The website of a company or a business is much more than a group of pages filled with information about that business and its products. A website acts as the anchor of a business’s online presence. It is also responsible for delivering a good user experience and getting the right key messages across. More importantly, a business website is responsible for converting an audience into customers.
With so many objectives to accomplish, the design of a website is critically important. Everything, from good UX to branding, depends on the way a website is designed. Unfortunately, many businesses still make old-school, common mistakes when designing their websites, even in 2018.
It’s 2018; are we still talking about when to and NOT to use popups? Sadly, the answer to this question is still a big YES. Many businesses use popups to capture the attention of their visitors, even when they know how ineffective – and annoying – popups can really be.
Visitors don’t come to your site to see popup advertisements. They are not there to sign up for a newsletter without first getting to know your business. Displaying a popup as soon as visitors open the site is a big mistake many still make in 2018.
You can use popups to strategically highlight important calls to action or information. Popups are even useful for streamlining the user experience in certain parts of the site. That said, you have to be extra careful about when to use a popup and the kind of information you display in the popup window.
Auto-play Videos and Sound
Another mistake that annoys the majority of internet users is the use of auto-play video or audio on a website. It is even worse when the video or audio player isn’t easy to find; some sites even go as far as hiding the video or audio player at the bottom of the page or on the sidebar by design.
Stop forcing your audience to consume your content. Visitors coming to a website with auto-play videos tend to mute or stop the video immediately. Even worse, they are already so annoyed by the auto-play video that they don’t even consider taking the content of that video seriously.
Another thing worth noting about auto-play video and audio is the fact that Google Chrome and other browsers will soon punish sites with this type of content. Even the search engine arm of Google is ranking sites with auto-play videos down as an added punishment.
Small, Grey Text
A couple of years ago, almost all big sites used a shade of grey as the main color for their text. The same sites also used a smaller font size to give the appearance of a modern and clean website. Those same design trends no longer work in 2018, yet many sites stand by them still.
Forget about grey, small text. What you want is content that is pleasant to read, and that means using black font against a white or light background and keeping the font size big enough for everyday users. Anything above 14px is recommended.
It is also recommended to keep lines separated and to pay close attention to the font family you use. Some fonts are designed for maximum readability, while others are more suited to short texts like headlines or menu items.
Enough with the Carousels
Yes, sliders must go. Animated sliders may seem like a good way to display more contents, but they are outdated, look old, and aren’t as effective as you think. According to web design experts from designbypelling.co.uk, sliders and carousels disrupt the flow of user experience more than they add to the UX.
In fact, this UK web design agency reveals that the first slide gets more than 80% of the visitors’ attention, while the remaining slides receive no more than 2%. The click percentage of sliders is even lower than that. It is clear that sliders are no longer the way to go.
Visitors prefer simple and straightforward web design where all functions are clear. Instead of using sliders, find ways to deliver the information and key messages you want to get across using simple layout and web elements that are pleasant to use.
A Different Design for Mobile
There are two approaches when it comes to making a website friendly for mobile users. You can either have a dedicated mobile page or use responsive design to accommodate mobile users. Regardless of the approach, you take, creating a consistent user experience is a must.
Many businesses still fail to implement this simple principle. They incorporate a completely different look and feel to their mobile site, creating an uncomfortable experience for the users. Sticking to the branding and design guidelines is all you need to do to avoid having the same problem with your mobile site.
As you can see, most of these common mistakes are petty, but they are annoying and disruptive in the eyes of internet users. Make sure you avoid making the same mistakes to deliver a smooth, streamlined user experience with your business website.