Designing a website includes a few simple steps to follow. While it may seem like a challenge to many people, the overall experience and outcome could turn out really great as long as you keep doing the right things!
First of all, you need to decide on your site’s purpose and strategy. It’s all about knowing exactly what to do, and then just taking action on it. Be sure to take a look at the latest web design trends, then after you’ve got a clear idea of how you want your website to be designed, choose a platform that works best for you, select a breathtaking template, and start customizing it towards your taste.
In regards to branding, which is an exceptionally important matter to talk about, you need to think about how every visual element on your website reflects the overall essence of your brand, its values and tone of voice. A few examples of such elements include color, imagery, typography, etc. I mean, if you think about the iconic colors of well-known brands, can you possible imagine their website without it? Ever thought about Coca Cola in violet? No way! According to Color Matters, implementing the brand’s signature color in its visuals can boost brand recognition by 80%.
After you’ve decided on all the creative elements that you want to add onto your web design, now it is time for the technical processes of positioning and optimization. While positioning refers to the act of placing the content in the right spot on the website, optimization helps you to rank the page higher on search engines, such as the Google browser. Then, as soon as you are ready, publish your brand new website, make it visible, and popularize it as much as you can.
At times, web designers may experience a case where they are not seeing the results they initially expected when launching a website. This is because they tend to make the following web design errors that hinder its effectiveness. Just so that you don’t end up making the same mistakes, we will be listing and cover all of the common errors that website designers make.
Let’s get started with our very first common error.
1) Too Much Going On
There is nothing worse than a web presentation that has been created in a painfully overloaded way for visitors from all over the world to see. Piles of images and colors are thrown in all at once in front of everyones’ eyes, giving your audience a sense of a visual headache, which of course is never ideal in any case. Too many texts are also added, floating or flashing (or both) all around the surfaces of the site which makes it hard for visitors to capture any information. This ultimately defeats the purpose of having informative texts in the first place.
On top of that, having too much going on at once can result in a slow and long loading time of the website. Due to the small attention span that people have nowadays on the digital landscape, this becomes a real nightmare. To attract your visitors make them want to further browse your site, do everything you can to avoid busy designs. Rather than making them feel frustrated, a cleaner design will also help retain their attention to your site.
2) Too Little Going On
On the other hand, you also do not want to have bland website. As we have already discussed an overload, you can probably already imagine what the opposite looks like and how that will affect your visitor’s attraction to your site.
If there is only the ‘About’ and ‘Contact’ pages available on the site as well as a singular image of your logo, it can be hard to increase your visitor’s interest in browsing your site. So, don’t exaggerate with your design, but also refrain from doing too little. Add texts or images that add value to your site and makes it even more intriguing. Do anything to create a fascinating a web experience for your visitors will want to stay or keep coming back to the website.
3) A Lack of a Clear Call to Action
The call-to-action is one of, if not, the most important aspect of web design. When designing your website, you need to provide your page with a call-to-action that is presented in a clear way. Without it, you are just another page online. However, to achieve the conversions you want to see, a simple and easily recognized call-to-action can be all that is needed to push and take things further.
Essentially, a call-to-action is a prompt on a website that tells or convinces the user to take some sort of specified action. For example, this could be a call for your consumers to buy items on sale or those that are part of your newest collection. It could also be a call for your visitors to sign up for your email newsletters. Whatever it is that you want your visitors to do, make sure your call-to-action is clear and concise. Additionally, make sure that its design is consistent with your overall website design.
4) Unclear Brand Messaging
Unfortunately, unclear brand messaging can happen when you skip an important step of taking branding decisions seriously. When branding is unclear to you, this can make it incredibly difficult to figure out the right messages to communicate to visitors. Without good knowledge and understanding of your brand’s goals and visions, how can you possibly know how to transmit your core brand messages in the most effective way?
Hence, before you even begin to design your website, make sure you have a clear focus of your brand and what its core messages are. This will help lay out the foundations for the rest of the design elements. After all, the success of your brand, both offline and online, will depend on your branding strategy.
5) Light Grey Text on White Backgrounds
One of the mistakes that kills a good design is the use of light grey text on white backgrounds. You may have decided to use these colors because you wanted your page design to look subtle, nice, and minimal, when in actuality, you are doing quite the opposite.
Light grey text on white backgrounds can make your page become invisible, meaning that it decreases the readability of all the information you put on there. Your visitors will most likely have to squint their eyes to properly read what’s on your site.
For legibility, which is extremely important when designing a website, all texts should be in high contrast with the background. In other words, it has to stand out. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you only have to stick to a few colors. You are free to choose any color you’d like, but try to keep your design simple and neat. Therefore, when using a dark background, be sure to use lighter text colors, and vice versa.
6) Too Confusing
When our surroundings become too confusing or overwhelming, we tend to run away from them. When it comes to the website, this tendency can similarly occur in every single visitor. Hence, to keep your visitors on your website for a longer time, ensure that everything within your page is kept organized and comprehensible. Place images and texts in places that make sense and try not to create any kind of clutter. Your website must have a logical flow to it, and your visuals should be equally organized.
7) Tiny Text
This is funny, yet at the same time, a very common error that web designers make. These kinds of mistakes belong to the design aspect of the website and they usually have something to do with the lack of knowledge on web designing. Sometimes, web designers may want to experiment with unconventional styles of design in order to make a website appear different and more unique compared to the brand’s competitors.
In some cases, they include the tiniest texts that are barely visible and readable to visitors. Although unconventional styles of design may work at times if you happen to implement it the right way, other times it just doesn’t. Instead of appearing different and cooler by using tiny texts on your website, this can actually get on your visitors’ nerves. Hence, if you want to be special, it is better to go with the many design tricks there are. When it comes to the font, it is always best to make it readable to your audiences. Stick to a legible font and a good text size.
8) Presenting Too Many Advertisements
It is obvious that websites are created in order to increase sales for your business. Hence, you probably want to utilize it to advertise your products or services freely. You just can’t get rid of the temptation to make use of this benefit to its maximum, and this is totally understandable.
Whilst you absolutely have all the rights to do it, you should make sure to keep it to a limited amount. Remember that even the most beautiful and brilliant advertisement is still a commercial message, and this is not always positively welcomed by visitors. So, try to be humble about your service, and do not bombard your visitors with a load of advertising messages as this can drive them even further away.
9) Too Many Big Images
While the use of large images aren’t usually a problem, they are one of the mistakes designers make when designing a website. To point it out clearly, if you want plenty of visitors to come across your site, you should not add too many big images to your site. Not only will it decrease its aesthetic appeal, the page may also take much longer to load. As a result, you may easily lose your visitors within seconds.
Unfortunately, in the world of web design, every single detail can have an enormous impact on the outcome, and the use of too many big images is one of them.
10) Too Confusing
Very common, trivial, and one of the worst errors made when it comes to designing a website because it can be avoided so easily! Keep your focus on simplicity, and try to make this your priority. While designing a page, even with the use of the most crazy, fantastic and contemporary visuals, you must never overdo it. Once your website looks and becomes too confusing to even navigate through it, this can give your potential visitors a bad impression of your site. Once that happens, they will most likely click away and exit your site. Therefore, smoother and pleasurable their visit on your page is, the more chances there are that they would visit your site again.
11) Poor Use of Content and Whitespace
In the processes of web design, you have basically two means at your disposal. The space in which you use for creating your content, whether it’s text or image, and the remaining space, sometimes also called the negative space. The way you approach using both of them, can either make your page appear neat and elegant or nasty and confusing. Having said that, make sure you effectively use these spaces to organize your page’s content really well. At the end of the day, you are responsible for how neat or messy your website appears.
To achieve a cleaner look for your site, leave enough whitespace so that you don’t end up creating a clutter and diminishing its aesthetic appeal. If you are unsure about what works and what doesn’t for your visitors, do not be afraid to ask other people for a second opinion. Gaining some outside perspective on how people see and feel about the web design can be very helpful.
12) Hidden Navigation
You know how it goes. Imagine getting into a car with an automatic gearbox for the first time. No matter how much easier it is compared to driving a manual, you will still need some good advice on how to actually move and drive your car in the right direction. The same happens online with a website. Accessing the most charming online site is nothing if you don’t know how to navigate through it.
Hence, make all of this simple for your visitors. Keep your buttons visibly clear, in the right colors and in the right size. Test all these buttons to assure that they precisely lead to the right pages. All in all, do not leave your visitors figuring out how to operate your website on their own. It should be so simple that even your youngest visitors can easily browse through your site!
13) Lack of Contact Info
It’s not only important that your page looks amazing, you also need to add all the relevant information that your customers will be looking for! Hence, apart from the actual designs, there will be more to work on in terms of content.
When creating your website, do not forget to make proper use of it, i.e. letting it facilitate the contact between you and your customers. It is likely that your most loyal fans will want to reach out to you, but how can they do so if your contact information is hidden, or even worse, not even included in the first place? Think about those who are trying to contact you via email, telephone, address or even your social media channels. You can probably imagine that they would feel lost without them. With that being said, check that you include your contact details on your webpage. On top of that, make sure that they can easily be found on the page!
14) Ugly or Irrelevant Images
To appear like a professional and credible brand, your website design will also have to reflect this. However, one of the ways in which you can easily give off the wrong impression of your brand is through the use of ugly or irrelevant photos. By adding them, audiences may not take your website seriously, and this will negatively affect how they feel about your overall business. After all, you are a brand aiming to establish meaningful relationships with your audience. So, it would be best to stick to relevant images that are professionally taken and high-in-quality.
If you want to add humor and include a funny meme, you can do so, but be sure to do so with caution. When deciding which pictures to include, think about the value it adds to your website. If it enhances the visuals, is fitting to your brand, and makes your website look better than ever, this is a sign that you should add it. If it doesn’t add any value, then it is better not to include it.
15) Missing Your Target
This issue sends us all the way back to the beginning stages of the website design process. Here are some things to consider. You’ve included some coherent information? Great! You’ve decorated your site with a well-tailored design? Perfect! However, one issue that may come up even after nailing your content and design is that your website doesn’t actually attract your customers. Now, you may wonder, how could that be?
The answer is simple. It is most likely that somewhere during the process, you lost sight of who your initial target customers are. Who are your products or services catered towards? If your design or content doesn’t necessarily speak to these audiences, then this is a mistake that could cause you a lot of time and effort that you’ve been investing since the start.
To prevent yourself from making this mistake, remember to clearly identify your audience and craft your content especially for them since the start. Follow the core message of the brand within both the design, and all the other extra information in which you add to the page. The consistency in your brand’s story and the resonation in which visitors feel with your content is what’s going to attract and keep them interested in your website.
After reading this article, you probably now realize that there are quite a lot of details o consider when designing a website, and you’re not wrong. There’s a lot of work that goes into web design and it will take careful effort to do it all right.
At DesignBro, we have amazing designers on our team with years of experience in web design. Just so that you don’t have to worry about making these common errors yourself, we are here to make it all easier for you with our quality web design service. If you need a custom website designed for your business, feel free to contact us here.
Besides having grown up in the design Industry, Christiaan has advised some of the world’s largest companies on their branding & packaging designs. Has been the resident judge for design awards, and has spoken at numerous global design & marketing events. Christiaan founded the London office of the award-winning Cartils agency, and has founded the DesignBro.com platform.