5 Web Design Mistakes You Need to Avoid Making at All Costs
What does your website look like? Did you design it yourself, have it created by a web design company, or don’t have one? Here’s the truth – every successful business has a website. It’s not optional, your business needs one, and there are rules that you need to follow.
Whether you are trying to appease your customers or Google, you have to consider what’s acceptable for your website. Web design best practices are something that you need to follow if you want to create a website that converts.
If you’re not a web designer, it’s easy to overlook these minor details. But you shouldn’t do that. Making any one of these mistakes will make your website look amateur and unprofessional.
1. Too Much/Too Little Going On
What a great way to start, right? While this may seem contradictory, hear me out. Your website cannot ignore balance.
A website with too much going on is distracting to view. Your users will struggle to find the information they need, which may cause them to leave. This is bad and something that you can avoid by building a website that’s focused and on point.
A website with too little going on will underwhelm your visitors. Your users will feel dissatisfied as they are unable to find the right information. Customers like to understand why your products and services are great, their benefits, and why they should make a purchase. If you’re too vague, they won’t find the information they need.
The real challenge is finding the sweet spot between offering too little and too much. An experienced web designer can guide you on what your website needs to showcase your products and services.
2. Ineffective CTAs
You’ve likely heard the term “Call to Action” before. CTAs are a powerful element when used properly.
The goal of a CTA is to encourage a visitor to act. Whether you are looking to collect their information and encourage them to make a purchase, the CTA compels them into acting.
A CTA is only as effective as its message. A good CTA will typically include:
- Powerful images that resonate with your intended goal. For example, a dental office may feature a beautiful smile on a happy patient.
- Strong headlines that draw users in. The headline needs to be intriguing, create curiosity, and encourage them to act. Many companies use scarcity, promotions, or limited time offers to increase engagement.
- Aggressive verbs that encourage action. Don’t confuse aggressive verbs with vulgar ones. Aggressive verbs are those that are action-oriented. Things like “get started,” “shop now,” and “create your account” are more actionable and likely to compel your users to act.
Bad CTAs are often crowded and ineffectively combine these elements. Maybe it’s because the background image doesn’t fit with the text color and headlines, the offer is unclear, or there’s nothing interesting encouraging a visitor to act. You want your CTAs to build on what you’ve already established and put that final nail in the coffin.
3. Misused Whitespace
Whitespace is your friend. If you’re looking to create a modern, clean aesthetic, whitespace is a must-have.
Why is it so important?
Whitespace creates balance on your website. It helps to enable the flow of content, to transition between different elements, and ensures that your visitors are focusing on the right content.
Many small business owners have a lot to say about their products and services. And, there’s nothing wrong with that. But you need to use whitespace to your advantage. Rather than bombarding them with enough content to fill a book, break it up and use whitespace to transition between these key elements.
Any good web designer will understand how to incorporate whitespace into your design.
4. Ugly Images
You may or may not be making this mistake right now. Here’s the deal, many small business owners try to cut costs by taking their own photos. And unless you are a professional photographer, this isn’t going to work.
Let me ask you this.
You’ve eaten at a restaurant before where it’s clear the owner photographed the menu items. What did you think about it? I can guarantee that they didn’t look as appealing as the professional-level photos you see in a larger restaurant.
The images you choose to promote your business are a direct representation of your brand. By choosing low-quality ones, your visitors may assume your brand is low-quality and doesn’t care.
It’s important that you carefully select the images you want to use, edit them to work for your business, and work with an expert web and graphic designer to place them properly.
5. Poor Website Flow and Navigation
Websites are a journey. Everything you show on your website is part of an overall mission. Don’t believe me?
Let’s unpack this a little more.
- Your homepage is designed to create awareness. Visitors view your homepage and get a brief overview of who you are, what you are selling, and any benefits you provide.
- Your product and service pages go into more detail. They explain exactly what you have to offer and further educate and compel your visitors into acting. Many companies also leverage social proof to validate that people love what they are selling.
- Your checkout pages are built to convert. At this point, your customers have expressed interest, and these pages close the deal.
- Your about pages provide information about your company, brand, and team. This is another section that needs to be informative and engaging.
As your visitors progress through your website, they go through different stages of the buyer’s journey. When they first arrive, they may be curious and looking to solve a specific need.
Perhaps they want a coffee traveler that stays warm and doesn’t leak. As they browse your website, they see that you offer travelers and that yours promises to solve those exact problems they have. After checking out a specific product page, they see that your traveler uses a specialized sealing system to prevent leaks. The added social proof at the bottom shows that people stand by this product. Convinced, they add the traveler to their cart and proceed to purchase it.
This entire journey can only happen if your website is organized and easy to navigate. Think about your customers and how they will progress through your website. This will help identify how to structure your menus, what pages to focus on, and to guarantee that the flow of this information makes sense.
Build Your Website the Right Way
Everyone has great ideas, but coding them into existence requires a web designer that really knows what they’re doing. That’s the only way you’re going to get a website that is both beautiful and effective.
Or, you can try this.
As both a graphic and web designer, I can help you build the right website for your company. I don’t just build websites for my clients. I build experiences that incorporate good design and use my web and graphic design skills to accomplish this.
If you are looking to create or update a website for your business, let’s chat. I’d love to learn more about your project and to see if we are a good fit to work together.
Enhance Your Business Through the Power of Design
Stay up to date on everything graphic and web design with my monthly newsletter.