Have you ever visited a website and instead of finding it helpful, you feel much less inclined to do business with them?
It’s an all too common occurrence on the web and there’s a good chance that you’ve come across many websites that fall into this category.
Chances are that the culprit is a site-wide design issue that immediately puts you and every other visitor off. It could be a case of too many ads, a dull colour scheme or a number of other possibilities. Regardless of what it might be, it’s definitely damaging; and if you aren’t careful it could happen to your website too. In fact, it might already be the case for you since these problems are pretty commonplace.
That’s why we’re providing a list of four of the most frequent mistakes web designers commit when building a website so that you can use it as a way to find out if you’re guilty of the same errors.
1. Adding too many elements to your pages
The whole point of having a website is to deliver useful information to your current and potential customers. If you make the mistake of overly designing your website, not only will you end up with a website that confuses them, but it will probably end up looking a bit of an eye-sore too. Nobody wants that.
Learn to filter through your ideas so that you produce a website that looks polished and is actually functional. Stick to the essentials and when you want to add something for purely aesthetic reasons, make sure it enhances the overall design without introducing too much clutter. Doing so will also have the welcome side-effect of faster load times, which is something that everybody wants.
2. Not having intuitive navigation
Navigation can be split into two aspects: one for your entire website to help users browse through all your content and another within individual pages to help organise and section them off for better readability. Both are important and if either one is too complicated or confusing, users will not hesitate to leave.
Evaluate your main menu in terms of how user-friendly it is. Ideally, it should be organised, easy to get to and limited to only the most important items. As for your in-page navigation, go for the basics. A table of contents will do just fine for many types of content; just please don’t force your users to have to click multiple times to go where they want to.
3. Making poor colour, image and typography choices
This one is a little tricky to get right, as these elements are all pretty subjective and nuanced in their own ways. That however, is no excuse. There are many tools and services online to help you bring these aspects of your design to a professional level and all you have to do is apply them to your own website.
As a general guide, when it comes to colour and typography, you want to limit yourself to just a couple for each aspect. That means sticking to two font faces and two primary colours for your entire website. As for images, if you are making your own, apply a similar post-processing effect to them so that they appear cohesive. Alternatively, you can go to one of the many stock photo websites online to source high-quality images, some of which are free.
4. Failing to optimise for mobile devices
You’re probably designing your website on a computer, which means there’s a pretty good chance of forgetting to think about mobile Internet users. Just because your site looks amazing on your laptop doesn’t necessarily mean that it will appear just as great on someone’s phone.
Many website design tools now have a built-in feature that gives you a preview of what your site would look like on mobile, so remember to take advantage of that and make any necessary changes so that users on all devices are assured of a good experience.
Keep these frequent website design mistakes in mind and see if you are guilty of them on your own site. There are many other common errors that can be problematic but this list is a great place to start.
Lemongrass Media are a professional website design agency with offices in Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire and Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, covering the Home Counties. If you need help designing your website, get in touch with us today! We’re happy to help.