Website is the virtual representation of your business and the main hub that generates conversions. However, the real challenge is not in building a website rather making it usable in the best possible way.
When it comes to website design, even the most experienced web designers commit mistakes. There are numerous mistakes from unattractive home pages to poor navigation system, irrelevant content to terribly slow server times to name a few.To improve the performance of your website, here is a list of 10 most disastrous website mistakes that often web designers commit.
1. Poor Navigation: A good website design is not only about look and feel rather its about usability. Navigation has a bigger impact on the success or failure of a website design than any other factor. Good navigation makes it easy for users to find whatever they are looking for or in other words they can swiftly visit through the website pages without any distraction. On the other hand, if your navigation bar is poorly created then it will give a hard time to users. Navigation bar on your site should aim at guiding visitors to other areas of your site in a seamless manner. Here are some suggestions:
• Use textual descriptions and alt text for images to ensure easy navigation
• Make sure your navigation complements the theme of your website and aligns with your overall branding.
• Let your website navigation be descriptive to ensure it communicates conveniently with users without any confusion.
Best Practice: Position the navigation bar either at the top of the page or along the left side to ensure visibility to the users regardless of screen resolution. You may also add easy-to-find site map in your main navigation bar so that visitors can have at-a-glance view of every page on your site.
2. Using irrelevant Images: Images add a visual appeal to the website and are perfect to capture user’s attention. However, be careful with the images you use, using irrelevant or low-resolution images is not a good idea. Images you upload on your website needs to be relevant with the information or content on your site, checked for its quality and clarity and not to miss usefulness. Images are good but adding too many images can distract users and slower the website loading speed thus affecting the performance of your website.
Best Practice: If your site is designed with too many images or a full page animation then giving users an option of skip button is a great idea.
3. Bad Logo Design: Logo is crucial for every business or company and needless to say is an important part of branding. So, make sure your logo is well-designed and is placed rightly on your website. While designing your business logo, keep your target audience in mind and pick a color that goes with your hidden messages in logos or in other words branding message. A bad logo design interferes with your website design and negatively affects your branding.
Best Practice: The standard convention of logo placement is in the top left area of the page. Placing your logo where the users expect it to find is a good practice and also ensures a user-friendly experience.
4. Outdated Information: A well-designed site with dated or irrelevant content is no less than a blunder. To keep the credibility of your website and to rank better in search engine results, you need to constantly add fresh and informative content on your site. It can be in the form of blogs, latest news, company events, product launch if any etc. For instance- if you are a veterinary physician, then your blogs can cover topics pertaining to pets such as dog ear infection, allergies in dogs etc. Also make sure all content on your site is free of any spelling mistakes or grammatical errors and is of value to the users. Make it a priority to have content updates on your site if not daily at least on a monthly basis.
Best Practice: When drafting content for your website, use an appropriate page title for each web page. Often designers forget to name a page, they just put a block of text on the web page and totally neglect headings, sub-headings, paragraphs bullets etc. A proper page title is essential so that users get to know where they are.
5. Non-Responsive Website Design: A survey by Freshsparks reveals that 40% of users have gone to a competitor’s website after a poor mobile experience. We are living in a digital age where people are constantly connected with their hand held devices such as mobile phones, Ipads, tablets etc. To give your users a mobile friendly experience, having a responsive website design is the need of the hour. No matter how good your website design is, if it is not responsive, users will be discouraged and leave your site. So, if you haven’t already started making a transition to the responsive, get on it before your consumers decide that it’s way too much effort to view what your website has to offer.
Best Practice: If you don’t want to have a responsive web design or mobile site, consider having an app for mobile users to give them a mobile-friendly experience.
6. Too many font styles and colors: Your website pages should have a consistent and unified look. This can be achieved with the use of similar font styles and one or two colors dominating the web page, at maximum. The idea here is to assure viewers of your solidity and stability. Most of the users spend few seconds on your web page and at the same time they decide whether to continue surfing or leave. When picking fonts, go with the one that are readable and professional-looking.
Best Practice: Standard practice is to keep the font size either 12 or 14.
7. No Social Media Experience: Social media has become an integral part of every business’s marketing strategy. Almost all companies maintain their own Facebook Page, Twitter and Instagram accounts. It is considered as a website mistake if you do not add social media buttons on your website. So, best practices for new websites is, users should have the option to move from one platform to the other swiftly without any distraction. Therefore,let your visitors connect with your social media pages and know about your products and services in detail.
Best Practice: Best practice for website design is to add sharing buttons on top of your site making it easier for users to look for your social media experience.
8. Unable to place call to action button at the correct place: Your CTA buttons needs to be such that users can’t help but click. The very purpose of call to action button fails if they are not clearly visible or placed at the appropriate location. Make sure you place your CTA button either above the fold or below the fold on the web page, these two places are of paramount importance when it comes to efficacy of the buttons. So, make sure you place your CTA buttons rightly to increase your conversion rates.
Best Practice: When fixing CTA buttons on your website, consider other elements such as background color, surrounding images and text as well.
9. Broken Links or Dead Links: Broken link or dead link is referred as a link on web page that no longer exists or works. It happens generally in two cases: 1) website owner has entered an improper URL for the link 2) The destination website removed the linked web page resulting in a 404 error. Broken links not only interfere with your website design but also harm your website functionality. It negatively affects user-experience by redirecting them to error pages but also damage your rankings in search engines. Test your site regularly to ensure all links are working properly and make sure your website link page contains all relevant links.
Best Practice: Add a ‘contact the webmaster’ link in your site’s footer so that if user find any broken link can be quickly fixed.
10. Not including contact no.: Lastly, another website mistake is not including contact no., address details, email address on your website. This information is so critical that the link should be added on each and every page of your website. Viewers should be given enough flexibility the way they want to contact you. The very presence of this information adds credibility to your site, comforts the visitors and ensures that visitors can get in touch with you easily.
Best Practice: Make sure ‘Contact us’ is a part of your main navigation instead of making it a part of second navigation as in footer or toolbar.
Make sure the said mistakes are not hurting your website’s overall engagement. Follow these pointers and maintain a clean and error-free website.
Author Bio: Campbell is a blogger and designer, who works as a creative head for Designhill.com. He writes on topics concerning design, ecommerce, startups, digital marketing, interactive content. You can follow him on Twitter.