Image by: Joe (via Flickr)
With user experience being one of the MOST IMPORTANT factors of any website, web developers strive to find the perfect mix of usability and creativity. But more often than not, we’re seeing older designs that manage to drive viewers away instead of doing the opposite. And that’s a real problem for many businesses who are striving to succeed online, traffic is already difficult to get, imagine finally getting a constant flow of visitors, only to then realise the site isn’t converting. Hence the “design” part in web design, it has a crucial impact on factors like conversion rate, number of visits, bounce rate, time spent on website, etc. To help you pull more conversions out of the traffic you’re getting, we’re going to discuss 5 web design mistakes that we often see, and how to avoid them.
1. Poorly Displayed Content
This is maybe the most important aspect of web design. It applies to how strategically placed your content is. You’ll see websites with small text that makes your eyes hurt, but you’ll also see websites with big text and pretty weird font types that just doesn’t fit in the design. Same thing goes for images that have a fixed width and don’t scale as the website is being viewed on different devices. Let’s find out how you can find the perfect balance.
If you’ve invested a lot of time and resources to come up with great content, you’ll need to display it properly, as people can get confused quite easily. Here are some factors that affect text’s readability:
- Poor color contrast between two elements (the text color and the background color)
- Inappropriate (too small or too big) font size
- Bad fonts (comic sans anyone?)
- Using waaaay too many fonts on a single page
Just like text, your images need to be properly scaled and optimised. This is especially important if you’re using background images on your landing page. If the image is too small, it can get blurry on larger resolutions. Overall, images need to fit in your design, color of the elements, and your text size.
2. Bad Website Navigation
Website navigation should be intuitive, period. But this is not always the case, as there are many websites with confusing menus and misleading in-content links. It shouldn’t take a user more than 2, 3 clicks to get where he wants. To provide a decent navigation experience on your website, avoid the following things:
- Using long and confusing hyperlinks that don’t stand out from the text
- Linking to irrelevant content
- Having dead links in your content
- Placing irrelevant items in the main navigation
- Having too many menu items
3. Inconsistent Design
Some developers like to get “too creative”, they often wind up with excessive design that is confusing and misleading to the viewers. Example would be having different designs for every web page. Consistency matters. You don’t want to make the user feel like they’re visiting a new website every time they go to a different page. It’s one thing to have a slightly different design for your main website, and blog posts for example. But when you overdo it, and the whole thing doesn’t feel like one consistent and intuitive structure, it’s no good for your visitors. That’s why it’s a good practice to create a design template, and use it across all your pages.
4. Bad Core Design
By core design I’m referring to the template in the previous point. If the core design template is not pleasant, then none of your pages will work. Get some white-space in there, avoid using 20+ images on 1 page, use appropriate space (paddings, margins, etc.) for all the elements. Make the design breathe!
5. Non-Responsive Website
This step partially relates to all of the previous web design mistakes that we covered so far. Responsiveness is a must, regardless of what type of website you’re building. The usage of mobile devices is on the rise (seriously, if your site is not optimised for mobiles, you’re missing out massively). I’ve talked about this too much already, I mention it in every other blog post. Make sure your site scales and responds to every single device it’s being viewed on! You should be able to navigate your site on a phone with 1 hand.
Think that’s about it, do a quick scan of your own website and see if you can spot any of these 🙂