The internet provides unlimited access to knowledge which means that just about anyone can teach themselves how to do web design. Unfortunately, this can have a negative impact on the effectiveness of the DIY website they create as a result. Here are several common web design mistakes small businesses make that must not be overlooked.
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1. Cramming too much on the homepage
While you may be in a rush to present your audience with all you stand for and show them everything you have to offer, trying to cram too much on the homepage usually isn’t a great idea. There are two major reasons behind this. First, it will make your navigation counter-intuitive, seeing as your audience won’t know where to click. This results in bad user experience. According to one survey, having too much choice can be very bad for marketing.
Secondly, every single element you include requires an additional HTTP request. This can slow down your website significantly. Due to the fact that your audience expects a website to load within the first 2 seconds (on average), this might become a significant problem. If your website fails to load within the first 4 seconds, as much as 25 percent of your audience may move on. It’s also a negative signal for search engines.
2. Failing to introduce yourself
One of the greatest mistakes you can possibly make in your web design is assuming that the visitor will know what you are all about the moment they click on the link. Sure, some of your audience members are more intuitive than others, while a great deal of them knew who you were even before they clicked the link, however, this should not be your initial assumption. Your design and your content must first be oriented towards the introduction.
A perfect example of how this should be done can be seen on the website of Bapple Agency. The first thing one learns upon entry is that they are a Sydney-based digital agency. After this, those who came looking for these services know they are in the right place.
3. Rushing with your CTA button
Every website out there has an agenda. You may want your visitors to buy a product, leave an email, subscribe to your newsletter or simply encourage them to learn more about the topic at hand. Unfortunately, pushing them to make this decision before they are ready to do so may backfire. In order to avoid this, make sure to introduce yourself and show them what you have to offer, before presenting them with your call-to-action (CTA) button.
4. Failing the consistency test
In 2017, more people are browsing the internet through their smartphones than through their desktop setups. On the other hand, more people use PCs than tablets, which puts you in a complicated situation design-wise. Sure, appealing to one audience may seem a preferable choice but you simply cannot allow yourself to ignore all the rest. Your website needs to show consistency in both visuals and functionality across all devices and failure to do so will impact negatively on user experience.
5. Ignoring white space
Earlier on, we talked about cramming too much content from the perspective of the website loading time. In addition to this, ignoring the white space and inserting too many interactive elements into your design reduces the readability of your content. Separating paragraphs within your content and leaving enough space between different elements of your webpage is something that will make it more visually appealing. In this way, you are increasing the chance that people (especially those on mobile devices) will actually skim through or read your content. In a world where 8 out of 10 people don’t read past the headline, this is very important.
By acknowledging these important failures of web design, you are ensuring that your website will make a great first impression on your audience. In this way, you are also increasing its reach and its average conversion rate. Finally, while the above-listed principles are quite intuitive, a lot of DIY designers tend to ignore them. Nonetheless, keeping them in mind at all times can ensure your web design is always on point.