When seeing the success of a site like Craigslist, it can be easy to assume that web design doesn’t matter at all. This is true in a way, but also completely false. The design of your website depends entirely on your type of business, who you’re marketing towards, and the impression you want to give off. So how can you know which type of web design you need: flashy or simple? Well luckily for you, regardless of which type there are a number of common mistakes that, when avoided, can greatly improve your website’s quality. Don’t make these terrible web-design mistakes, and your site will be on its way to the success you crave.
- Horrible background and font contrast
Despite its inability to be read, this mistake is still found everywhere on the internet. A web-designer may consider a bright blue background and dark blue font to be a neat added feature, but the strain on your eyes this causes has the potential to scare off tons of customers. Who wants to be distracted by the color of something when they’re at your site to get information? No one. For this reason, make sure to stick to black and white. Books have white backgrounds and black text for a reason: it’s easy to read. In your web-design, make sure to follow a book’s example!
- Skip the Sliders
One of the more innovative and flashy additions a website can have is rotating sliders, something very easy for a web-designer to include. But in the words of Time Ash of SiteTuners, “Rotating banners are absolutely evil and should be removed immediately.”
Sound harsh? Well unfortunately for the sliders, the statistics have proven how terrible of an addition they are. The reason: internet surfers rarely get past the first slide. The other slides aren’t clearly visible, so of course people are less likely to read the content on them. A recent study even showed that over 80% of the clicks were made on the first slide, and only 1% of visitors actually clicked on the slider button. The best way to make an effective website is to instead make all the information clearly visible, so your potential customers aren’t missing any important information.
- Tiny fonts
This is probably the easiest problem to fix, and yet there are still websites out there that use too small of a font size. The standard font size for websites used to be 12 px, and people still stick to this trend. The problem with 12 px is that it’s right on the edge of being too small to read, meaning your site visitors are likely to lose their patience more quickly. A successful website instead has bold, big letters (between 35 and 43 px) to catch the visitors’ attention, with the actual information being around 15 or 18 px to avoid eye strain.
- Ignoring basic design elements
A lot of websites will try to seem more ‘modern’ or ‘innovative’ by veering from the traditional design. By traditional I mean including an About page, a Contact Information page, or an Employment page. Web surfers, well actually, people in general, hate to have to think. We are programmed to automatically search for those key words when visiting a website so that we can get what we need as quickly as possible. If potential customers have to spend too much time searching for what they need, there’s a very good chance they’ll get frustrated and leave your website!
- Be smart with colors
The best websites stick with a certain color theme throughout their website. This way, when there are certain buttons you want customers to press such as a ‘Buy Now’ button, these can be easily highlighted by making them a color that strays from the color theme. If instead the button was made a similar color as other links on the site, visitors are likely to either get confused or not even buy because the button didn’t pop-out at them. Try using a color that is: just bright enough to draw attention, used sparingly and only for similar action buttons throughout the site, and doesn’t clash with the color scheme of your site.
A great website can be the key to the success of a business. Don’t make these blunders and you’re on your way to a great site!