Is your site one of those visitors get frustrated with and gets them clicking away faster than you can say ‘website’?
Here’s a few things to avoid and some we always include in our designs, so you can see whether your site’s on top form or whether it needs a makeover.
Making your visitors wait for your site to load is a big turn off. It’s really important you get this right as people are very impatient and will click away if your site doesn’t load in two seconds or less.
Instead, make sure speed is a priority.
Making links that go to another part of your site open in a new tab is also something to avoid. People don’t want to have millions of tabs open for the same site.
Instead, let them use the back button by making all internal links open in the same tab.
It’s tempting to want to add in as many different typefaces as possible to try and make your site look cool, but this should definitely be avoided. It’s often distracting, confusing and can be irritating too.
Instead, limit to a few typefaces at most.
It’s also tempting to create a whole rainbow of your favourite colours for each page of your site, but this, again, should be avoided. Your site won’t be balanced and will create confusion and even give people a headache.
Instead, use a smaller palate of colours.
It’s well known that good imagery is important, but there’s still a lot who just upload blurry, unattractive images and hope for the best.
Instead, use good imagery that’s high quality and compliments what you’re offering.
We’ve all been on those websites where you can’t use the site properly because it’s so full of ads and popups taking over. They are irritating and will make people click away fast, plus they take attention from the message you really want people to see.
Instead limit ads to relevant and tasteful spaces across your site.
Another thing that most websites don’t need is music and videos that auto play, unless you’re in a related industry. And, anything unexpected like this can send visitors hitting the back button quickly.
Instead stick to images and videos that can be played via a tap or click.
An important point to remember is not to sacrifice usability and functionality for something you think looks beautiful. It could be the most lovey thing in the world but if it’s unusable it won’t get the results you need.
Instead make sure your functional site is beautiful.
So, now you know all the things to avoid what about the things you should make sure to include?
Here’s a list of all the things we include with our site builds and the things you should watch for to make your site perform the best it can for your business.
For a web design to be good it needs to have a consistent interface, and this means across the whole site. It should always have a consistent look and feel across all pages including the navigation, colours, typefaces and writing style.
It’s no good confusing people trying to be too clever and making them feel like they’ve landed on a different site entirely every single page they visit.
Instead, make sure to use a consistent interface and design.
Your navigation is one of the most fundamental parts of your site build. How usable your site is can be vital for interaction and making sure visitors find what they need.
It’s no good hiding information and making pages difficult to find, it will only irritate people.
Instead, make sure your designer is giving you a clear and simple navigation that helps people find what they need.
Links play an important role in your site navigation and you’d be surprised how often links are re-clicked and confuse people when they’re not set to change colour once they’ve been visited.
It may seem like a small thing but having your visitors not sure which pages they’ve been to and which they haven’t makes them frustrated and confused.
Instead, make sure you’re adding colour changes for clickable links to make it easy for people to see where they’ve been and where they need to go next.
When people first visit your site, they’re likely to scan through your page rather than read everything immediately.
So don’t be tempted to bombard them with large chunks of text and make it boring.
Instead, break it up with images, bullets, headers, and bold text to make things visually appealing and easy to digest.
Many business owners don’t take copy seriously enough and think they can simply shove up what they think, and it’ll do. But, if you’ve spent money getting your site up and running, you shouldn’t skimp on the words that tell your visitors what you do.
Copy is just as important as your site design, and this is especially important when you think that 95% of the internet is written. Essentially, your site is an empty frame without the right information to tell your story.
Instead, make sure your copy is up to the same standard as your design.
There’s nothing more off-putting to a visitor than a site that doesn’t load, work or is full or mistakes and links that go nowhere. It makes people feel mistrustful of you and they’ll quickly find someone else.
Instead, always review everything. Visit every page, click every link and follow every button. This is the only way you can check yourself for dead links and other things like typos and content that isn’t loading properly.
The more options you give people the less likely they are to choose one. Too much choice makes people end up making no decision at all and instead of being happy you’ve given them different paths to choose, they’ll move on to something else.
Instead, limit the choices and make sure your information leads them towards making that choice.
This may seem obvious but make sure your buttons do what they say. If your buttons go somewhere different or are unrelated to what your content is talking about, people will get confused and move one.
Instead, make your buttons relate to your content and label them appropriately. Make it clear what it will do and where it will take them.
Sometimes people try to make their site look better by adding in visual text boxes and underlining things. However, on a website these can look like buttons and links, and if they’re not people will assume your site isn’t working properly.
Instead, make things look like they work, if they’re supposed to, and avoid them looking like they should if they’re not.
One of the most important parts of design is to make sure your site is responsive on mobile, tablet and computer of any size and description. There’s nothing worse than trying to access a site on the go only to find it won’t work on your device.
Instead, make sure your site is usable and beautiful on all size screens and accessible to everyone.
Ever been to a site that is completely wrong for the business the company is in and you just know they’ve not listened to their audience and have instead gone with their personal preference? This is definitely something to avoid.
Instead remember, a design is only as good as the people who use it, which is why it’s important to get feedback from your actual customers about the things they’d like to see and the things they don’t like. This way you’re getting direct help from the people who matter as to what they actually want from you and this is invaluable.