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- Web design is part technical skill, part science and part art form.
- Mobile devices are the primary way people access the internet, so websites that neglect to use a responsive design are at risk of alienating visitors and being penalized by search engines.
- Using decorative or hard-to-read fonts makes it hard for site visitors to absorb the information you’re trying to convey.
- Site navigation should be easy for visitors to find, and your menu items should be as clear and concise as possible.
- There is no need for a cluttered, above-the-fold design.
- Fixing these common website design mistakes will increase conversion rates and visitor traffic.
It isn’t always easy to stay on top of the latest trends in web design. That’s because web design is part technical skill, part science and part art form. That combination of facets means that web design trends change on a near-constant basis as designers seek to adapt to the changing needs of clients and the audiences they target. There are, however, some aspects of good, modern web design that never seem to change.
Despite that reality, we see websites containing some very common design mistakes far more often than you’d think. From simple layout problems to site-wide structural deficiencies, any of these design faux pas can prevent your business’s website from reaching its full potential as a marketing and customer service tool. To help you figure out if your business’s site contains one of these common problems, we’ve created a guide to the four biggest web design mistakes we see on a regular basis.
Lack of Responsive Design
For years, web designers created expansive, information-rich designs that were developed to take advantage of high-speed internet connections and desktop computers with large, high-resolution screens. Then, a funny thing happened. By the end of 2016, mobile devices overtook desktops as the primary way people access the internet. That ushered in the era of responsive design, creating websites that adjusted their layout to suit whichever device a visitor is using. Websites that neglect to use a responsive design are at risk of alienating visitors and being penalized by search engines.
Poor Font and Layout Choices
Websites, at their core, are designed to convey information. Unfortunately, judging by some of the font and layout choices we’ve seen online, there are plenty of designers that may have forgotten that. If your website makes use of decorative or hard-to-read fonts, visitors won’t absorb the information you’re trying to convey. Also, it’s important to make sure that the text on a website follows these guidelines:
- Is large enough to read on a small screen
- Has proper spacing between lines and paragraphs
- Has sufficient text-to-background contrast
If your business’s website doesn’t conform to these standards, it will fail to connect with visitors and impart the message you intend to send.
Missing or Confusing Navigation
When visitors arrive at a website, they’ve usually gotten there seeking specific information. That means that your site’s navigation is of paramount importance. It has become standard for navigation elements to appear horizontally near the top of a page or vertically on the left of the page. If your business’s website includes non-standard navigation elements, there’s a good chance that visitors won’t find them. It’s also important to make sure that the menus themselves are as clear and concise as possible. Years of UX research confirms just how easy it is for a website’s navigation to undermine usability, and therefore, the whole site.
The last, and most destructive, web design mistake that we see on a regular basis is the use of a cluttered design. It’s not unusual for web designers (often under the direction of clients) to attempt to fill the upper portion of every page with as much content as possible. It springs from the incorrect belief that most visitors will only see the upper portion of a page and won’t bother to scroll down to find additional content. There was some truth to that in the early days of the internet (a slow modem requires plenty of patience to load the lower portion of a webpage), but it’s just plain wrong today. Data from as far back as 2014 indicates that web visitors spend 66 percent of their attention on the lower portions of web pages. That means there’s no real reason to insist on a cluttered, above-the-fold design.
Designing a Sleek, Modern and Efficient Website
The web design mistakes we’ve covered here are far more common than they should be. Sometimes, they’re the result of old designs aging poorly. In other instances, they’re made by inexperienced designers or insisted upon by clients that aren’t familiar with modern design aesthetics. In either case, no business can afford to allow them to continue to exist anywhere on their website. The good news is that fixing these common mistakes will increase conversion rates and visitor traffic, so the changes typically pay for themselves in no time flat.
If you’re looking to update your website to fit the modern aesthetics with ease of use that everyone can use, we’ve got you covered. Contact us today and let our experts fix the problems on your business website right away!