Need a new website? Before you get too far into the creative process, we suggest you get your head around what makes for good website design. It’s actually very important that this occur, given that 75% of consumers will judge a company’s credibility based solely on its website design.
But what are the common website design mistakes you should avoid? Let’s take a look at five of the worst.
1. Using Low-quality or Irrelevant Imagery
If your website features photos that are low resolution, poorly shot, or completely irrelevant it makes your company look unprofessional and you’ll likely get bounced. We suggest you either pay for professional photos or, source stock photos from online sites. While a web design business is likely to have subscriptions to the likes of Adobe Stock and Shutterstock, there’s also some amazing copyright-free image stock from platforms like Unsplash and pixabay.
Consider these ideas too:
- Harness the power of nature imagery | if appropriately used in marketing, nature imagery has been found to enhance viewer recall
- Include video as well as still images | at Web-Sta, as part of our Sunshine Coast website design service, we produce Animated Videos because they get a message across quickly and effectively.
- Direct the viewer’s attention to what you want them to see next | for example use a pointing hand, or a face with eyes that are gazing in a particular direction
2. Making it too Complicated
Your business has a lot to offer and you want to convey that through your website. But you don’t want your site to be so complicated and busy that it’s confusing to navigate.
We suggest avoiding:
- Numerous pop-ups
- Unusual site layouts that users don’t automatically ‘get’
- Big chunks of text
- Too many different colours and fonts.
These are all guaranteed ways to scare potential customers away.
- Small blocks of easy-to-digest text | take note of the popular Yahoo! Style Guide which says: ‘keep paragraphs short. Two to three sentences is often enough.’
- A common site layout | stick to a layout that users are familiar with, so they can navigate your site easily
- Links | if you want to include more detailed information, instead of congesting one of your website pages, simply insert a link that takes users to what’s known as a Silo Page. A page that although published, does not appear as a main page on your website.
3. Going Off-Brand
To give you an extreme, hypothetical example of straying off-brand: think of a funeral parlour creating a busy, colourful website, featuring fun imagery and a breezy, off-beat tone. This website design would be at total odds with the company’s branding and would most likely alienate its customers.
Your website design should complement your brand’s values and reflect what your business has to offer. Think about:
- Incorporating your logo colours or uniform colours into the website colour scheme
- Ensuring the appropriate tone is adopted in text and through the choice of font
- Sourcing suitable imagery that complements and reinforces your brand’s values
4. Having Unclear or Absent Calls-to-Action
The last thing you want is customers going round and round on your site, getting frustrated, thinking, ‘how do I contact them?’ or ‘how do I book a quote?’ This is why clear, concise calls-to-action are essential.
If you’re not familiar with the term, a call-to-action is a simple directive like ‘shop now’, ‘request a free quote’, ‘contact us today’ and ‘buy now’. The directive should contain a link to the appropriate page. When you design each page, you’ll want to think about the most instinctive locations to include calls-to-action.
At Web-Sta we include appropriate and varied calls-to-action throughout content we produce, and our team writes all the content for the websites we build // word-for-word, and it’s Google friendly.
5. Using Hard to Read Text
If people can’t easily read the text on your website, they’ll quickly bounce to another site. For this reason, it’s best to avoid font colours like yellow and red, or anything pastel, and avoid using any font size not equivalent to a 12pt Arial.
We suggest opting for good ol’ standard black text, and using frequent headings, bolded text, and dot points to emphasise important points and to make the text easier on the eye.
If you’ve been Googling what are the common website design mistakes you may well be overwhelmed by advice, but avoiding the five mistakes we’ve outlined above should help set you on the right track for a successful, appealing website.