You don’t meet valuable customers wearing a tattered t-shirt decorated with yesterday’s pizza. If you did, it isn’t likely you would gain their confidence. Online, your website is often the first, and sometimes the only impression your customers have of you. Is your website wearing a stained t-shirt – or is it dressed in a suit and tie? Let’s talk about some of the most common web design mistakes and what you can do to make your first impression the best it can be.
Speed It Up
One of the most common killers of web design is a slow loading site. Today’s websites need to load fast on any number of devices from desktops to phones. Check the speed of your site and see how quickly it loads. If it is slow, it could be a result of:
- Messy code
- Pictures that are too large
- An overloaded hosting company
Tell Them Where to Go
Every page of your website should make it clear where your visitor can find certain information. Information should be limited to only the primary information related to the page title. One of the common web design mistakes is to have so much information on one page that visitors become lost looking for information. Keep pages clean and relevant. White space can be a positive thing! Make contact information and the home page prominently visible on every page and don’t leave visitors wondering where to go for further information.
Avoid Clashing Colors
In an attempt to make your website stand out, you may be tempted to use unusual colors or fonts. Avoid that temptation! You want your content to be the focus of attention. Keep to natural fonts in an easy-to-read size and style. Ask yourself if there are too many colors or if the colors blend well together. For example, it is easier to read if you use a dark font color on a light background. Doing a little research on color psychology can help in many ways. It can help you:
- Appeal to the tastes of your average customer
- Evoke your desired emotion
- Send a subliminal message
Give Them Space
Among common web design mistakes, is the tendency to try and fill up every bit of space on the page. This can easily overwhelm visitors. Think about the physical stores you enjoy visiting the most. They have wide aisles and plenty of room to move around, their sections are clearly defined, and the merchandise is placed neatly. On your website, leave plenty of white space to provide that same open feeling. Use section headers to make scanning content easy. Finally, keep blocks of content short, so visitors don’t feel overwhelmed.
Avoid the “Pushy Salesperson”
You know how irritating it is to start browsing in a store and have a salesperson constantly popping up to ask if they can help you. Having pop-ups and excessively large ads on your website is that annoying sales-personnel. Customers are much more likely to give you information if you place a request on the sidebar where they can see it and fill in the information when they feel ready. The same goes for automatically starting videos or music. Give visitors the ability to decide when or if they want that information. They are more likely to view what they have chosen on their own.
Search and Rescue
Have you ever been to a site that had so much information and no way to sift through it all? Most likely, you gave up and visited another site instead. Don’t let that happen on your site. Two common web design mistakes, are the lack of search capability and missing answers to common questions. Make sure you have a search box on every page as well as an FAQ page that covers the most frequently asked questions you receive.
Give Them a Voice
Allowing visitors to provide feedback, ask questions or just comment gives them a sense of being important to you. Provide some way that they can do so, but go even further and invite them to ask questions or comment.
The above are just a few of the most common web design mistakes. If you can avoid these, you are on your way to having a website that makes a positive impression when people first arrive. Keep in mind the kind of experience you want most and see that is what you provide your visitors. Take time to read through our blog and contact us with any questions. We will happily help you create the best website possible.