A poorly designed website, which can be caused by a whole range of factors, is ultimately going to have a significant impact. From a business perspective, this equates to losing out on proverbial millions of dollars each and every second.
In this article, we’ll show you the most common mistakes to avoid when it comes to website design.
9 Signs of a Poorly Designed Website That Can Hurt Your ROI
1. Focus on function first
Function should always be placed over design. What good does it do for your prospective customers if your website looks like Da Vinci painted it himself if it just doesn’t work? It should be able to work correctly on each of the major web browsers at a minimum. There should be clear and easy ways to get through the website. Your navigational methods can be as creative as you are; provided that they are as intuitive as possible for others to use.
2. Be smart with popups
Use popups in an intelligent way. Do you have fun going to a site that immediately upon load presents you with a full screen opt-in, buy now, or advertisement? Neither does everyone else, though many businesses seem to do just that. Think for a moment, if they weren’t an annoyance, why would we have built in popup blockers in our browsers?
This isn’t to say that popups are inherently bad. Some are great, when implemented in a non-annoying way. Wrote a great blog post? Why not offer some form of content upgrade, delivered via popup, when your visitor has gotten to the end of the page?
Maybe your visitor has flipped through a few articles or pages on your site, now would be a good time to ask them to subscribe; just don’t go so big that it turns them off instead of getting them to sign up.
Perhaps they are leaving. Their leaving doesn’t necessarily mean your content, product, or services wasn’t up to snuff. Life does happen, and even with mobile surfers, they do have to put down their equipment from time to time, so why not hit them up with an exit intent popup to subscribe, or get a free download, or other nifty ideas?
But no one wants your downloadable content in the first 3 seconds of being on your site. Timing is everything with popups.
3. Use colours carefully
Colours also play a huge role. Too bright and it’s an eyesore, too dark and it’s the same thing. Colours also set the mood and tone of a website. Colours are also important because you will most likely have chosen a couple for your logo, background, and a few other places. Staying away from certain colour combinations can reduce the risk of giving off the wrong message. Keep in mind your use of white space as well as your contrasting colours. Too much white space and it will feel empty, too much contrasting colours and you have just given your visitors a pair of painful eyes and quite possibly a bad headache.
The same can be said for how you coloured your varied popups.
4. Optimize images
Images are a great way to display products, as are videos. If your images take too long to load, well; you quite possibly just had an unavoidable bounce. If they load fine but look like there was a film over the lens, then it’s a bad picture and can make you out to be a shady business or person. If the image is bad, and not optimized for web viewing, then don’t use it. They will only make you appear bad in the end. Images can also be used in your popups. Just make them relevant to what your popup is.
5. Avoid using too many fonts
Your typeface also has a huge impact. There are tons upon tons of font styles and families. No matter which font or font family you actually decide on, you have to make sure that it is viewable in the general web. If your potential customer has to have downloaded that particular font, chances are that it’s a bad idea to use it. Some fonts are just too small and look like someone scribbled something on your website, Some are too big to be used on certain areas of your website.
Different fonts when used together create a wonderful effect. They speak volumes without being more than the word.
6. Make sure your content is compelling and relevant
Then it comes down to the actual content of the website. If it’s clear and concise, people will easily be able to tell who you are, what it is that you offer, and if you may be worth the money you are asking. All of this is usually summed up to a potential customer on their first visit. It’s their first impression of you, and we all know how those usually go. Do it badly, and everyone will know; do it well and you have made everyone your friend.
7. Avoid too many links
With websites, every action is executed via a link. It’s a link from your navigational menus to various content. It’s a download link. All your social media profiles are links. And links can be wonderful tools to send people elsewhere in your site, to referring them to some other site. But not everything should be a link. And no link should be shown as those long things that tend to be made up of incomprehensible gibberish. While having links in your content is great, if you over do it, it will detract from the content instead of bolstering it. In the end, just don’t overlink things.
8. Don’t use music that is set to autoplay
Instantly playing music for ambience is just as horrifying as everything above combined. You cannot tell what everyone’s tastes are, and even if you think everyone should be listening to the newest turbo death metal, you would be wrong. While music can help set a mood, it will almost certainly kill any chances of converting anyone. Even if you’re a band showcasing your latest single. Don’t autoplay it.
9. Placing third-party ads on your website
Unless you’re an affiliate marketer who earns their living by promoting third-party ads, those should never be found on a business website. While you may be tempted to “boost” your income, in essence you’re allowing your visitors to click away from your website never to return. Not to mention that using too many scripts required for ads can slow down your website and it also leads to poor user experience when ads contrast the rest of your website.
Poor website design encompasses many things that can play a huge role on your ROI. However, making sure your website doesn’t suffer from poor design is easy if you take note of the most common mistakes people make which were outlined here and keep that list handy for future reference.