How to avoid most common mistakes in web design
“Content is king” – you’ve probably heard that sentence at least once if you are planning on building or already have а website. Although it is 100% correct, there is another aspect of every website, which is as important as the content - its web design. It includes everything from the design itself (thank you, Mr. Obvious!) to the loading time, font sizes, styles, colors, where your CTA buttons are, and probably one of the essential things – mobile-friendliness of your site.
From the start, we want to make something clear – you won’t be able to make up for your poor web design with good content or products. You might offer the best products and services, but today’s customers are leaving bad-looking sites the second they enter.
As a matter of fact, a survey conducted by Digital Appeal in 2018 shows that 75% of people form their opinion of a website based on its aesthetics. So it’s never too late to change your website for better, or if you’re a newbie, you might want to take into consideration the next few points before starting building your first one.
1. Slow Loading Speed
We’ve put some thought on how to start this article, and the loading time seems to be the most significant aspect of every website. People are literally bombarded with content, and they’ve become really sensitive to the information they are willing to spend time on.
This same exact thing made today’s customers so impatient, easily distracted, and with narrowed attention span. For those specific reasons, no website owner can afford to make their visitors wait too long - you need do whatever you can to speed up your site.
Although there are plenty of factors that can make your website slower, we are going to focus on the essential ones. We’d like to start by recommending running speed tests regularly in order to be up-to-date with your site’s performance. There are plenty of options available, so don’t hesitate to use them.
As far as the web design of your site is concerned, one of the most common things that slow the loading time down is your images. It would be best if you consider optimizing them, especially the ones on your home page. You’ve heard the saying that “a picture is worth a thousand words,” and we cannot agree more with that, but sometimes they could harm the performance of your website and your users’ experience more than helping it.
You can compress and optimize your images by using Photoshop, but if you don’t want to spend time learning how to work with it, there are a lot of online tools that can get the job done.
For those of you who are using a CMS platform, you should know that some of the plugins, themes, and elements can slow down your loading time as well. One way to improve it is to keep everything updated. Alternatively, you can take the following steps:
- Backup your website – you don’t want to break it or lose something
- Run Speed Test – just to know how your website is performing beforehand
- Install your plugin/theme
- Run Another Speed Test – it will show you what the impact of the latest installed elements is
You might find this helpful: WordPress Speed Performance: Why It’s Important and How to Improve It
2. Non-Responsive Design
In 2019, we shouldn’t even mention that every website must have a responsive design that can scale well on a mobile device screen. According to a recent survey, 63.4 percent of all mobile phone users will access the Internet from their mobile phones this year.
Deciding that you don’t need a mobile-friendly website is a sure way to lose more than half of your visitors. All of them are expecting to have the same excellent experience on their mobile devices as well as on their computers.
Mobile users won’t be wasting any time using your website if they can’t navigate easily or read your content properly.
Make sure to create a website that will be available and good-looking on any device!
3. Poor Design
Your website has a purpose, right? It could be selling a product, making your visitors subscribe to a newsletter, or read a blog post. Whatever it is, you have to build your site around its purpose and make it effortless for your customers to convert.
You have to know that building a website just for having one is never going to work for your business. If you already have one, it’s never too late to re-design it, and if you are about to build yours, then think about your customers’ path.
Sites with poor web design are getting users stuck, and they can’t wrap their heads around the structure of them. Do we have to mention the facts about people’s attention span again?
Furthermore, your customers will get frustrated if they aren’t able to find out what they are looking for, which can result in losing them forever.
There are some basic rules that every website owner has to follow. We understand that you might want to stand out from the crowd, but don’t forget that you are building your web page for your visitors, and you have to pay attention to their preferences and habits. People are used to a particular web structure that the majority of the websites implement, and they are confused when they have to experience a new one.
Some of the well-known practices include:
- Navigation Menu at the top of the home page
- When you click on the logo, you will be sent to the home page
- The comment section is below the blog post
You get the point. Of course, we encourage you to create something unique but don’t make major changes to already established rules. Your customers will appreciate it!
4. Font Size and Color Combinations
As much as the positioning of the navigation menu and all other elements is important, the font size and colors you decide to use on your website are equivalently crucial. If your users have difficulties reading your blog articles or CTA buttons, then you are going to see higher bounce rates in the long run.
Make sure to use the right font size and combine it with the right colors for contrast. One of your main goals has to be the experience of your visitors, and you have to offer them maximum readability so they can get all the information you are presenting them.
Although, it might seem like a great idea to use high contrast colors that will make your website more vivid, the statistics show otherwise. Back in the days, it might have been a very solid strategy for grasping visitor‘s attention, but nowadays, people know how a professional website should look like, and they are suspicious of anything other than that. Using large font sizes with flashy colors and pop-ups will only make your website look like a scam.
Please keep it simple when it comes to the font size and background colors. If you look up the websites of the biggest companies globally, you are going to see how simple they look. All of them are using easily readable fonts on contrasting backgrounds, but nothing too drastic that will make their site the main star of the show. Everything is created in a practical way that allows visitors to get all the information they want in a couple of minutes.
Don’t forget that you want to sell your products or service through your website. It’s just a tool that should help you reach this goal. It will be a shame to do all the right things and finally start getting traffic to your website, just to disappoint your visitors with poor design and unreadable content.
Another thing that you have to take into consideration is how your website is going to look at mobile devices. People are going to expect that they can read a blog article on their mobile devices as easy as on their desktop. We recommend you to use fonts no smaller than 16px. Otherwise, your visitors might have a problem reading your texts.
5. Pop-ups on Pop-ups on Pop-ups
Some websites are bombarding you with pop-ups from the second you land on their page. They are offering you all kinds of different products, ebooks, whitepapers, everything you might need in order to leave your email address.
Let’s be honest, the years of the so-called interruption marketing are in the past, and people are avoiding companies that are practicing it at all cost. Actually, we are really confused by thеse types of strategies where owners of the website are pushing their free stuff in their visitors’ faces constantly. Why do you think that a visitor would like to join your mailing list if they haven’t read a single word from you yet?
Don’t get us wrong; we are supporting the implementation of pop-ups. However, the whole idea behind content marketing is that you can bring value to your prospects in advance. Once they realize that you are offering them high-quality and helpful information, they can decide to subscribe to your newsletter, purchase your products, or else.
One thing we almost forgot, if you decide to use pop-ups on your website, try to make them mobile-friendly as well. It’s probably one of the most annoying things to land on a site with non-responsive design, and it shows you an unscaled pop-up, and you can’t find the “x” button to close it. We can guarantee you that you are going to lose visitors if that ever happens to them!
6. Too Many Ads Will Distract Your Visitors
We completely understand that selling ad space on your website will make you money. However, remember that having too many of them will most probably distract your visitors from the information on your site.
Imagine this scenario – you are building a solid marketing strategy by running Facebook and Google ads. You share high-quality and helpful content to your audience, which ultimately brings them to your website where you hope to convert. Well, you put all this effort to get traffic successfully, and once your prospects are where you want them to be, they are getting overwhelmed by all kind of different ads which are distracting them from converting.
The final result will be an increased bounce rate and missing opportunities to create a long-lasting relationship with customers. I
n the end, you may be in a situation where you start losing from offering ad space rather than earning. However, there’s nothing wrong with showing advertisements; our advice is to be smart and use them to support your own website and its purpose.
We hope that you found this article helpful and that you are going to build your website with these 6 common mistakes in mind.
Remember, the loading time and responsive design should be your top priorities. Then, you can focus on the layout, fonts, colors, pop-up, and everything that is going to make your website unique. Don’t forget that when it comes to the web design of your site, the following phrase is completely true – “more is less.” Try to keep it simple and as user-friendly as possible. Your visitors will love it.