The following mistakes in website design clearly mark the amateurs from the experts. Avoiding these mistakes is critical if you want to appear like a leader in your field. Like most goals in web design, you want to aim for user-friendly interfaces, intuitive navigation, and smart use of available technology.
Let’s take a look at the six “don’ts” that every website on the Interwebs should avoid.
1. Poor Image Quality
Pixelated photos are a dead give-away that whoever put your site together has no understanding of image size and publishing for the web. So are poorly cropped photos, and photos lacking a theme that connect to your site’s purpose. The Internet is image-driven first and foremost, so make those pictures memorable. Make sure that the images you use reflect your brand and convey the mood you want to impart. If any image falls short of these criteria, nix it. Use only high-quality files, ensure they load properly and in a timely fashion to accommodate slower bandwidth, and optimize your images to fit your overall site design through smart use of tone, size, and graphic design elements.
2. Your Site is Illegible
Your web copy might rock, but it won’t do you any good if it’s unreadable. Several factors lead to hard-to-read copy on websites: poor contrast between the text color and the background, tiny font size that makes your readers squint, using multiple fonts that exhaust the reader, not enough white space, and backgrounds with graphics, words, and logos emblazoned across the screen. Remember that less is more when it comes to legibility; readers appreciate simplicity delivered with style, which brings us to the next point.
3. No Cohesive Style
Avoid split-personality design that kills the effectiveness of the message you’re trying to convey. Your business website isn’t your personal platform for playing with all your favorite and varied themes. Your website’s design should reflect your business’s purpose. A photographer’s blog site will have different style than a consulting services site. The style, not just the copy, should set the tone. Once you have your style nailed down, you can get creative with its presentation, but keep the style consistent. If a design element feels jarring to your senses as you peruse your own site prior to going live, then it’s a good bet it doesn’t belong there.
4. Buzz-Killing Clutter
Here is another instance in which simplicity is king. Avoid piling widgets and gadgets on all your pages, and keep third party advertising and banners to a minimum. Make white space work for you, as it helps to focus the reader’s eyes on what’s truly important on your page, such as the buy button or the subscription link that allows your reader to engage with you at a new level. Make prudent use of videos and GIF images and keep them to a minimum as well, since too many moving images on a page can lead to sensory overload.
5. Poor Navigation
Planning your site’s navigation should not be done on the fly. Sit down and plan just how the visitor is going to get around all the critical areas of your site, how they will exit a page, and where every link will take them. Keep the navigation structure intuitive, and make sure to get plenty of input from others on this critical design element.
6. Your Site is Not Mobile-Friendly
We cannot stress this enough. With mobile devices accounting for more than half of all web usage, this feature is no longer a nice perk that sets you ahead of the pack, it is an absolute necessity. Ensure your site is easily accessible through desktop, tablet, and phone interfaces. Recent technological advancements have made it easy to ensure your website is optimized for mobile, so make use of them.
Steer clear of these common pitfalls, and you’ll be well on your way to publishing a site that truly represents who you are and what you have to bring to the world.
For more insights into smart web design, give PlanetMedia a call at 720-279-1289 for a no obligation consultation.
Planet Media, LLC
RiNo Art District
3515 Ringsby Court
Denver, CO 80216
720-279-1289 – Studio