product or service.
8. Non-responsive website:
In the age of modern technology and media, it is vital that your website be responsive to a range of devices. Simply put, your website must adapt to the device with which it is being viewed. For example, the website must be properly formatted for a desktop screen when a person navigates to it from a PC. Similarly, if a person is viewing your website from a mobile phone, it must be formatted to be easily read and explored on that device. A website that is only clear and understandable when viewed on a desktop computer is of little use for those who might want to view your page from their phone or touch-screen device.
9. Inconsistent or excessive web pages:
A certain level of creativity is desirable in a website; it can give your website a more fun or interactive feel. However, too much creativity will confuse and annoy your potential customers. Making every page in your website a different template, changing the font excessively, or adding large numbers of inconsistent graphics are all negative ways of trying to connect with your customers. Keep the creativity to a manageable level so it doesn’t hurt your online image.
Studies show background music, when used on a web page often yields more distraction than benefit. Customers might quickly navigate away from your site when greeted with unexpected sound.