In this day and age, the first place a customer goes to research a brand, product, or service is the internet. He is also most likely to compare and contrast various alternatives before deciding on the final product. While the quality and pricing of the product in question are undoubtedly crucial, the support of an appealing, trustworthy website also plays a significant role in this decision.
A website is the most effective digital marketing tool your business can ever have. It allows you to express your brand culture, as well as the significance and unique selling proposition of your product to an already captive audience. It not only makes you accessible but also available 24/7 from all across the globe.
However, simply having a website for the sake of it wouldn’t do any good. It needs to be backed by solid web design and engaging content. It should be able to assist the customer in fulfilling the purpose he is visiting your site for in the first place.
Think about it, if you are researching for a laptop to buy online and land upon a website that is taking too long to load. What are your chances of making the final purchase from that site? Honestly, close to none, except if you are an extremely loyal customer (which in today’s world is a myth). In a real-life scenario, you will immediately hit ‘back’ and move on to the next site.
Similarly, broken navigation links or outdated deals flashing on your site’s home page can also divert your customers to other websites. The list of all the things that can go wrong is practically endless. However, over the years, we have noticed certain common characteristics that many poorly designed websites possess. In this article, we will be sharing a few of them.
So, whether you are a web design company that is just starting out, or a brand planning to create its presence online, make sure to read till the end & avoid making the same mistakes.
1. Inconsistent Or Unclear Message
The main purpose of your website is to make your customers aware of your existence. It is supposed to be your ideal marketing partner and persuade visitors that you have the answers they’re looking for. This means that upon opening your site, they should be able to instantly know who you are and what you do.
However, the worst and surprisingly the most common trait of poor web design is the lack of a clear or consistent message regarding the purpose of the website. The visitors have to struggle to understand what exactly they are looking at. Some sites may even require visitors to navigate through multiple pages to finally cognize the products or services they are offering.
This is most likely to frustrate the visitor, leading him to exit the site and not revisit as long as he remembers this experience. The best way to avoid this is to add your name and a brief indication of what you do, at the top of your homepage. This is important if you wish to catch the attention of your visitor as soon as he lands on your site.
You should also clearly highlight the navigation links that he can use to know more about you and your offerings, respectively.
2. Unresponsive Design
You might think that all your customers are still using a desktop to explore your website, but that is not true. In today’s digital era, users have a variety of different devices at their disposal. In fact, mobile devices generated around 54.8% of global website traffic in the first quarter of 2021.
This means that the need to make your website responsive to all these devices is now more urgent than ever. A responsive web design allows your website to adapt its layout according to the device being used, making it particularly useful for mobile browsing. Apart from enhancing the visitors’ experience, a responsive web design also plays an important role in your SEO strategies.
On the other hand, an unresponsive web design forces your customers to use the shrunken version of your desktop site on mobile devices. Pinching and zooming to read the text, and the constant need to scroll horizontally will surely push your visitors away. Needless to say, it will pull down your search engine rankings as well.
Thus, call up your web developer now and ask him to make the necessary modifications to give your site a flexible, responsive design, if it doesn’t have it already.
3. Poor Site Navigation
Another characteristic of a poor web design is poor site navigation. Your site should not only be visually appealing but also easy to navigate. Your visitors should be able to access the desired information without having to surf through multiple pages.
The majority of internet users are used to a standard for how and where to find certain information on a website. Thus, adding content on unusual locations, hiding menus or vital information behind too many clicks, etc can lead to confusion. Similarly, broken or inactive links on the navigation menu can also leave a serious negative impression on your visitors.
As a result, they may abandon your site and move on to one of your competitors with a more responsive and user-friendly website. Thus, it is important that you add clear paths to key information. You should also avoid adding too many menus as it can overwhelm your visitors.
4. Cluttered Layout
One of the most common mistakes in web designs is using too many graphics and flashy banners. While most site owners believe that such elements attract visitors, the reality is quite the opposite. Overuse of such elements can not only make your site look cluttered but also slow down your page loading speed.
Thus, in addition to the navigation menu, the layout of your site should also be organized. The text should be easily readable on all devices as well as different sections should be clearly marked with proper headings. You should use graphics only where it actually makes sense or helps you convey your message more clearly.
This will also ensure that your site is mobile-friendly. Otherwise, too much content may cause text to overlap or become too small to read. An organized and ‘clean’ layout also increases the chances of a visitor staying on your site for longer. On the other hand, a cluttered site layout may overwhelm the customer, making him abandon the site too quickly.
Poor web design comes in many shapes and sizes. Anything that hampers your visitors’ experience or negatively affects your search engine ranking can be considered a mistake in web design. In this article, we tried to cover the 4 most common characteristics that one can notice on a poorly designed website. However, the complete list is very long.
In current times, your website is very crucial for the success of your business. Thus, pay special attention to the do’s and don’ts of its design. It is important to ensure that none of these characteristics is present in it.