Website design has changed significantly from its early stages more than 30 years ago, but even though we’ve come a long way from websites that were comprised mostly of small text blocks, companies and individuals still make common mistakes. These are five basic website design elements each site needs, but are often overlooked or not designed to be user friendly.
1. Not Having A Clear Goal
The biggest mistake a website designer and their client can make, is not setting a clear when asked to develop a website. The website should answer these two basic questions:
- What does the client want?
- What does the customer/public need?
The website’s owner likely needs any, or all of the following: leads, traffic, sales or engagement. Customers are visiting the website to either look up information or buy a product or service, and they expect to find what they want easily.
A professional and experienced website designer understands how to help a company answer these questions with a design that is clear and concise. Laying the ground work and setting goals allows the design team create a flow for the website, so customers know where go and find what they need quickly.
The clearer the goal, the easier it is for the companies to communicate with their target audience. This translates into fewer edits and a smoother design process.
2. Poor Use Of Color Palettes
Color selection is so important when it comes to logo development and website design. Colors encourage people to feel certain emotions and can create visual cues to take an action. On a website, the color of buttons and the background color can impact a potential customer’s buying decision. A good color scheme is cohesive and uses a limited number of strong colors. The best websites are those with a limited color palette. Colors should complement each other.
There are different design approaches to choosing a color palette. Our design team starts with the company’s brand colors and works its way outward. We also use online tools such as Coolors to see how different shades coordinate together.
A website’s colors should match the colors used in the logo, and the logo’s colors should represent either the emotion the business wants to establish or the type of business. For example, a landscape company will likely use earth tones as those give customers the idea of trees, ground, grass, etc.
3. Typographical Errors
Grammar and spell check matter. Using the wrong hear/here or there/their/they’re or spelling words incorrectly can irritate readers and give them a reason to leave the site. When sites have these types of errors, it makes the business look unprofessional and unprepared. Encourage others to review content before it’s posted in an effort to prevent these mistakes.
In addition to grammatical errors, using inconsistent headings and subheads can also deter a website’s visitors from moving further into the site. Creating a style guide that determines the size, color, font and use of certain types of headings and type will help keep text consistent and readers’ eyes from getting confused and lost. Mixing and matching fonts that don’t complement each other or match, and using different sizes for body copy can make text difficult to read and comprehend. Additionally, these design mistakes make copy look untidy and sloppy. It gives the impression that the company’s doesn’t care about writing, proofing or their message.
Typography is more than just picking the fonts. Creating a typographic hierarchy is the key to making copy readable and persuasive. The more readable copy is, the more persuasive it will become. Like an inverted pyramid, the largest fonts should appear at the top and get smaller as they go down the page. Subheads are used to break up large bodies of text, and not a brand new headline for the page. A good typographic hierarchy will also help guide readers through content.
4. Poor Website Navigation
Navigation is the process of moving the curser from one part of your screen to another to perform certain functions. Website navigation should be easy, intuitive and quick. It should be something that is almost mindless. If a user needs to think about or search for navigation, then it’s designed wrong.
Navigation is the backbone of any good website. It connects all the dots for users and gives a clear understanding of how everything relates to each other. Users shouldn’t need a guidebook to tell them where the different pages of the site are located.
If a website doesn’t navigation easy, then the company has lost a customer before the primary message really got started. When people get lost on a site, they become frustrated and give up on the brand. They may also leave a negative review about the business on Google, which can impact SEO rankings.
5. Lack Of Interactivity
One of the biggest mistakes of many website owners is building an almost entirely static site. That means there’s little or no interactivity between the site and the user. People want to take action, but if the entire site is passive and static, then there’s no action.
Additionally, people don’t read every word of text – they scan. When visitors scan a site, they’re really looking for the content that is applicable to their needs or something that grabs their attention. This is why websites should be designed to capture and hold a visitor’s eye; a visually interesting and enticing site will keep visitors on a page and the site longer.
The website should be designed to draw people in and want encourage them to explore and learn more. A great website does not have to be a great writing sample. Still, it should be an eye-catching sample that is designed to be compelling.