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Toronto-based boutique agency specializing in web design and development, identity and print design.
Jul 21

Avoid These Common Website Design Mistakes

A good, functional, and on-point website is crucial to the success of any online business in today’s world. A business with a poor website is likely to fail to grow as consumers and a business that has a good website could grow exponentially. The web has seen millions of websites receive a complete makeover in the mobile era in order to stay relevant and ahead of the competition.

Failure to account for mobile browsing

Mobile browsing is rapidly gaining popularity and in large portions of the developing world, people are expected to get their hands on a smartphone well before they a computer. Today alone, over 40% of all searches are made on mobiles and tablets and we can only expect this number to grow rapidly. Your website needs to have a mobile-friendly as a given otherwise you risk alienating half of your potential market. There are around 900 million websites in the world today, and it is estimated that fewer than 17% of all sites have been created with responsive design. If you do not have one, you should create one immediately especially if your business is consumer facing.

Using a so-called drag and drop website builder

Drag and drop builders such as Weebly are excellent for creating websites as they allow a person with absolutely zero technical knowledge to create a website immediately. However, the downside is that most of these builders do not provide a website with all the required functionality and can often lead to serious performance issues if you get a lot of traffic. These builders are more suitable for websites that expect minimal traffic, and you do not need to use HTML/CSS to develop an excellent website. You can easily create a website with a content builder such as Joomla and WordPress, and you may need to learn some technical details first, but the end result will be worth it.

Bad color scheme and contrast

The color is a far more crucial part of a website than most people think it is, and color contrast is arguably even more important. Based on the nature of your business, it is important to choose a color that appeals to your target demograph. For example, a news website such have a neutral color palette that does not distract users from the news story at hand. The color scheme you choose for your landing page, your CTA, and the background all play an important role in determining your success. A website that is visually appealing is always more likely to succeed than a website with a mashup of colors.

Using infinity scroll incorrectly

Infinity scroll is a popular web design technique that is useful for websites with a lot of news content and social media websites, but it is useless for a website selling LEDs or a website selling clothes. Infinite scroll essentially loads content as the user gets to the bottom of a page but it can put off customers if used in the wrong context. For example, if you have a popular blog about the happenings in the tech industry, using infinite scroll may be a bad idea as it will inundate the customer with information, and most customers are unlikely to be well versed in tech happenings. In such cases, you should definitely develop an option that allows the reader to only see the 10 or 20 most recent posts or some other type of sorting mechanism.

A poorly designed landing page

Websites that generate the bulk of their traffic from Facebook, Instragram, or Twitter cannot afford to have a poor landing page. Your usage of headers, footers, sidebars, CTA, colors etc. becomes super important as you should be able to accurately point the customer to the CTA without overloading the brain with too much information. You should delete any information that is not important to conversion or the point of the landing page, and you should make content easy to find. If a customer has to jump through hoops to find something, the customer is highly likely to scoot immediately from your website.

Poor navigation capabilities

Any business website needs to have seamless navigation and must be well organized. Today’s customers are spoiled by great websites and expect nothing but seamless website design. Based on your content, you should use text and images appropriately, and avoid having any dead links anywhere. If you use hyperlinks, they should stand out from the text and they shouldn’t distract the user from the purpose of the content. In order to have seamless navigation, your business needs a central theme so that users will have a good idea of how to use the website. As a rule of thumb, users should be able to find the information they need within three clicks, and anything more is essentially a death sentence.