Websites have been around for a long, long time, so you’d think by now people would know what works and what doesn’t; what looks good and what doesn’t. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. Even some of the worst web design mistakes have been committed over, and over, again, and are still being committed by website today. Here are the 10 worst mistakes in web design, mistakes that should not even be committed in the first place:
1. Long Blocks to Text – Boring! First, no one is going to read all that. Second, by putting so much on one page, you miss out on segmenting that information on several web pages (which means more web pages for Google and more chances to be found). Third, web visitors don’t like to scroll. Keep each web page to a single idea. If a web page contains more than one topic, then split it up.
2. Too Many Images – One or two images at the most. Anything more than that puts your website at risk of being too slow, and visitors will abandon your site. Research by Amazon.com found that a 0.1 second increase in site speed leads to a 1% increase in e-commerce sales. If you have e-commerce capabilities on your site, then keep the images to a minimum.
3. Bad Navigation – When asked what they wanted from a website, 76% of consumers said they want a website that makes it easy for them to find what they are looking for. If your navigation bar is poorly arranged, too small to read, too big to fit one line, or anything else that isn’t easy or convenient, then it needs to be fixed. A quick way to make this easier is to include a search bar on your site.
4. Background Music – Never, ever cool. NO ONE wants background music because the last thing people want, is surprise music blasting through their computer speaker.
5. Animated GIFs – Just don’t. It’s so 1998.
6. No Way to Get in Touch – A contact form is not good enough, as it doesn’t provide the usability you need with web visitors and contact information. At the very least, you ought to have the actual contact info, such as your address and a phone number, just in case someone needs to get in touch with you right away. If you want to retrieve information about your web visitors, then use landing pages instead of a simply contact form.
7. Questionable Color Choices – It’s tempting to get creating in web design, but color choice isn’t one of those places. If the color scheme doesn’t contrast enough, or there’s simply too much color going on, then you’ll turn off web visitors instead of impress them. Stick with two or three colors that are able to contrast so your text is readable, but also complement each other so your website presents a clean, unified brand to the world.
8. Using Comic Sans, or a Mix of Fonts – Type in “Comic Sans font” into Google, and the number one result is a website called bancomicsans.com. It’s just not a professional font. The only thing worse than using only Comic Sans is to use several different fonts. Talk about tacky.
9. Overloading on the Social Share Buttons – Yes, social media is popular and pervasive, but most people only know a few social media sites. There’s no need to have a button to each of your 20 social media accounts, as most people will recognize Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google +, and that’s it. Putting so many will only clutter your website, slow down your load time, and overwhelm visitors.
10. Thinking a Web Redesign Will Solve All Your Problems – Many think that by changing the “look and feel” of their website, it will all of a suddenly start attracting tons of visitors and generating tons of leads. Yes, your web design needs to be functionally and pleasing on the eye, but aesthetics doesn’t make any difference in the ROI of your website in terms of its marketing strategy. If you’re redesigning your website for the sake of needing something new, then it’s not worth the endeavor.
When designing/redesigning a website, keep it simple, and keep the web visitor in mind. Web design is all about the aesthetics of not only your site, but your company and brand. It’s not a place to get experimental, or to impress by being flashy. Avoid these 10 mistakes (or fix them if you’ve made them), and then you’ll impress.