When it comes to creating a website, the design is just as important as the content. A well-designed website will be user-friendly, visually appealing, and effective at achieving your business goals. However, it’s easy to make mistakes that can negatively impact the user experience.
In this post, we’ll go over the top 10 web design mistakes to avoid in order to create a successful website.
Too many elements on a page can be overwhelming and make it difficult for users to focus on the most important information. Clutter can be anything from excess text to too many images or ads.
It’s important to strike a balance between providing enough information and not overwhelming the user with too much content.
As renowned graphic designer Margo Chase said, “Less is more. Clutter is the disease of American writing. The secret of all effective originality in advertising is not the creation of new and tricky words and pictures, but one of the direct use of primeval symbols.”
To avoid clutter:
- Use white space to break up content and make it easier for users to scan and read the page.
- Limit the number of elements on a page, including text, images, ads, and widgets.
- Avoid using too many different fonts or font sizes, as this can make the page look cluttered and disorganized.
- Use clear headings and subheadings to organize content and make it easy for users to find what they’re looking for.
- Use bullet points or numbered lists to make information easy to scan and understand.
- Remove any unnecessary elements from the page, such as old or irrelevant information.
By following these tips, you can avoid overwhelming users with too much information and create a clean, streamlined website.
2. Lack of white space:
White space, also known as negative space, is an important design element that helps to break up content and draw the user’s eye to specific areas of the page. It can also make your website look clean and modern.
White space is an active element in design, not a passive background. – Timothy Samara
To incorporate white space into your design:
- Leave adequate margins around the edges of the page and between different sections of content.
- Use whitespace between paragraphs to break up blocks of text.
- Avoid cramming too much information into a small space.
- Use whitespace to highlight important elements, such as calls to action or headings.
- Be careful not to use too much whitespace, as this can make the page look empty and unbalanced.
By using white space effectively, you can create a more visually appealing and user-friendly website.
3. Non-responsive design:
In today’s world, it’s crucial for websites to be mobile-friendly. A non-responsive design will turn off users and lead to a high bounce rate.
As Google’s Webmaster Trends Analyst John Mueller said, “If your site’s not mobile-friendly, you’re basically turning away about 60% of your potential visitors.”
To create a responsive design:
- Make sure that the layout and content adjust to fit the screen size of the device it’s being viewed on.
- Use responsive design frameworks, such as Bootstrap or Foundation, to ensure that your website looks great on all devices.
- Test your website on different devices to ensure that it looks and functions correctly.
- Avoid using fixed-width elements, such as images or tables, as they may cause layout issues on smaller screens.
For more information on responsive web design and its importance for a seamless user experience, check out our blog post “Responsive Web Design: The Key to a Seamless User Experience”.
By creating a responsive design, you can ensure that your website is accessible and user-friendly for all users.
4. Difficult navigation:
A confusing or difficult-to-use navigation menu can frustrate users and prevent them from exploring your website further.
If users can’t easily find what they are looking for on your website, they are likely to leave and go to a competitor’s site. It’s important to have a clear, intuitive navigation menu that allows users to easily find the information they are looking for.
To create a clear and intuitive navigation menu:
- Use descriptive labels that clearly communicate the content of each page.
- Organize content into logical categories and use dropdown menus to avoid cluttering the menu.
- Keep the menu short and to the point, only including the most important pages.
- Use a consistent layout and design for the menu across all pages of the website.
- Consider using a search bar to help users find specific information.
By following these tips, you can create a navigation menu that keeps users engaged and helps them find what they’re looking for on your website.
5. Poor readability:
It’s important to consider the readability of your website’s content. If the font is too small, the text is too dense, or the contrast is poor, users may have a hard time reading the content and may become frustrated or give up.
Poor readability can lead to a high bounce rate and a negative user experience.
To improve readability:
- Use a large, easy-to-read font size, such as 16px or 18px.
- Choose a font that is easy to read, such as Arial, Verdana, Roboto, Inter, Open Sans or Proxima Nova.
- Use a high contrast between the font color and the background color to make the text easy to read.
- Break up content into smaller chunks, such as using headings, subheadings, and bullet points.
- Use whitespace to separate different sections of content and make the page easier to scan.
- Avoid using dense blocks of text and use images or graphics to break up the content and make it more visually appealing.
By following these tips, you can create a website that is easy for users to read and understand.
6. Slow loading speed:
No one wants to wait for a slow-loading website. A slow loading speed can be frustrating for users and may cause them to leave the website before it even finishes loading. It’s important to optimize the loading speed of your website to ensure that it loads quickly and efficiently.
To improve loading speed:
- Optimize images by reducing their file size and using the appropriate file type.
- Minimize the use of large files, such as videos and high-resolution images, that take longer to load.
- Use a content delivery network (CDN) to distribute static content, such as images and videos, to users based on their geographic location.
- Use caching to store static content in the user’s browser, so that it doesn’t have to be re-downloaded every time they visit the website.
- Minimize the use of plugins and external scripts that can slow down the page.
By improving the loading speed of your website, you can provide a better user experience and reduce the bounce rate.
7. Lack of branding:
Branding is an important aspect of any business, and it’s important to incorporate it into your website as well. Your website is often the first point of contact that a potential customer has with your business, and it’s important to make a good first impression.
By incorporating branding elements, such as your logo, colors, and font, you can create a cohesive look and feel for your website that reflects your brand. A consistent brand identity is important for building trust and recognition.
In addition to visual branding elements, it’s important to also consider the tone and voice of your website’s content. Make sure to stay consistent with the language and messaging used in your branding efforts.
To incorporate branding into your website:
- Use your brand’s colors consistently throughout the website.
- Choose a font that is consistent with your brand’s style and personality.
- Use your logo prominently on the website, such as in the header or footer.
- Consider using branded graphics, such as icons or images, to further reinforce your brand identity.
- Use consistent language and tone throughout the website to help tell your brand’s story.
By creating a strong brand presence on your website, you can establish trust and credibility with potential customers and stand out from the competition.
8. Outdated design:
An outdated design can make your website look unprofessional and turn off users. It’s important to keep your website design up-to-date and fresh to ensure that it stays relevant and appealing to users. This means staying current with the latest design trends and making sure that your website looks modern and visually appealing.
In addition to the visual aspect of the website, it’s also important to make sure that the functionality of the website is up-to-date. This includes using the latest technologies and making sure that the website works well on all devices.
To create a modern, yet timeless design:
- Use a clean, minimalistic design with plenty of whitespace.
- Choose a color palette that is modern and on trend.
- Use responsive design techniques to ensure that your website looks great on all devices.
- Incorporate modern design elements, such as flat design or material design.
- Avoid using design elements that are clearly outdated, such as Flash animations or overly-ornate graphics.
By keeping your website design up-to-date, you can provide a better user experience and stay competitive in today’s market.
9. Not enough calls to action:
Make sure to include calls to action on your website to encourage users to take specific actions, such as filling out a form or making a purchase.
Calls to action (CTAs) are an important aspect of any website, as they encourage users to take a specific action, such as making a purchase or filling out a form. Without enough CTAs, users may not know what to do next or how to take the next step. It’s important to include CTAs throughout your website to guide users towards your desired outcome.
To include effective calls to action:
- Use actionable language, such as “Sign up now” or “Buy now.”
- Make the call to action prominent and easy to find.
- Use contrasting colors to make the call to action stand out.
- Include the call to action on multiple pages of the website, not just the home page.
- Test different versions of the call to action to see which one performs best.
Don’t miss out on potential conversions by forgetting to include calls to action. Make sure to include them throughout your website and make them clear and prominent.
10. Not enough focus on user experience:
It’s important to remember that the website is for the user, not for you. Make sure to put yourself in the user’s shoes and consider what they need and want from the website.
The user experience (UX) of your website is crucial to its success. If users have a poor experience on your website, they are likely to leave and go to a competitor’s site. It’s important to focus on the UX of your website to ensure that it is user-friendly, intuitive, and enjoyable.
The ultimate test of any design is: does it work for the user? When designers and developers forget about the user, the results are usually disastrous. – Usability Expert Jakob Nielsen
To focus on user experience:
- Conduct user research to understand your target audience’s needs and goals.
- Use user-centered design principles to create a website that is easy to use and navigate.
- Test the website with real users to identify any issues and gather feedback.
- Continuously monitor and improve the website based on user behavior and feedback.
- Make sure to prioritize the user’s needs and goals over your own.
By focusing on the user experience, you can create a website that meets the needs of your users and helps to achieve your business goals.
In conclusion, the design of your website is just as important as the content. By avoiding common web design mistakes, such as clutter, a lack of white space, and a non-responsive design, you can create a website that is user-friendly, visually appealing, and effective at achieving your business goals. Make sure to focus on the user experience, incorporate branding, and stay current with the latest design trends to create a successful website.
If you need help creating a successful website for your business, be sure to check out our web development services. And don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions or to get started on your project. By following these tips and working with a professional web development agency, you can create a website that engages and converts users.