A lot goes into the design and development process in order to create a website that has functionality, easy navigation, coding integrity and accessibility. A website not only needs to be located easily by search engines but also needs to engage its users and stimulate conversions.
When creating a website from scratch or redesigning an existing website, it is important to ensure that your website design not only reflects your brand but is also user friendly. In order to do this, there a few common mistakes you need to avoid during the design and development process.
Common website design mistakes to avoid
- Poor accessibility. Every website needs to be accessible to a wide range of users. When designing you need to take into consideration what your website will look like across a range of devices such as a smartphones and Internet browsers. It is also important to make sure that your site can be accessed by other Operating Systems. For example, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer doesn’t run on Mac or Linus therefore users should be able to access your website via both Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox as well.
- Disorganized content layout. Content is what drives traffic to your website. If the content on your website is disorganized, messy and not labeled properly then it will be hard for your users to find the information that they are looking for. You also need to take your audience into consideration. If a user happens to be visually impaired, does your website design reflect this? Does the font size on your site change if a user changes the text size from medium to large?
- Bad navigation. Users must be able to find their way around a website easily. It must be intuitive and consistent throughout the website. If users can’t find what they want in less than three clicks then it is very likely that they will leave your site immediately. If a user is looking for something that is hidden on your website among a number of webpages then a search box would be useful. Google provides a service that allows you to create your own custom search engine on your page.
- Inconsistent website interface design. The look and feel of a website should be consistent across all pages of a website in order to promote user functionality and brand image. Otherwise, an inconsistent design can cause users to feel that they can’t relate to the brand.
- A non-responsive website. In a society where users access and interact with organizations across a wide range of touch points and devices, having a non-responsive website is an obstacle to reaching a wider audience. As of April 21st 2015, Google launched an updated algorithm that penalizes websites if they are not mobile friendly.
- SEO unfriendly. If your website doesn’t include the basics such as site map, concise and relevant content and use of standard mark up tags that are recognized by search engines, it could make it hard for users to find you in search engines.
- Having contact information that is impossible to find. If a user wishes to get in touch with your organization then that information must be clear and placed on several easy areas of your website.
- No calls-to-action (CTAs). Placing CTAs on your website encourages users to contact and interact with your organization. This is a great way for encouraging users to build a relationship with you. These CTAs need to be appropriate for the level of engagement you want from your users. Always include at least one CTA on each page of your site. In terms of measuring interaction with your website, Google Analytics allows you to utilize CTAs and track them in order to observe you return on investment (ROI).
- Broken links. All links that are placed on your website should be working and lead to an appropriate landing page. Broken links can make your website look unprofessional, cause frustration and undermine the confidence of your users. Ensure that any link present on your website is highlighted and easily visible to your users.
In essence, the key to a successful website design is keeping your users in mind during the creation process by ensuring user functionality and a clear, uncluttered design that effectively represents your brand and engages your users.
Here at evolve, we recommend that you always test your site during the design and development process to ensure that you aren’t making any of the mistakes mentioned above.
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