Editor’s note: This post was originally published on 8/10/16 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehension.
There’s one thing you don’t want to do with your website: Follow bad website design.
Your website acts as the first impression customers will get.
So don’t waste it – and don’t doom it from the beginning, either.
Often times, first impressions will be last impressions if they’re not good impressions!
Important Note: My goal isn’t to trash any website, but rather to provide feedback on how to improve conversions through different design strategies!
You can visit our previous article to find inspiration for good web design, and we’ll be creating a series of articles on great website designs for home pages, about pages and more in future blogs. So keep an eye out for more on what to do right with your website.
The hero image lacks an obvious call to action (CTAs). Without a CTA, the brand can’t dictate what the user should be doing on the site. A call to action front-and-center on the home page will get users to do exactly what you want them to do.
It has little consistency – especially within the typography. For example, the headlines on home page are flush left and centered. With consistent formatting, you’ll create a good user experience.
It uses drop shadow text for no clear reason. Web designers are savvy to why using drop shadows for no clear reason is a bad thing but, as a business owner, you wouldn’t know if this tactic was best practice or not! Drop shadows can make the text more difficult to read. Your text should be as easy to read as possible.
It needs fewer borders. Each section is competing for attention with the user. Creating a visually appealing website with logical breaks between sections helps users navigate the site.
It’s very dull, and could benefit from more use of color. With more color, the site will strike a chord with users.
The elements are overcrowded. It needs extra padding – or space between the elements. Spacing is visually important, and just one factor that drives its appeal.
It has little sense of visual hierarchy. The user isn’t sure where to look first. The content should be streamlined so that you strategically guide users to look at certain elements first.
It uses white space poorly.
White space is your friend when it comes to design! It helps separate content so the user has an easier time navigating through the site.
Site navigation is just one component that will help users have a great experience on your website, and hang around to click on additional pages!
It doesn’t group similar functions together. Note that the feature “Trip Planner” is available on the home page and on a separate navigation tab. Try to streamline the labels and CTAs that are essentially the same to reduce user frustration.
There’s not much sense of visual hierarchy.
It’s a challenge to even know where to look. Streamlining your website content helps avoid user frustration.
Aesthetically, it looks super-outdated. The colors, fonts and images need to be updated. Fresh visuals helps keep the user’s interest.
The page lacks a one-column grid. All of the content looks like one big piece, not separate sections. Help users navigate the content by clearly defining sections.
The home page is text-heavy.
This is a lot of information for users to wade through. Create content that’s just enough to convey what you’re about to avoid losing traffic.
The CTAs are floating with no beneficial information as to why the user should click. Include a few details that help users understand why they should click the CTA.
The menu isn’t consistent.
It uses a different format on interior pages.
Consistency is the key to successful branding – even on your website!
Now that you know what not to do – and the bad website design principles to avoid – get started revamping your website or designing it right the first time around.
You’ll set a foundation for a website that converts traffic into buying customers.
Are you making any of these mistakes?