10 Most Common Web Design Mistakes Businesses Make

March 2, 2017 12:02 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Website design will either increase conversions and drive more customers to your business, or it will help bury your online presence and destroy your customer base. How you choose to design your website and show it to the online world, is exactly how you portray your business in real life to your customers.

Here’s some smart website design advice for business websites.

  1. Too Many ‘Marketing’ Elements

Web Designers often fall into a trap of having to point a user to many different elements of a website in hopes of grabbing their attention.

This usually stems from client specific requests to make sure a design has a button here for a CTA (Call-To-Action), a sale icon somewhere about deals, or newsletter subscription box, a contact form, etc.

Of course once the business has their entire wishlist on a page, often the homepage as that’s where most designers will start their primary mockup, the website designer is basically cornered to have those items on the page no matter what.

This kills the creative process, and at the same time causes confusion among visitors because they start getting distracted by many different elements.

How to solve this problem? Check back here later for a solutions guide!


  1. Too Minimalistic

It’s 2017. And websites today, can be fairly minimalist. This stems from the push of mobile devices being the prominent pieces of technology for accessing the internet.

But some websites, are just so minimalist and so simplified that as a potential customer you just don’t understand what the website is selling or promoting. So unless the user already has heard of the brand, they are unlikely to care or convert.

This often happens when you search for software, especially cloud-based software for storage, social media management, etc. I don’t want to call out some companies, but seriously, there are just some people out there who think they can put something like this on a page.

Our software will simplify your business process!

Request Demo

There’s little info on pages like that related to pricing, who makes this software, screenshots of the interface, videos of people using it and their reactions, etc. If you ever wondered why the “marketing industry” considers conversion rates above 1% somehow a good thing, then look no further than these simplified websites that simply aren’t able to sell anyone on anything.

How to solve this problem? Check back here later for a solutions guide!

  1. Unclear Messaging

Website designs need to speak to your target market. Otherwise, your website will simply not convert. For example, a popular techno music DJ is not going to walk in on his gig wearing the latest armani business suit that a typical banker would wear (maybe that would be cool for some people, who knows). No, popular DJs wear casual wear and they just ‘jam’ with the crowd.

A typical DJ will know more about his/hers target audience than a typical business executive will know about their company’s audience. That’s pretty sad.

However, when your website shows up to the party on search engines, or through paid advertising. Then it’s time to ‘jam’ with your target market.

To a season designer this will be an obvious task. As a business, it is important to provide your website designer with the correct audience information so that they can create a layouts, color palettes, and choose the typography (among many other things) to speak to your market in the way they want to be spoken to.

How to solve this problem? Check back here later for a solutions guide!


  1. Poor Quality CTAs

Call-To-Action buttons are super important. However, a lot of website designers have no choice on where they go or what the buttons actually say. A typical client will want the CTAs instantly seen and accessible the second someone is on the website.

As a business, you want to sell things. However, if you haven’t noticed, people kind of tend to know this already. And there is no shortage of ‘Buy It Now’ buttons on countless websites.

Let me ask you this, when you see ‘Buy It Now’ doesn’t it tick you off a little? You know that you can ‘Buy It’ at any time you want.

And how often you to a website, and click on the ‘Buy It Now’ button immediately. Most us? Never.

Same goes for ‘Shop Now’ buttons and anything with audacity to think that the user has to do it right now. The web is littered with ‘in your face’ and ‘buy buy buy’ buttons to the point where you will not stand out if you do the exact same thing.

How to solve this problem? Check back here later for a solutions guide!

Ask your web designer to get creative, to ‘think’ about the CTA design, its placement on the page, and what it should say (amount of text will affect the design and placement).


  1. Bad Content Design

Yes, web designers need to plan out content and where it needs to go. As a business it is important to not forget this important design decision.

If you want a lot of text on your homepage, your website designer will have to figure out how and where to place it within the design.  

Text is, to some degree, getting less and less relevant in providing information. Images, video, comparison charts, sliders, are starting to replace what we would typically call ‘reading’ however articles and important information pieces are still incredibly powerful, and offer that level of detail when your customer needs it.

And believe me, a serious customer will spend time on your website reading about you, and you better tell them what they want, or else they will go somewhere else to read about you (and if they don’t find anything about you elsewhere, you just lost that customer to the competition).

How to solve this problem? Check back here later for a solutions guide!


  1. Using Irrelevant Images

Notice, I didn’t say ‘poor quality’ or ‘stock images’ because that’s not how the consumer mind ticks.

You can get away with poor quality images, and even stock images, as long as they ‘relate’ to your market.

Think of donations websites that gather money for countries around the world in need of help. Their images tend to be somewhat of ‘lower quality’ which adds to the mental triggers in our minds that people out there need help.

It’s not just image content itself, which often shows us a human being living in poor condition, but the image itself portrays the feeling though utilizing lower image quality.

Yet many websites go on a buying spree of ‘stock’ photography, thinking that spending for a ‘quality’ photo will make their website look better.

How to solve this problem? Check back here later for a solutions guide!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

  1. Mystery Meat Navigation

This is such an old term, dating back to the start of the internet, but it still holds true aven after so many years.

Essentially, ‘Mystery Meat Navigation’ is navigation / menu item elements on your website that don’t tell the user what they are until you either put your mouse over them or click on them.

Now this does not apply to the universal ‘Search’ symbol. If your website design utilizes navigation that’s hidden until the user does something, it means that extra click, that extra annoyance to have to hunt for what you are trying to find.

You guessed it, such design choices in website design do not usually translate to a good user experience.

How to solve this problem? Check back here later for a solutions guide!            


  1. Not Utilizing Responsive Design Correctly

Many website designers design for desktop first, mobile second. While this is already 2017, most website designers who have been doing web design for over ten years, will naturally tend to start with their mockups being for desktop first even if you ask them to provide all variations of the responsive design (mobile, tablet, desktop).

There are a few reasons for this. Desktop mockups can look amazingly great. Mobile ones? Not so much. In fact, on mobile, responsive design websites literally look and feel the same.

Website designers however should take note that going forward, designing for a mobile first world does not mean using just a ‘responsive layout’ but actually designing for mobile first, desktop second.

Google already stated that their search results favor websites that are more mobile friendly. And with technologies like Google AMP Project blasting through Google Search rankings, modern website designers need to start paying attention.

How to solve this problem? Check back here later for a solutions guide!            


  1. Don’t Forget Share Buttons

Website designers are not always the best marketers, and focus on visuals more than anything. And that’s good. But if your marketing department should request one thing from your website designer, make sure they ask for sharing capabilities built into the design.

No. Not just as a plug in or afterthought once a design is completed. But directly into the design from the start. Of course, some plugins for WordPress do sharing extremely well, but if you have access to coders (or if your website designer does both design and complete coding solution), then it may be worth coding something that’s unique or different, but also helps users quickly share the information page they are on with others.

Sharing content for Social Signals is imperative not only for search rankings, but to help spread the word about your website. If a user is inclined for a split second to share your page, product, or article, make it simple for them, otherwise their mind will be just as easily changed back to not caring.

How to solve this problem? Check back here later for a solutions guide!      


  1. Forgetting About the User Experience

There is no doubt that with core technologies being virtually identical, like for example the WordPress platform, website designers are losing their creativity big time.

Innovation in website design these days has been watered down to asking businesses what websites they like and then designing around those design constraints, and also then adapting to the simplified display technologies of mobile. Add WordPress to the mix, along with page builder plugins and you can quickly see what is going on.

Copy a good looking website. Then adapt it into a WordPress Platform. Design pages to the limitations of the page builder software for WordPress. Yea. Innovation alright.

However, the best websites focus on the User Experience. Your marketing department should work with the website designer to identify key pieces and detail that make the website pleasant to use.

How to solve this problem? Check back here later for a solutions guide!      

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This post was written by Tony Dygal

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