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Mistakes in Web Design

The Top 10 Mistakes in Web Design

Web Design

24 Jan, 2022

The Top 10 Mistakes in Web Design – Is Your Business Website Guilty?

They make mistakes. Usually when they think they can do it all alone or don’t grasp how much there is to be done.

You know, instead of working with a website design pro who has the latest data, long-standing experience, and the most efficient approach to handling these issues.

Why is a web design agency your best bet?

Because they can’t afford to be wasteful or tactless because they need to compete.

And why do these mistakes matter for you?

It’s simple: they cost you conversions.

A poorly-crafted site is like a leaky pipe. The kind you don’t want to handle like this:

Man fixing pipe with tape

You want a sustainable (and less embarrassing) solution to turn your website into a well-oiled sales generating machine. And we’ve got just the thing.

We’ll show you the top 10 mistakes in web design we see all the time so you can turn your visitors into loyal customers instead of flushing them out of your sales pipeline.

1. Poor Mobile Responsiveness

Statistics show that more and more people search the web and land on your website from their smartphones.

Half of web traffic worldwide is mobile. 40% of people will go straight to your competitors after a bad mobile experience, and 84% have had difficulties completing mobile transactions.

Unsurprising, right? Especially after two years of social distancing where video calls became the shining peak and last beacon of human contact. People rely on their phones for everything nowadays.

Making important work calls, searching for a new dentist, shopping for presents, looking at your website… and leaving it because it didn’t load in three seconds.

Ruthless, we know.

But you have an army of competitors and your prospects really have enough options that if you don’t cater to their needs, they can find someone who can.

You need to keep up. That means your website must be mobile-friendly.

Solution

It should be a given by this point: your site needs to be not just accessible through mobile, it should offer a great mobile user experience.

Your customers expect nothing less.

Optimization means making sure everything you have on your regular site is functional on mobile, too. Think about things like:

  • Images and alignment
  • Rendering
  • Links
  • Navigation, etc.

Your site should still be easy to locate, scan, and click through.

2. Bad Navigation

Ease of use should be among the highest priorities of any professional website, since it certainly is a priority for your customers.

Bottom line is, people don’t come to your site because it’s pretty.

They come looking for something, and if they can’t find it in a matter of seconds, they’re done with you.

Who can blame them? Everyone’s busy.

And if they came to you, they came with a problem that needs solving, so they’re not going to sit around reading page after page if they can’t see how much your service will cost, or whether they are eligible for it at all.

It’s on you to make the process obvious.

Solution

Organize your website in a way that it’s impossible to get lost:

  1. Make clarity your #1 priority when it comes to wording and visuals
  2. Put pointers and buttons everywhere
  3. Create categories and labels to help customers easily find products/services
  4. Add a search bar with suggestions/assumptions
  5. Offer filters, especially if you have a wide range of products and services

In short, don’t have creepy alleys and mazes on your website.

Take responsibility to keep things organized and well-lit like you’re a preschool teacher preventing your class from catching on fire and choking on crayons all day long.

Not that your customers will do anything so dramatic if you don’t pay attention. But they certainly won’t stay around for long.

3. Breaks Accessibility Rules

Talking about navigation, we have to mention accessibility. Why?

Failing to consider website accessibility excludes about 15% of the population from using your services, which sucks for them but also for your business.

We’re not just talking about your reputation or even morality here (we trust you got that part covered).

But breaking accessibility guidelines can seriously damage your conversions: companies without accessible sites lose $6.9 billion a year in revenue to competitors who show they care.

So what exactly falls under accessibility issues?

Things like:

  • Color choices and combinations
  • Font types and sizes
  • Alt descriptions
  • Site readability
  • Subtitles and captions, etc.

All of these can be optimized to be mindful and inclusive.

Solution

Here are some ways to fix website accessibility issuesfix website accessibility issues:

Components Left unchecked Optimized for accessibility
Color Combinations such as green and red in the same image cause confusion in people with color blindness.
  • Use patterns and textures as well as text labels to make your charts understandable
Readability Your text could be too small or not responsive to assistive tech that helps people read.
  • Your text is adaptable to different screen sizes
  • Large enough to read
  • Uses appropriate tech like ARIA to help with dynamic content
Fomrs Information boxes are confusing because they don’t explain how you need to input data and where you made a mistake.
  • Not relying only on color to signify a mistake
  • Using verbal instructions and explanations (e.g. password must contain numbers)

4. Bad Website Copy

Conversion copywriting should be any website’s staple: it’s clever, relevant, and as you’d assume by the name, it converts your leads into customers.

But a lot of web copy doesn’t really do it justice. In our experience, here’s where it all goes wrong:

  • It doesn’t suit target audience
  • It’s hard to understand
  • Not optimized for voice search
  • Walls of text

Something like this:

Mistakes In Web Design example of bad copy

Oh yeah, I can’t wait to read 300 pages of literature on a random construction site.

Said no one ever. Seriously… the plot twists aren’t even that exciting.

But if this isn’t already giving you a tension headache, just imagine scrolling through it on your phone.

Solution

Have mercy, okay? Figure out who your target audience is and what they need to hear from you, and then say it back to them in their words.

Pro tip: you won’t need a Tarot deck to download this knowledge. Simply communicate with your sales and support teams and you’ll get everything you need to know.

To get you started, here’s some inspo from Manscaped, a brand that very clearly targets men:

example of good copy to avoid mistakes in web design

And one of our clients, MakepleaseMakeplease:

Avoid mistakes in web design example of good copy from make please website

See? You can explain what you do in 6-10 words and still show character.

We believe in you.

5. Not Investing In Security

Website security is important because hackers, unlike vampires, almost exclusively come in uninvited. Count Dracula’s in the back like:

Face of man upset by making mistakes in web design

But, wait, are you one of those people who thinks their site isn’t worthy of being hacked?

Here’s the thing: hackers don’t discriminate. They’re usually after your server anyway, regardless of the content on it, and they attack every 39 seconds.

What’s worse, if your site does get hacked and blacklisted, you lose 98% of your traffic.

That’s why it’s crucial to keep your site protected.

Solution

Team up with an agency that offers security and support for your website on an ongoing basis.

If you don’t really know what you’re looking at when it comes to security, here’s what you should read up on:

  1. SSL certificates
  2. Antivirus software
  3. GDPR for eCommerce

In the meantime, you can protect your site by demanding stronger passwords, automatically logging out inactive users, and having regular backups.

6. Branding Inconsistencies

We always say that what you don’t do is as important as what you do.

And to explain why, let’s explore this example.

Jungluck is a German skincare brand that’s been working their Facebook ad game hard. And in this post, the brand is all about skin positivity.

They’re talking about how we need to stop viewing imperfections like stretch marks or acne as a negative thing.

text example regarding skincare language

And that would be a lovely message if they weren’t simultaneously advertising a pimple cream in the next post, all but defeating the point of this one.

What’s worse, a commenter actually called it out:

Customer calling out inconsistent marketing text

Now maybe Jungluck isn’t trying to shamelessly appeal to everyone. Maybe they just need to refine their message to better reflect what they really mean.

But it goes to show that people pay attention to what you’re doing and how little it takes to tick them off. You lose credibility instantly if you flip like this all the time.

And that’s the importance of actively not doing things.

You’re much better off with a defined target audience than trying to appeal to everyone in every possible way.

Because even if you’re not trying to do that, your customers can get that impression unless you stop doing everything and start showing them specifically what’s important and relevant to them only.

Solution

Identify your core, target audience and cater only to them. Make it so obvious that you’re focusing on them that they never have to second-guess whether you truly get them.

And do this across your entire website: in your content, imaging, style, language, topics, campaigns…

7. Not Using Analytics

Neglecting the value of analytics to drive decisions and measure performance results in… you guessed it. Bad decisions and sub-par performance.

On average, up to 73% of data within an enterprise isn’t used for decision-making.

Maybe because it looks intimidating or confusing. Maybe they just underestimate them and think they don’t need graphs to do business.

In any case, it’s a huge opportunity missed.

Just because you can do something without help, doesn’t mean it’s the best way to do it.

I mean, you could technically still go out and beat the hell out of your clothes in the nearest stream to clean them but… psst. Washing machines were invented. Not just a fever dream we had, right?

So why not use them to your advantage?

Analytics can tell you a lot about your target audience and your current systems such as:

  1. What do your customers like about your site?
  2. What drives them away?
  3. How long do they typically spend reading your content?
  4. Are your marketing efforts working?
  5. What about now? Better or worse than before?

If you don’t have that info, you can’t ever really know what is working and what you need to change.

And if you don’t know how to get or interpret it, we totally get it. But you don’t have to miss out.

Consider this your reminder to contact an expert who can help you boost sales data-driven design.

Solution

These are the metrics that you should be tracking to measure your website performance:

KPI’s What they represent.
Conversion rate How many of your visitors become customers.
Bounce rate How long until your leads decide to leave your website after they first arrive.
Qualified leads How many people who come to your site are actually primed for your services and have a good chance of converting.
Average time on page Self-explanatory. How long people stick around.
Devices and channels Desktop or mobile, social media, backlinks, etc. These metrics show where your leads come from.
Sessions This tracks the amount of time leads spend on your site but also what they do while they’re there. So which pages they visit, what they click on, etc.
Landing pages Where your clients arrive when they come to your site shows how they got there and what interests them.
User satisfaction Trickier to track, but user satisfaction can be measured with surveys and general performance KPIs like click-through rate, social shares, etc.

These should get you going in the right direction.

Of course, your needs will vary depending on your industry, but figure out what’s most important for your growth and start keeping track of it.

8. Forgetting About Social Proof

Social proof isn’t just influencer street cred.

In business, social proof is a demonstration that people have associated with, bought from, or otherwise engaged with your brand and are talking about it.

Word of mouth is still one of the most important measures of credibility in the eyes of your customers.

Of all the brands that compete for their attention and money, they’re of course more likely to trust the ones that their friends and family recommend, or that any past customer with a similar pain point approves of.

This is what social proof is and why you need to have it on your website.

It can be something as little as this section from one of our client websites, Belleview Consulting:

Example of social proof

Or this use case stories page from Monday.com:

example of social proof from Monday.com

But a lot of companies forget to display this on their sites.

Solution

There’s more than one way to add social proof to your site. Above are just two examples, but here’s what else you could consider:

  • Having a short snippet on your homepage
  • Creating a portfolio or case study page
  • Scattering it around the website
  • Having customer reviews under your products/services
  • Including a “partners” or “clients” section
  • Using a counter tool that shows how many customers you’ve helped, etc.

Anything that shows you’re interacting with others in your industry and treating your clients well is worth putting on your website (with permission).

And if you’re not doing it yet, it’s time to start asking for feedback. Talk to your clients, see what they like about your brand and why they chose you instead of your competitors.

The more specific, the better.

9. Missing Important Information

Your website is there to serve your customers in a way they want to be treated. Often we immediately assume that means having the flashiest site and showing how cutting-edge we are.

Now, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. But we tend to forget the most basic thing people need to make decisions: information.

You have all of it in your head, so it’s easy to assume people will naturally get what you’re talking about. This can look like:

  1. No service landing pages (for professional services like insurance, financial planning, etc.)
  2. No about page or pricing info
  3. No CTA

…and end with frustrated potential customers leaving your site.

Solution

Don’t try to be mysterious or assume your customers already know what to do next, or what the pricing of services like yours looks like on average.

Do:

  • Provide all relevant information on who you are and how you operate
  • Explain things clearly, as if people don’t already know you, because they don’t.
  • Add a button and CTA for each page section
  • Highlight important things like data, numbers, results, etc.
  • Remember guidelines, rules, and specific exceptions and direct your users accordingly

10. Falling Behind With On-Trend Design Elements

Let’s assume you’re currently using outdated or low-budget, low-effort elements instead of going for the best option available.

What does that look like for different industries?

In eCommerce, maybe you’re not using augmented reality. Even though AR has been proven to fix many problems that keep your customers from confidently buying your product.

For professional services, you’re being lazy with video case studies. Another crucial component that could make a huge difference for your business if executed correctly.

Don’t forget that your customers aren’t obliged to stick with you.

You can say they’re your top priority, but if you’re not doing everything you can to provide the best user experience they can find, they’ll pack their bags and move on.

Nothing personal.

Solution

Keep track of what’s happening in your industry and ride the wave:

  • Follow thought leaders
  • Check in on competitors
  • Analyze market gaps
  • Consider possible solutions
  • Watch the trends

And no matter what, always consult with experts.

If you’re struggling to identify the latest and best web design elements, you can always reach out to a web design company – people like us are paid to know these things and how best to implement them.

What if you already know what you need?

The logical next step would be to contact the right specialist who can offer you a tailored solution and make sure it’s deployed quickly and correctly.

Let The Experts Handle Your Web Design

Reaching for band aid solutions is convenient.

And a lot of companies don’t even realize that’s what they’re doing until their business starts going under and they have to figure out what went wrong.

Not your business, though. You’ve now made sure you won’t miss the signs that something’s up… but you still have work to do to actively avoid these common mistakes.

That’s a bit trickier than simply being mindful.

So how do you do all of that?

You reach out to a web design expert to guide the way.

At State Creative, we’ve been preventing these issues and providing ongoing support to businesses like yours for over a decade.

We know what it takes.

But if you want to continue reading for now, we suggest you learn about professional web design services next.

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