No one’s perfect when it comes to effective web design. Some companies have their design game on point, but chances are it took time, foresight, and hard work to mold their website into what it is today. Unfortunately, with all the diagnostic data available today, figuring out what’s wrong with your web design can sometimes be harder than determining what’s working well.
If you’re in a creative slump and need a digital push in the right direction, here are six common mistakes in your web design you can start fixing today.
1. Incoherent Branding & Design
An organization’s branding may literally be the only thing customers remember, and that can be a good thing. Consider the Oscar Meyer Wiener song or Flo from the Progressive commercials. Consistent, strong branding needs to be one of the first elements you incorporate into your web design. Develop a branding strategy and stick to it.
2. Poor Aesthetic Choices
Aesthetic choices you make, and the reasons you make them, are going to influence customers one way or another. In fact, color schemes and content placement have almost become an exact science, and successful web design is often determined by shades of color or the position of a few pixels.
If your logo is full of color but no one can read the thing, it doesn’t do you any good. If you’ve moved a call-to-action button too far down the page to be seen, your customers may never find it. Design elements can look good and be functional, and it’s your job to find a nice balance.
3. Mobile Optimization
If your website isn’t optimized to display properly on mobile devices, you’ve fallen behind. There’s really no excuse to not have mobile-optimized content, especially when mobile devices are being used more than fixed internet. Fortunately, most content managing platforms like WordPress have themes and plug-ins that will automatically optimize for mobile. You’ve just got to make sure it’s been done and done properly.
4. Complex Navigation
Simple, intuitive navigation is just as important as branding and color scheme. If consumers can’t find what they’re looking for, you’ve got a problem. Use the acronym K.I.S.S. to guide your navigation web design choices. Keep It Simple, Stupid.
5. Paginated Lists
On one hand, paginated lists are good for ad revenue. On the other hand, consumers hate them. In fact, most users will bail on your paginated list after the first few pages, and many companies even calculate and anticipate this kind of bounce rate from these kinds of posts. It’s really a personal choice, but we say steer clear of paginated lists if you can help it. Your audience will thank you.
6. Ad Invasion
More ad revenue is always appealing, and you may be tempted to dedicate valuable website space to ads. Sites that cram more ads into their design than actual content are an online plague. Don’t be deceptive when considering ad placement just to optimize accidental clicks. That’s a big web design no-no. If you’re taking advantage of ads in your design, do it with subtlety and tact.
The Bottom Line
Like SEO and marketing, web design is a tricky trade to master. What works well for one site may be detrimental to another. Remember, functionality and aesthetics need to mesh and work together. If you’re unsure about something, chances are it’s been tried and tested. Do some research, and tackle your web design shortcomings with confidence, or ask for expert help.