4 Common Web Design Mistakes to Avoid

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Published: 24th July 2015
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An official website is the central hub of almost every company in today's digital era and is an integral part of marketing and branding.

Potential customers scour websites looking for content. However appearance and usability also feature high on the list of things they look for when they visit a website thereby making these factors critical for not just the company's success but also for ascertaining how the company is viewed by the users. Getting your web design wrong can have long standing negative impact on the firm.

Here are doodleblue's four common design mistakes to avoid helping create a great user experience for the consumer and also ensuring the growth of the firm's bottom line.

1. Poor Navigation

When businesses don't ensure that navigation through their websites is effortless and intuitive, they are setting up the premise for a frustrating experience for any potential user. Often a user who is unable to find the information he came looking for will quickly move onto another website, leaving with the impression that the business is disorganized.

Some of the ways of ensuring effective navigation are as follows:

1. Usage of visually appealing and easy to use and understand icons to aid navigation.

2. Creation of logical groups of related links, with the most important links on the top-level navigation bar is important. Functional (dashboard, account, settings, etc.) and legal (copyright, privacy, and terms) information can be located elsewhere.

3. Information about how to move from one section of the website to another should be available to the user easily.

2. Content, Content, Content

The proper structuring of content is integral to ensuring that people visit your website over and over again. Unfortunately, an overwhelming number of businesses in their quest to provide the user with all the information tend to overlook how the information is presented.

Most people instead of reading scan through the information quickly to get an idea of the sections that are of interest to them. Hence it is important that the website contains a visual and logical content hierarchy to create a more enjoyable user experience.

Some tips that can help in ensuring the best presentation of content:

White space is important as it lets the user focus on meaningful content within each section.

Lengthy pieces of information can be further subdivided into smaller blocks of text, utilizing headings, sub-headings, bullets and paragraphs.

When talking about content, spelling and grammar is very important as it reflects on the company's brand also important.

3. No Clear Calls To Action

A clear call to action button leads to better conversion rates be it buying a product, using the contact us form or subscribing to your newsletter. A website with proper call to action leads to 5 times more conversion rate than otherwise.
Driving traffic to one's own website is important, but that traffic is useless if your primary call to action is a plain "click here" link buried in a sea of text and does not shout out to the consumer.

It's important to keep the following best practices in mind when creating an optimal call to action:

The design of a call to action button should take into account the following elements-size, shape, position and colour as each of them is very vital when it comes to determining the effectiveness of the call to action button. Some templates for highly effective call to action buttons can be found here. These templates include clean designs with attractive visual detailing.

Overdoing it with multiple, competing calls to action on every page can also cause the user to get frustrated. Hence it is important to decide on the primary target and then define a clear objective per page.

4. Clutter

A busy cluttered webpage gives the impression of being unprofessional and it becomes overwhelming, confusing and distracting for the user. A cluttered website will also affect traffic because visitors won't return if they can't understand or follow the content, which leads to low traffic, a high bounce rate and possibly a poor page rank.

The same is also true for images, too many can be a huge distraction and just plain annoying. Images should be used to illustrate, capture attention and guide the user where required.

For a more streamlined visitor experience:

Only the items that serve a specific purpose should remain on the webpage.

Areas of content, advertisements and promotions should be housed at separate locations on the web page to aid the visitor in finding the information they are looking for.

Even the simplest content can get lost in a mess of words and graphics, so de-cluttering is essential.

Designing a website isn't rocket science, but it isn't a piece of cake either. Whether a novice at site design or a veteran that's just looking to brush up, avoiding the basic yet common mistakes above is essential to build a successful site.

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