Today, thanks to some DIY tools and services, just about anyone can design a website. However, that does not mean everyone should. Whether you hire an expert web designer or plan to build your site, you should avoid these bad web design no-nos.
bad web design
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1. Your site is not mobile-friendly
“In 2015, mobile users exceeded desktop users, and Google told us that they are giving higher precedence to websites that have some mobile experience,” says Mark Tuchscherer, president, Geeks Chicago. “Yet we still have designers and developers allowing clients only to have a desktop version of their sites. Everybody must have a responsive site in 2017, and trying to pass off your desktop site to mobile users is the biggest no-no. Not only will this make you sick to visitors but search engines will also not be your biggest supporter.”
2. Use graphics for text
“All text on a web should be crawlable by search engine bot,” says Dominguez. However, “having pictures as text prevents search engines from crawling your site, which in turn will reflect negatively on your SEO. Images as text will also make your site heavy. So avoid using images as text at all cost.”
3. Complicated navigation
Don’t make it hard for visitors to drive your site and find what they are looking for suddenly (in just a click or two). Keep navigation easy by using a horizontal menu with low explanatory labels (typically no more than seven pieces) across the top of each page, with one level of dropdown menus. Also, be sure to include a search box at the head of each page.
4. Have inconsistent style
“If your site has a different color palette, does not follow typographical best practices (kerning, leading, tracking, etc.) or uses inconsistent typography, it will not project professionalism to your fans,” and it will likely turn off considered customers, says Pamela Webber, CMO, 99designs.
To avoid style struggles and create a consistent look for your web or e-commerce site, “be sure to create a brand style example first and follow it consistently during your website design.”
5. Use splash page
“Splash and entrance pages have no sense in today’s online world,” says Janyer Dominguez, vice president of web development, iPartnerMedia. “They [just] go up your website’s bounce rate because users cannot find what they are looking for, so they devise.”
Instead of using a splash page, “your site should have a conventional home page,” he says. “If you want to send a message or trigger a communication, then use a modal or popup window. Using a regular home page also helps with SEO.”
6. Use indeed fake or stock photographs
“While the use of stock photography may improve elements of your website’s design, using these photos to serve your people [or products can come across as cheesy or inauthentic],” says Russell Frazier, digital marketing specialist, Visigility. “We all know the happy lady with the headset does not work for you. Pull out your camera or hire a local photographer to take actual photos of your team. Your proposed buyers will find this far more genuine” and will be more likely to believe and buy from you.
7. Your logo not clickable to the home page
“According to KoMarketing, 36 percent of visitors will click the company logo to reach the home page,” says Laura Casanova, creative director, ONTRAPORT. However, if the logo is not clickable, they may think the site is broken and drop. “To quickly get your logo clickable, just put your <img> tag within an opening <a> tag and a closing </a> tag, and it matches efficient and clickable.”
8. Automated music or sound
“Sites should not have automated music or sound,” states Ed Brancheau, CEO, Goozleology. “Yes, it is sometimes okay to have a video be automated to catch the visitor’s awareness, but automated audio is shrill and doubtful. In split tests that we ran, automatic audio so drastically reduced the on-page time that we never even think it anymore.”
9. Using too many big images or videos
“Images, animations, and videos are weighty, and too many on a web page can significantly delay your site,” says Webber.
Moreover, “an Adobe study found that 39 percent of people will stop assaulting with a website if the pictures take too long to load,” says Casanova. “At the prospect of losing almost your visitors, use a free online image optimizer tool and free stock photos websites, such as Optimizilla, to decrease your image’s pixel count without discrediting quality, guaranteeing a shorter load time for guests.”
10. Not containing white space
“If using white space, your content gives a greater impression on the reader,” says Sarah Batista, Vistaprint Digital. “We have all seen sites that are noticed full of text and graphics. They are distracting, and you end up holding tiny if any, information. That is the opposite of your website’s target.