A website has become the most basic necessity of every business. Over the years, various entrepreneurs, SMEs, and enterprises have understood the importance of a website and took their business online through a website.
A professional website for your business aims to capture the target audience’s attention, engage users, and urge them to take a specific action.
Now, if you are planning to launch a new website, you might be familiar with standard web design principles.
However, understanding the principles of web design is not enough. You should also be familiar with common web design mistakes. Why?
The reason being, by knowing web design mistakes done by businesses and avoiding them, you can provide a top-notch experience to the users. Apart from this, you can convert your first-time visitors into leads.
We have been working in the web design field for a long time and have created some of the best websites for clients worldwide. Hence, we have an in-depth knowledge of web design.
To help you with this regard, here we will walk you through some of the common web design mistakes to avoid growing your site exponentially.
So, here we go:
1. Improper Navigation
In the fast-paced world, users want all things instantly. Website navigation should allow users to discover all the things on the site from start to finish without hindrance.
If your website possesses navigation issues given below, then users will not find suitable content. This will, in turn, result in no conversions. Here are some common navigation issues to avoid.
Keeping Logo in Center or Right
When you keep your website logo at the center or the right side of the website, a user finds it hard to navigate on the website.
According to Nielsen Norman Group, users failed six times to navigate the homepage when their logo is centered.
You might have a question, why do people click on the logo? Users click on the logo whenever they get lost or whenever they want to return to the homepage from any other page.
Apart from this, whenever you keep the logo to the center or right, the brand recall gets decreased. Hence, you should never place a logo on the center or right side.
Hidden Navigation Menu
All of your website visitors will move to your site with the help of navigation menus.
If you keep hidden navigation menus, users will get confused. They will think about where the menu will take them and whether they are on the right page. Moreover, if they don’t find relevant information on your web page, they will abandon your website.
For example, consider the website of Time magazine, they have hidden navigation in the hamburger menu.
Image Credit: Time Magazine
On the other side, if you offer an excellent navigation menu as per the users’ needs, they will remain on your website for a long-time.
Any kind of animated navigation that rolls, bounces, or moves when users access the information on the website is known as uncontrollable navigation.
Users don’t like to spend their time figuring out how to use navigation. Instead, the users want to get solutions to their queries quickly, and if your site has uncontrollable navigation, they will leave your website.
2. Non-responsive Design
To understand what non-responsive design is, you need to know the meaning of responsive design.
A responsive design is a method that emphasizes creating websites that should automatically adapt to the user’s behavior and environment depending on the screen size, platform, and orientation.
In simple words, a website should work efficiently on different devices, such as a laptop, tablet, or smartphone.
On the contrary, a non-responsive design doesn’t focus on the user experience and delivers a poor web page layout, resulting in difficulty accessing a website.
In today’s digital era, the majority of people use different mobile devices other than PCs to access the content on the web.
According to Statista, mobile devices generate 54.8 percent of the global website traffic.
Moreover, a few years ago, Google introduced mobile-first indexing for all the content; this means Google uses a mobile version of the content for indexing and ranking.
Therefore, if you are not focusing on a mobile-first approach, then it should be your priority. Here, you can utilize different tools to check the responsiveness of the website on different devices.
3. Slow Loading Speed
People in the world are not only impatient offline but also online. They want all the things at an ultrafast speed.
They are accessing multiple things such as email, social media, news, and more. Hence, if they visit your website and if the site takes more than time to load, they will abandon it.
Generally, if a website takes 4 seconds to load, then it is considered slow. Moreover, Google conducted a survey that states that more than 70% of websites take seven seconds or more to load. Also, they discovered that the slower the site, the higher the users will hop off.
Google also stated that 3 seconds is ideal for all website owners to keep users engaged on a website.
To ensure that your website loads quickly and offers a great user experience, you need to focus on some essential things.
Firstly, you need to focus on optimizing the website’s images and if the size of the images is big, try to reduce it.
Secondly, plugins, themes, and other third-party libraries affect a website’s speed. Hence, you need to update these things to the latest version constantly.
Lastly, test your website every time after the update. By doing this, you can easily identify the mistakes and correct them before the launch.
4. Multimedia Web Design Mistakes
Another crucial web design mistake you need to avoid is using multimedia inappropriately. One mistake is not using optimized images on your website, which we have already covered. Apart from this, there are inevitable other multimedia mistakes you should avoid on your website.
Autoplay Videos with Sound
Integrating videos on your site helps you to attract more users and keep them hooked. However, it is not good practice to autoplay videos without a trigger from the user.
There are certain sites where autoplay videos are acceptable, such as news & sports sites. Other than this, users find it frustrating when they visit a website or a web page, and videos start from nowhere.
Moreover, videos affect the loading speed of the website.
Therefore, if you want to provide a better experience to users, you should not autoplay videos until a user takes action.
Another approach you can adopt is autoplay videos without sound. This is the same approach used by Facebook.
Never Use Generic Photos
Whenever you integrate free stock photos on your website, it doesn’t provide clarity to the users.
Also, it creates a bad impression of your website. Instead, you should integrate original photos on your website which convey some story or teach something important.
A vast number of websites are still not using favicons. A favicon is one of the most important things that help in the branding of the website.
Moreover, various users access multiple sites at a time and leave their tabs open. In such cases, a favicon helps all the users to navigate to your site.
Carousels are one of the things that are used by various websites worldwide. They are not an issue on their own. However, there are some common reasons why carousels are considered conversion killers.
- Firstly, carousels result in banner blindness, a situation in which users consider the content as ads. Hence, they decrease visibility.
- Secondly, carousels are slow in loading, and they lack mobile optimization.
- Thirdly, they provide too much information to the users.
- Lastly, they take away the control from the hands of the users.
Therefore, instead of using carousels, you should focus on presenting the most important message on the homepage.
5. Typography Errors
Typography is the art of choosing the right font, size, color, layout, alignment, and other factors that affect web design.
Typography has a great impact on how users read the information on a website. There are specific common typography errors that you should avoid to provide a positive experience to the users. They are as follows:
Using Vague Fonts
Users find it difficult to read on your site whenever you use cursive fonts, handwritten scripts, or symbols. Moreover, they will have issues of cognitive fluency which means they would find it challenging to understand the information.
Adding Too Many Fonts
Integrating more fonts into a website creates confusion in the mind of the users. They feel distracted while accessing the information on the website.
Using Opposing Fonts
Using two conflicting fonts draws the attention of the user away from the information you want to convey.
Apart from these errors, you need to ensure that font size is standard and there is proper spacing between characters.
6. Not Focusing on 404 Page
A majority of people think that web design only consists of UI/UX design. However, as per Wikipedia’s definition, web design consists of UI/UX design, content, and search engine optimization.
There are several essential web design mistakes that every business needs to avoid for better SEO.
One of the most crucial SEO mistakes is not focusing on the 404 pages. For those who don’t know about the 404 pages, let’s have a brief about it.
A 404 page is also called an “error page” or “Page not found” page. This page usually gets displayed when a user reaches the desired domain; however, their URL path doesn’t have any information.
On a website, 404 pages are responsible for the decrease in traffic. Moreover, a survey on 3,475 users indicated that about 39.2% of people don’t even take action to solve the error.
This indicates that a 404 page plays an essential role in any website.
Your primary purpose of a 404 page should be to convert a user’s negative encounter into a positive one. For this, you need to create a custom 404 page for your website.
There are several well-known strategies that you can implement on your 404 pages of the website.
- You can induce some humor on the 404 pages.
- Provide some communication options to the users.
- Lastly, you can provide some navigation links to the users.
7. Content Mistakes
Content is the most essential part of any website. It is the thing that helps you reach the potential audience and urge users to take a particular action on your website. If you are not able to achieve your business goals, you might be committing some crucial content mistakes.
Content not Focused on Target Audience
If you are writing too much more content or too little content mentioning your business and how great you are, you might be losing many users.
The reason being, you are not focusing on the user’s goals, visions, problems, fears, and solutions. Due to this, you will face issues in converting visitors into leads.
One of the simple strategies to adopt is to create a user persona of the target audience and then integrate content such as blog posts, product/service pages, etc., useful for your potential audience.
Content isn’t Scannable
The majority of people on the web don’t like to read every line on the website. They usually scan the content that solves their problem. Therefore, your website content needs to be scannable.
To make your website content scannable, integrate various headings, add bullet points & lists, highlight key phrases, use shorter paragraphs, etc.
Not Using WhiteSpace Properly
Whitespace is the space between the text, images, graphics, and other blocks of a website.
If you have integrated whitespace properly, then it helps to attract users, increases readability & comprehension, improves navigation, creates a balance between image & text, and makes your brand unique.
If there is no whitespace, then the user would find it difficult to read on the website. Example:
From the above example, you must have understood the importance of whitespace.
Leading companies give utmost importance to whitespace and design websites accordingly. A popular example of this can be Apple; they utilize whitespace effectively to get user attention, create impact, and increase sales.
On the other side, there are also some websites with too much whitespace.
The main difference between the above example and Apple is intent.
Apple wants users to know about their product and buy it. Their whitespace is focused on the same thing.
The main issue with too much whitespace is that it doesn’t have a purpose, or it isn’t able to satisfy the user’s goal.
Lastly, whitespace needs to be used effectively to convey your message and fulfill the user’s goals. To understand well, have a look at these minimalist website design examples where whitespace is used properly.
8. A Lack of Clear CTA
A call-to-action is the main element on a webpage that provokes users to take a specific action. If your website doesn’t have a clear CTA, then it’s a basic web design mistake.
CTAs are the most crucial thing in a website to complete the sales funnel. They are used to convert first-time visitors to prospects.
Therefore, if you don’t have a proper CTA on your website, you might be losing a big chunk of leads. Besides this, if you integrate many CTAs, then users might get irritated.
To avoid these things, you should integrate a CTA that informs users what they have to do. Here, users should be able to understand what they have to provide and what they will get in return.
You can use compelling phrases that urge users to click on CTA. However, make sure that your CTA is clear. Also, keep the form filling short. Lastly, add some of the CTAs popular worldwide, such as Get Started, Subscribe Now, Sign Up, Buy Now, etc.
9. Having Infinite Scrolling
Infinite scroll is a web design strategy; in which whenever a user reaches the bottom of the page, new content loads automatically.
Even though it might look good to keep users hooked on the webpage, it harms your website.
You may have a question, how?
Google bot can only crawl a web page loaded for the first time and avoid going further. Hence, it affects your SEO.
Infinite scrolling takes a lot of time for loading, and users find it hard to access content on your website. Therefore, you should avoid infinite scrolling in web design.
10. Annoying Ads that Hide Content
Ads are one of the essential sources of income or websites. However, if you are placing annoying ads that irritate users, you might lose a big chunk of users. Here are some of the most common web design mistakes you should avoid while placing ads.
Too Many Ads Above the Fold
Above the fold means the first thing that a user sees while visiting any page on the website. A user visits a web page to find a solution to the problem through content.
However, if there are many ads placed above the fold, then users might leave your website.
Moreover, Google penalizes a website with too many ads above the fold. Here, you can place one banner above the fold. But using many ads above the fold can affect your website.
Pop-ups are also known as overlay ads that cover the entire content on the website. Here, users can’t view the main content and are forced to watch the ad or find the button to close it.
These ads are not suitable for impatient people as they wouldn’t make an effort to find and hit the close button but instead leave the website through the back button.
A situation like this affects the bounce rate here. If a higher number of visitors close a page within a few seconds of their visits, it results in a high bounce rate, and Google gives that site a low ranking.
If you don’t have other options but include pop-up ads, then you have few options. Here, you can show users a pop-up after they have remained on your site for 30 seconds. Secondly, you can display a pop-up to users after they scrolled the page 50%.
It is a type of full-page advertising that is way ahead of full-screen floating ads. This type of ad redirects the user to a unique URL, including a button for the user to move ahead to their destination.
Whenever users get redirected to a specific URL from the site they are browsing, they suppose it’s a spam link. Hence, the majority of users click on the back button. This further results in a high bounce rate as compared to pop-up ads.
Therefore, you should not integrate these types of ads on your website.
Ads Hidden as Content
For obtaining more traffic through the pay-per-click users, several sites hide the ads just like the content. Several basic methods consist of a related content section having a chunk of links to other similar topics or a navigation bar that directs you nowhere.
All of these are regarded as ads, and they fool users into clicking on ads. Moreover, Google can penalize these kinds of ads. Hence, you shouldn’t include these types of ads.
Multiple Ads Separating the Main Content
Several sites like to take most of the benefits of ads; hence, they place the ads within content rather than the side or the bottom. Thus, placing multiple ads on a webpage results in a dispersed pattern: content, ad, content, ad, and so on.
Google quality guidelines consider it as a bad design that disrupts the flow of the user. Lastly, if you want to insert an ad inside the content, keep it one for each page.
11. Difficult to Find Contact Info
Not having accurate contact information on the website is another common web design mistake you need to avoid.
Whenever a user decides to buy a product or use your services, they are looking for your contact information. However, if they cannot find it quickly, they will leave your website, and you will lose leads.
Therefore, you need to ensure that you have integrated the contact us page properly on your website. A better strategy is to allow users to contact you via different mediums such as contact numbers, email, skype, or social media handles.
Lastly, it is not required to have a fancy contact us page; users are just looking to contact you, that’s it.
Here we conclude our exclusive list of common web design mistakes.
If you are not able to take your site to a new level for quite some time, then there might be some series of issues on your website. There are chances that you might be committing some of the common web design mistakes. Hence, you consider a website redesign.
Moreover, some of the leading companies worldwide have also redesigned their website because of these mistakes. To know more, check out these website redesign examples.
Hence, it would be best if you avoid these mistakes while updating your website. Besides this, you need to prevent it while creating a new website.
If you can’t find issues on your website, don’t hesitate to reach out to a professional web design agency.
WebY King offers the best custom website design services to startups and businesses worldwide. Hence, we can identify web design mistakes and provide you with the most suitable solution.