As much as possible, your website should mirror your organization. It should ideally include all the shareable details about your operations, products, impending product launches, offers, customer testimonials etc.
You have well managed social media accounts. But it is your website that gives customers a comprehensive look at your organization. Despite this, many companies have at least a few “whoops-a-daisy” spots on their site.
So what are some of the biggest mistakes to avoid in website design?
Well, folks, here are 13 absolute no-no’s of website design:
- Poor navigation: Not having a clear navigation system on your website is bound to hurt your traffic flow. If your navigation routes are overlong or confusing, people will get frustrated and abandon your site. Let your navigation style be simple and easy to follow.
- Complicating the design: Though tempting, don’t succumb and use all the tricks in the book on your website. People will not have patience to wait for your page to load, especially if they are accessing it on a smartphone.Also, don’t add blinking text on your page. The time this was in is way past!Another thing you have to avoid is, using animated GIF images. Only if you have a banner ad that needs animated GIFs, go ahead. If not, refrain from using them since they make your site look unprofessional and frivolous.
- Brimming content levels: If your web pages are up to the neck with content, it is definitely a case of overkill. Research shows that you have only three seconds to communicate your site’s message to the visitor. If not, it is very likely that people will leave your site. So don’t choose quantity over quality. Use as less content as possible and send out a clear message about your business. Upload clear images that compliment the content. Make sure that the content is readable and people can scan over it quickly. Most importantly, see to it that your content does not have any spelling or grammatical errors. Such errors not only raise questions about the credibility of your site, they also cast your company’s ability to deliver quality solutions in doubt.
- Bad formatting: Bad formatting includes issues with the use of white space, fonts, colors and links. Link formatting issues include missing anchor text on links and links not easily recognized. If you just say “click here”, people will not know the link’s destination. Instead, include relevant anchor text on the link that tells people where the link will take them.Make sure that your links are easily noticed by using a different color from the text and underlining it.Too little or too much of white space on a web page looks bad. You need to balance the use of white space with text and colors and highlight each other.Fancy fonts may look good, but they may not be easily readable. Use simple, easy-to-read fonts.Do not use over bright colors that sting the eye. Use colors to create a mood relative to your site’s objective and content. Let the colors be such that they let people focus on the content easily.
- Unclear or missing Call-To-Action (CTA): If your website has unclear CTAs/doesn’t have CTAs, it will be difficult for you to track goals and conversions. Make it a point to include CTAs that spur people into ‘action’.
- Aping your competitors: This is one potentially dangerous trap you have to avoid. The trick of the game is to be different from your competitors, which is when people see what you are doing differently from other similar companies. Highlight your USPs and create your own strategy, content and messages. Get people to notice you, don’t be a part of the background!
- Unnecessary registrations: Don’t compel people to register on your site unnecessarily. When they come to your website, they are looking to gain information. Don’t jump on the chance to get information from them. Unless it’s absolutely necessary, refrain from asking people to register.
- Subscription without consent: People will get annoyed when they receive newsletters from companies whose site they had only visited without subscribing to anything. If people want to receive your newsletter, they will subscribe for it. Automatic subscription is a strict no-no.
- Auto-playing audio/video files: Another turn-off is auto-playing audio/video files. You have a video of a customer testimonial or a tour of your products/production facilities or messages from your top honchos. Let the page visitor choose to play it or not. Don’t make it so that the file starts playing jarringly as soon as someone opens the page.
- Avoid pop-ups and badges: Avoid enabling pop-ups on your site as much as possible. Most people get annoyed with them and there are many pop-up blockers on the web.It’s also best to steer clear of sticking too many badges on your company website. Badges make your site look unprofessional. If you still want to include badges, particularly ones of awards and recognition, put them up on the “About” page.
- Complex URLs: Avoid needlessly complex URLs. Keep it simple. This will not only help your search rankings, but will also let people know your page contents before visiting it.
- Mixing ads and content: Mostly, people don’t like encountering ads when they are going through content. Keep your ads and content separate if losing page visitors is not what you want.
- Compatibility issues with browsers: Browser compatibility issues are a major setback for your website. If your site is not compatible with the most used web browsers, you will end up losing on page traffic. Make sure your website works with the popular web browsers.
Image Source: Mashable