The importance of a website for an online business is pretty obvious nowadays. Every business owner who wants to succeed and make a profit will need a website (as well as an expert in web design). And eventually, they will reach out to web developers and designers to help make their dream a reality.
With that scenario planted, and with that being said, can you picture anything else more painful for a business owner than to end up with a poorly designed website?
Some may think otherwise, but it still doesn’t change the fact that a website riddled with mistakes is just horrible for business and horrible for user experience.
Consider this a beginner’s guide of sorts if you’re new to this kind of thing.
5 Mistakes Every Web Designer Should Steer Clear Of
A clean and professional website design is the way to go. And by taking some of these mistakes into account, well, now you know what not to do so your website won’t fail and incur Google penalties.
#1 Atrocious navigation
Atrocious is a strong word.
It’s the only word strong enough to convey how heartbroken and how disappointed your users will be if your site’s navigability is impossible. Nobody wants to go through several hoops just to do one action.
Your site visitors should never have a hard time trying to navigate through your website. Buttons must be clear. Fonts should be readable. The site’s main pages must be clearly at the top, and should be easy to spot. They should clearly indicate where the Contact Us, Services, and About section are.
Don’t forget to include a search bar if you have multiple pages or blog posts. Search bars are the bread and butter of a website.
At the very least, when all else fails, your visitors can simply type what they’re looking for and you present them with results leading to the pages they’re looking for.
Website visitors are all impatient. If they can’t figure out how your site works in under a couple of seconds, they’ll be leaving.
#2 Awful readability
You may have a solid content marketing strategy in place. But if your visitors fail to make sense of the actual words, and what you’re trying to say, your website is a failure.
There are many things that can derail readability. We can get into that some other time. But your two biggest culprits in web design are the chosen font and the text size. Who wants to read through content on a website written in Chiller or Wingdings? (The latter is an exaggeration).
Some fonts will render better for online reading than others. Your job is to choose one that embodies your brand, but also is perfectly readable for everyone. To make things faster, may we recommend sticking to Google fonts (because they’re universally accepted).
As you’re designing, look at your website in multiple devices; in PCs, tablets, laptops, smartphones, etc, to see how the fonts look in different screen sizes.
#3 Mobile experience as an afterthought
Desktop-first design has been left behind. It’s not your priority. Do you know what is, though?
Mobile-first design is a must. 52.2% of all web browsing is conducted through mobile phones. Visitors are more likely to see your website through a smartphone than a desktop computer.
So design your website for mobile devices first, and desktop second. If you’re doing it on your own, make sure you’re using a theme on WordPress that’s responsive on mobile.
#4 Unclear CTAs
CTAs, or Call to Action, refers to things like newsletter subscription forms, contact forms, and other forms of information exchange. CTAs are how marketers generate leads directly from the website. Yes, they’re very important. CTAs are a must.
They should appear on all of your Service pages as well. And like all good things, too much of it is bad. Just remember not to shove CTAs down people’s throats.
And with that point, we move on to the next…
#5 Annoying pop-ups and automatically playing videos
Not even 5 seconds into a website, and there’s already a pop-up with a CTA in your face. Who wants that?
Pop-ups are fine; so long as they don’t hijack a visitor’s screen at the slightest shift of a mouse (or any kind of trigger, as it is known). Videos that automatically play with sound are off-putting too. Nobody likes their navigating or scrolling interrupted by audio that would take a while to find.
Same with pop-ups, automatically playing videos are fine as long as you play them on mute. Give your visitors the freedom of discovering it, instead of scaring them out of their skins because of unexpected sounds.
Mistakes are natural, and they are sometimes your best teachers on your road to continuous improvement. Of course, you have nothing to be ashamed of for making these mistakes. But at the same time, your website carries first impressions on your business. As much as mistakes are natural, they can be pesky and fatal. You need to lessen the chances of making them.
- Do your research before venturing into web design.
- Embark on courses that will teach you.
- Work with experienced web designers.
- As you do it, collect customer feedback.
- Always test with prototypes to minimize your mistakes.
Great web design is more than just placing fancy animations and pretty graphics. It’s all about functionality and navigability.
It’s all about user experience.