Make your web site easy to use & navigate
The world wide web will go down in history as the start or pinnacle of the digital revolution, we’re not sure yet. We have gone from “do I need a website?” to “if you don’t have one, you basically don’t exist”. The problem is you are competing with many businesses and their websites. And with so many options, if someone does land on your site you need to make it count or they will move on. Yes your website presence precedes the quality of your products. Many users think that if they can’t use your website, what will your products or services be like? Fair point.
Here are five common website design mistakes to avoid at all costs.
Mistake 1: Clutter
Too many business owners try to put too much on their website, especially on the home page. This includes information images and video and design elements. What results is a cluttered site that will make your eyes bleed and your brain fuddled. Clutter makes a site busy and difficult to use, it turns decision-making into a nightmare and it confuses users as to what the site is about and where they want to go.
Solution 1: Keep it simple.
You can fit in plenty of interesting and useful information without cluttering up your site and confusing your users. Remove anything that is not absolutely essential, particularly on the homepage, and rather add in additional pages than clutter up the existing ones.
Mistake 2: Not fully compatible with all browsers and mobile devices
So your website is built, it looks great, is well designed and has good content. You test it on your computer which runs one particular browser and you declare it all good. You go live and spread the word to your customers only to receive some rather disappointing feedback. “I can’t see this page properly”, “this page doesn’t load”, or “it doesn’t work properly on my tablet”. You obviously haven’t designed it for all browsers and mobile devices and it turns out that it doesn’t work on all of them. You’ve just lost half your market in one fell swoop.
Solution 2: Test, test & test again
Design for all browsers and then test it properly on all of them, at least the five main ones; Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Opera, and Safari. Make sure it works on all mobile devices including phones and different sized tablets.
Mistake 3: Poor navigation
This is a basic rule but one that many web designers ignore at their clients’ peril. Navigation should be simple. If you want to do something different, do so but make sure that whoever arrives at your site can get around quickly and easily without having to search for where to go. A top navigation or left hand side navigation bar is the basic simplest and most acceptable way of directing people around your website. Don’t stray too far from these.
Solution 3: Get it right
Ensure that that there is a clear navigation bar on every page. Top or left navigation bars are really all you need. An easy-to-find site map is always useful because it allows users to see an overall view of your entire website at a glance.
Mistake 4: Too much content & keyword stuffing
Content plays a critical role in your website. How much of it, how it is displayed and what’s it’s made up of. Many business owners think that if they stuff their company name and as many keywords into their content as possible, people will come. Not true. You need to avoid content-heavy pages and Google actually punishes websites with too many keywords. Additionally putting your business name in every paragraph makes your content awkward to read and seems forced and desperate.
Solution 4: Use a content specialist.
Too many people spend a lot of money on the design and then decide to write the copy themselves because they think they can. There are plenty of talented content writers who will do the job for you and trust us it’s worth it. They will make sure the copy is well written and SEO optimised without stuffing it with keywords. Instead they will use well-placed keywords spaced throughout the web site. Also most people scan web pages, so use lots of bolded headings allowing users to easily find what they are looking for.
Mistake 5: Using a cheap design agency: