How to avoid common website design mistakes

web design mistakesDesigning a website is crucial to creating an online presence for your business, attracting a bigger audience, and ultimately increasing your revenue. However, there are a few common mistakes that people make in the process which can significantly reduce your website’s performance, usability and effectiveness.

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Why is web design important

Web design is much more than just deciding which pictures or fonts to choose. Whether a website can capture and engage its audience highly depends on factors such as user-friendliness, readability and the quality and value of the content provided. When thinking about designing a website, we need to consider various aspects of website development including content, layout, navigation and functionality as well as performance, security and compatibility.

A great website is one that applies best practice principles such as accessibility guidelines and web design standards. It is universally usable, accessible and inclusive regardless of which device is being used or what abilities and preferences users may have. Successful website design results in websites reaching a much bigger audience, enhanced user experience and improved search engine optimisation (SEO).

Things to avoid

Designing a website is a complex process and requires in-depth planning, research and testing. There are plenty of simple mistakes that can easily ruin a user’s experience, damage your brand and significantly reduce the conversation rate of your website. Avoiding these common pitfalls will help you make the most of your website.

Slow page loading time

If your page takes too long to load, users will most likely get frustrated and leave again to find the desired information elsewhere. As a result, your bounce rates increase and you are missing out on potential customers and revenue. Furthermore, slower websites rank significantly lower in Google search engine results as they provide less user experience.

There are several ways to optimise your website’s speed and performance:

  • Use a web hosting service that is reliable and able to handle your website’s traffic and bandwidth needs
  • Compress images and videos to reduce their file size and loading time
  • Monitor and test your website’s speed regularly using Google PageSpeed Insights

Poor mobile responsiveness

A website that lacks mobile responsiveness is unable to adapt to different screen sizes and devices, ultimately having a negative impact on user experience, SEO and conversion rates. In today’s digital society, users expect pages to load fast, fit their screens and be easy to navigate on their mobile devices including smartphones and tablets. If that is not the case, users get frustrated easily and will leave never to return again. Google also uses mobile-friendliness as a ranking factor, so if your website is not mobile-friendly, your website is less visible and you are missing out on traffic.

The best way to enhance your website’s mobile-friendly rating is by implementing a responsive design that automatically adjusts to different screen widths. Images and videos should be optimised for faster loading and your layout and navigation needs to be simplified for mobile users.

Confusing navigation

A website that doesn’t allow users to easily navigate around and find what they are looking for will quickly lose traffic because people get frustrated easily. Confusing navigation can also make it harder for search engines to crawl and index your pages, affecting your SEO as well as your ranking and visibility in search engine results.

To ensure your website is easy to navigate, systematically divide your content into categories and subcategories. Choose labels for menus and links that are concise, consistent and coherent. Sitemaps add further clarification and a search function can help users find what they need quicker.

Content overload

Having too much information on your website can easily overwhelm visitors who may choose to look for simplified and more condensed information. To avoid content overload, keep the following things in mind:

  • Know your target audience and what they need. Create content that is relevant, useful and offers value.
  • Use language that is clear and concise. Depending on your audience, avoid too much jargon, technical terms and unnecessary details.
  • Prioritise your content according to its importance and offer call-to-actions for users who would like to know more.
  • Break up large areas of text by adding subheadings or use bullet points, lists, as well as images and video.
  • Regularly update your content and remove or archive pages that are no longer relevant.

Missing CTA

A call to action (CTA) provides visitors with the next steps or additional options and helps to keep them engaged with your website as well as your company. CTA can be buttons, links and forms and are generally used to invite users to sign up to a mailing list, make a purchase or get in touch with you. Without a clear and compelling CTA, you are missing out on potential leads and customers. Instead, your website will be ineffective rather than help you achieve your goals.

Too many pop-up windows

While pop-up windows can be a great way to enhance conversion opportunities, having too many of them can have a negative effect on your user experience and your site’s general performance. Not only can pop-up windows slow down your website’s loading speed – especially if they contain large images or videos. They can also distract users from your main website, making them feel overwhelmed, confused or frustrated.

Pop-up windows should always be used sparingly and strategically. They are great to invite users to sign up for your newsletter or ask them to confirm a purchase. Consider the size, timing and frequency of your pop-up windows, use fonts and colours that correspond with your brand and make it easy for users to close, accept or decline the pop-up window request.

While these are the most common website design mistakes, there are plenty of other things that can go wrong in the process. If you want a website that is professional, user-friendly and appealing, contact the friendly team at Energise Web today for more information. We specialize in web design and website development and offer a wide range of services including copywriting, SEO and digital marketing.

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