It’s hard to find a company today that doesn’t have a website. This is probably one of the first things a potential customer looks for when they want to know more before they spend their money. Because of this, your company’s web design must be flawless. Even though this seems like an obvious idea, it still doesn’t happen due to some common mistakes people make when designing a website.
Your company’s website is the place where you can put all the information people need to know about your business and what you’re selling. It is also one of the most important channels to connect with your users or customers. Nowadays, you can even have online chats and other platforms that can help your customer service on so many levels. It is obvious that everything must work correctly. Finding mistakes after publishing a site can completely drive your customer away without a second thought.
Think about it. Your company’s website is a significant touchpoint. It must help your brand to stand out and gain more advocates. It can also help you spread the word about your business. Any mistakes can have exactly the opposite effect.
From a marketing and customer experience point of view, your company web design should be an extension of your brick and mortar store, if that’s your case. In other words, your website is the extension of your corporate identity. Everything you put there is a reflection of your business identity, your core values, and mission. If this page doesn’t have a channel to talk with your customers, it shows that your brand doesn’t want to communicate with them. If it doesn’t have enough information, it can show lack of effort when telling your customer about you, or that you don’t care about leaving your customer in the dark. One way or another, it can only result in a bad image for your brand. And we know that’s not your goal.
It’s possible to find some common mistakes in web design; some can be called a blast from the past. That still makes their way into our modern lives, but some designers or business owners are afraid to let go. Others are due to poor testing in their need to hurry to get stuff done. Either way, you need to be prepared to notice and avoid them. The sooner, the better.
We made a list of some of the most common and annoying mistakes seen in designing a webpage. And most importantly, how to avoid them.
7 Web Design Mistakes and How to Avoid Them
Don’t Ever Contact Me
This one gets the first place in this list. Customers can get annoyed when they can’t get in touch with a company. Sometimes, it’s so hard to find a phone number or email address. It’s frustrating when a company refuses to let customer’s get in touch.
Picture this: an interested user comes to your website and makes an expensive purchase, but when they go to checkout, nothing happens. This person wants to contact your customer service and happily finish their big purchase, so they look for a way to easily and quickly talk to someone. They look for an online chat, an e-mail, a phone number, but to their demise, there is none. They look for your brand’s social media platform, but it seems like no one has been there for ages. Finally, they Google your company’s name and a lot of complaints about the same issue come up. Now what you think is going to happen? What would you do?
You can trust that your customer may need your product and that they will wait for you and understand your reasons. But is that really a risk you want to take? The complaints will still show and affect your business. Word of mouth is still one of the best marketing advertisements, and nowadays a bad review can spread quickly on the internet. It makes all your other marketing efforts lose their value.
Make yourself easy to reach and don’t challenge your customer to find a way to contact you. If they want to get in touch, it must be smooth and effortless on their side. Your contact information must be visible on every page of your website, just a glance and a quick click away. Some companies even have a popup with a telephone number that appears every time you are unable to finish some action. That’s a great way to show you care, and that you are open to customer’s contact anytime.
One golden rule is: don’t annoy your customer by any means.
Error Pages and Dead Ends
You don’t want to annoy your user, and you don’t want to frustrate them either. Error pages and broken links can be very frustrating, mainly if your user wants to solve something quickly and ends up taking a long time to finish any action. That alone can be a reason for your customer to leave your page and never come back. They will probably look for some other company that can give them a better service.
Make sure your website has no dead ends and that every clickable button is working correctly. If you need to put down a page for some reason, explain that to your user and put it back to work as soon as possible.
Users don’t usually wait a long time for pages to load completely. If it’s taking longer than they expected, it’s taking too long, and your customer will leave.
Slow pages usually happen when there are too many heavy pictures, videos, or animations. Users will generally see the wait as a waste of time.
You can and should put images and videos on your page, but only if it adds to your page. Always verify that it’s not taking a long time to load, and boring away your users.
If you have a video, make sure that your customers are interested in that, and that they wouldn’t rather go straight to your website text content. If they are not interested in the video, you might be losing money and prospect.
Too Many Fonts and Colors
To be appealing, a web page must be easy on the eyes and have a concise content. Simple as that.
Avoid mixing different fonts with different sizes, using colors that are too bold, or weird, can give your user an unsettling sensation that can make them leave the page without even reading your content properly and getting the information you want them to get.
Everything you put on your website must be thought out and prepared with responsibility. The final product has to be appealing and comfortable. It needs to make people feel that they want to stay and discover more about this company.
Every page on your website must have a link to your homepage. That creates opportunities for your business because more people can know about your services and also, your customers won’t feel trapped on your website. Adding links to your homepage will assure them that if they accidentally click somewhere, they will find their starting point again.
The thing is, everything that your user wants to do on your website must be easy and stress-free. As we already talked about before, the most important thing is to make your user happy. Don’t frustrate and annoy your customers.
With an easy link to your homepage every step of the way, a customer can send a link to a friend, and this friend can easily know more about your business’ products and services. They can discover more about you and maybe relate to your core mission and values, creating a relationship that can develop a significant number of sales.
The Sound of Music
Remember earlier when we talked about “blast from the past.” This is it. A while ago someone had a great idea of putting background music on websites, but that never looked like something users enjoyed.
Usually, people don’t like having a loud sound coming out of their computer as a surprise. Users find music on websites unexpected and annoying, especially when they can’t find a button to turn it off or are already listening to something else.
Be mindful of all small details when creating your website. Assure yourself that all aspects make sense and always talk to your web designer, as this professional will probably be your best advisor and advocate. Knowing your user profile is also a good way to go. Understand what they expect and how they are going to feel. Remember that less is more. This applies to your web design.
Test it, test it, test it. To notice errors and areas that you can improve before launching, you must always check your website. Make sure it’s working at least once a week.
Most of the mistakes we mentioned can be avoided by carefully testing a website. That’s the easiest way to discover page errors, orphan pages, weird fonts, and so on.
Another way to go is by asking your user about their experience by offering a quick survey when they arrive on your webpage. Opinions and reviews can be very helpful and help you understand why people are not engaging or staying long enough on your website.
Now it’s your turn. Tell us what you think is a major “no” on web design and how to avoid it.