Here are 10 of the most common mistakes made in web design and why you need to avoid them at all costs in order to make sure you are on the right track to producing the best websites that are user friendly, and search engine friendly.
1. Using Flash
Adobe Flash is of course eye catching but they are soon to be extinct. Flash typically lowers usability due to long load times, poor SEO and no mobile support. Currently, only a handful of mobile devices support flash.
Adobe has made its decision to retire this technology in 2020, because it’s not worth continuing support for it. Added to increased vulnerabilities in the software,which allowed North Korean hackers to exploit the technology, Flash is now being replaced by alternative technologies such as HTML5.
2. Assuming your design works on all devices
From a smartwatch to the widest TV-screens, designers and developers should develop specific breakpoints in their responsive workflow. With so many devices on the market it’s really hard to design for everything.
Traditionally, designers design first for big devices and then move to small devices. But now many designers are developing responsive websites by coding everything starting from the mobile version of the website before moving up to tablets and then moving to laptop or desktop screens.
3. A lack of clear call to action
Missing call to action (CTA) is probably one of the biggest website mistakes we see in many websites.
The best website user experience should tell a customer the what to do, where to go, and how to do it. It is usually in the form of a link or button that prompts action.
Some examples for CTAs include:
- Add to Cart
- Contact Us Today
- Sign Up Now
4. Poor use of whitespace
Whitespace is the space left untouched in order to smooth things out and transform a page into something beautiful , clear and readable. When there isn’t enough whitespace, content is overwhelming for visitors to read. Even though it is called white space, it doesn’t mean the actual space must be white. The blank space can be filled with any color as long as it is free of any elements like text or images.
5. No favicon
A favicon is a small, iconic image that represents your website. Favicons are most often found in the address bar of your web browser. Many website visitors prefer to use lots of tabs while they’re browsing and they leave them open to check them out later. Favicons give website visitors the visual cue to differentiate and return to your site/tab while they’re browsing.
6. Generic 404 pages
A 404 page is a standard response code in HTTP telling the user that they’ve clicked on a broken link. Generic 404 error pages, as you can see, causes frustration in your users, so add humor or beautiful design to sweeten the pill of finding you’re in the wrong place.
7. Generic stock photography
Cheesy stock photos hurt your website performance by sending a message to your audience that your content isn’t unique or original.
Use real pictures as much as possible. If you have to use stock photography, do not use pictures of people in business attire shaking hands. Try to include people of different geographical locations, clothing, attitudes, and interior styles.
8. Not keeping a website updated
Countless websites, big and small are compromised every day due to outdated websites. It is important to update your site as soon as a new plugin or CMS version is available as these updates might just contain security enhancements or patch a vulnerability. Install a good plugin like Wordfence or Sucuri for the security of your WordPress sites.
9. Inconsistent design
You are a great designer but you don’t want to try creating different designs for every web page to prove it. No matter how attractive a website is, if the overall look and feel is not consistent, users cannot relate to it and feel confused. A consistent website is familiar for users and therefore easily navigable.
10. Not capturing customer information
About 98% of your site traffic leaves without taking an action. You put too much effort and money into bringing customers to your store. Don’t let them go away. Have an opt-in offer that will appeal to your visitors in your website. It can be something as simple as an instant discount or free shipping on eCommerce sites, while others may want to offer an interesting e-book or whitepaper or a contest giveaway.