Popular mistakes in website design
2 December 2021
You run a business – do you have an online presence? Even in the age of social media, having a website is important. As we turn around in the digital world, we notice that a lot of websites are difficult to navigate. In this article, you’ll read about four basic website design mistakes.
Mismatch between the language of communication and the audience
“Howdy Fellows”, “Welcome to you”, “Bubbler 3000 is the best thing that could happen to you”. – anyone who has not encountered such expressions online should be the first to switch off the computer. Linguistic convention is fundamental in building a relationship with the audience. Unfortunately, the language used on websites is often not adapted to the audience.
The first of the common mistakes is the infantilisation of communication. The overuse of colloquial language effectively covers up the professionalism of the company in question. It makes the recipient not understand what the sender wants to communicate. On the opposite side is the second linguistic problem, namely overly professional language. Excessive professionalism is also a barrier for recipients, especially those outside the industry. Therefore, it is advisable to rely on professional vocabulary given in an accessible form.
A third weakness of company websites is an excessive focus on SEO. It is hard to read a text that consists mainly of keywords, often not conjugated. Indigestible communication causes the visitor to leave the site quickly. This reflects negatively on its SEO and destroys all the effort devoted to SEO.
Unintuitive website navigation
“Nice website, but where can I find information about…”. – The visitor comes to the site with a specific purpose. He usually needs to find the answer to a specific question. The visual layer then becomes his ally or enemy. If aesthetics win out over ergonomics, it is likely that the quality of the user experience will be low.
Why? Because they came to the site with a specific need. When the effort spent on fulfilling a particular expectation has been too great, the viewer will abandon further search. Therefore, it is worth taking the time to intuitively include all the basic information and messages for which the visitor comes to the site.
Incompatible mobile version
Where do you browse the internet most often? On a phone, tablet or perhaps a computer? Data from the sites we manage shows that more than 70% of website traffic comes from mobile devices. What’s more, the first contact with the website is usually from a phone. The share of visits via computers is currently less than 25%, while tablets generate around 3-5% of traffic. The term ‘mobile first’ did not come out of nowhere.
So what is the mistake of corporate websites? Designing for desktop and only then adapting the site for mobile. An overemphasis on PC users has a negative impact on those using smartphones and tablets. Creative ideas implemented on a desktop site can sometimes be difficult to replicate on a mobile site. Therefore, it makes sense to design a great mobile version that catches the viewer’s attention first and then to transfer these ideas to the desktop version.
An excess of pop-ups and other distractors
“Sign up for the newsletter!” or “Last chance for training!!!!!” – aren’t such messages sometimes annoying for us? Especially when they pop up from everywhere and obscure the main content of the page? Site visitors are more likely to perceive such aggressive communication negatively, so that the benefits achieved from potential clicks on the banner are less than the effort expended to launch it. The mere appearance of a banner is no bad thing, but clicking through more than one pop-up is already a gaffe today.
Also, flashy aesthetics can sometimes be tiresome for the visitor. Too many elements on a page are distracting and lead to frustration. The modern internet user develops subconscious habits by visiting hundreds of websites a day. Therefore, he or she automatically searches for specific information in specific places. Such behaviour is analysed using heat maps that show where the visitor’s attention is focused. Failure to take into account the preferences of the audience reduces their satisfaction with the site visit.
How can these mistakes be avoided?
We are of the opinion that building a website requires a longer analytical process, during which the needs and expectations of future visitors are researched. It is therefore worth taking the time to do this. Even if a website is already in place, it can usually be modified with little effort, thus eliminating at least some of the errors described.
Something we strongly advise against is procrastinating upgrading your website. An archaic website is the most discouraging, so it’s worth refreshing your virtual business card once in a while (every 5-8 years, for example). Your online image matters, so we encourage you to take a critical look at your website and implement the necessary changes to avoid the mistakes described in our article.