Website design used to be something that was only left to the professionals, but now, it’s more common than ever to see first-time web designers creating and designing their own websites. That’s because most web hosting companies have implemented easy-to-use tools that let even the most novice computer users amongst us to generate professional looking and functioning websites. Unfortunately, that does leave the door wide open for mistakes—even disasters—when it comes to website design.
To help you avoid these common website design pitfalls and keep your site successful, here are five doomsday scenarios in web design:
When you are designing your website, keep in mind that not everyone will be viewing your site on your size display screen. Some will be looking through smaller mobile screens, others on tablets, etc. For this—and many other reasons—you want to leave a large amount of white space on your website so nothing seems too cluttered or gets lost in the shuffle. White space brings order and tranquility to the site and viewer, allowing them to get the information they need and complete the action you desire. If you don’t have white space showing on your site, chances are people are just going to bounce right off because it seems too amateurish and sloppy.
All of your text should be separated into digestible chunks, meaning paragraphs of no more than five or six sentences. Use headers to break up the content as well as numbered lists and bullet points. The goal of your content should be to inform and drive sales, but it should also be to allow the viewer to get to the exact information they want as quickly as possible.
Maybe they already know about your business and they just want to purchase already—give them the cues on where to do that. Perhaps they only need a section of your content—headers will allow them to quickly get there instead of going to another site where to see if it’s more readily accessible there. Give the people what they want, not giant walls of text that hurt their eyes and waste their time.
While you might be inclined to think that being different is good, that’s not always the case. With navigation bars, you want them to be as familiar as possible to the viewer so that they know how to click through the site. This means down the left side of the screen or across the top—anywhere else and you risk frustrating the viewer. Remember, the more familiar they are with the controls, the more inclined they will be to click around the site.
There’s a thing called as too much content, but even more worrisome is too much heavy content. Heavy content simply means large files that take a long time to upload. These slow down and freeze up the site, making each passing second more and more grueling to the viewer.
On average, after 3 seconds, if your site isn’t fully loaded, expect to lose 10% of viewers with each passing second. Yes, speed matters that much to people—and search engines.
Finally, keep the overall look of your site in mind. Don’t have flashing bright neon colors unless that is completely proven to be what your target demographic desires. Stay away from colors that clash unpleasantly and steer clear of fonts that are tired or hard on the eyes. Essentially, you want a pleasing presence on your site, not one that causes the viewer to want to immediately click away.
You also want everything to be easy to read and digest, reducing as much friction as possible. Friction is anything that distracts the viewer from the ultimate goal of the site (making the sale or conversion) so avoid things that distract. Instead, use a color wheel to choose your color scheme with complimentary colors that are pleasing to the eye. You can also match your logo colors to your site to create a more united branded message throughout your marketing material.
While there are tons of bad web design practices out there, there are also a lot of good tips and tricks that even the most novice web designer can employ with little difficulty.
Author Bio – Dan Mill works for Livecity, where you can make you own website in a few simple and easy-to-execute steps.