Bad Website Design Destroys the Customer ExperienceJuly 10, 2020
4 Common Website Design Mistakes You May Be Guilty Of
Your website is your business’s digital home. Everything you do, theoretically, should lead your potential customers back to your website. But what then? With good website design, that should be obvious. Customers shouldn’t have to work to find the information they seek or to purchase a product.
With all of the information available via a simple search, all of the analytical data businesses have available to them to test performance, and with all of the themes, templates, and boxed designs pushed by platforms, you’d think that bad design would be a thing of the past.
But the truth is – bad website design is rampant across the Internet.
Pre-packaged themes and designs take care of simple mistakes like color clashing, resizing, and overflow. But, the larger design issues have to do with user experience (UX). And companies all over the world, big and small, are doing it Wrong!
Slow Website Load Times
This is the number one issue across the web. Many people build websites and never test the load time. They assume because the site loads well for them, that it will load well for all viewers. This simply isn’t true.
Internet connection, device, and caching are just 3 of the reasons load time can be different for every viewer.
There are many things that can lead to slower load time such as large content elements, unused elements in a theme or template that must still load before the page is viewable, code errors, and not caching your site.
Test your site speed and optimize your website for faster load time.
We’ve all been to websites that take forever to load the initial images, or worse yet, have blank boxes for most of our viewing session because the content couldn’t load in time.
In small to midsized businesses the people uploading content to the website are often content writers, or some other employee that has been tasked with the job but has no real website development experience. So, they upload the content, add the image to the page and Viola – they are done.
But web images have to be treated differently; they must be resized and compressed. The standard smartphone image is over 3 mb. These images are too large for web viewing. Large images take time to load and the more images the slower your site speed. You will want to get most of your image file sizes under 100 k.
The solution is to compress website images, all of them, every time! It takes a few extra steps, but is crucial to overall site performance.
Auto Play Videos
Auto playing videos on your main navigation pages is a sure way to get viewers to bounce. While there may be a place for auto plays on some landing pages, we recommend avoiding them all together.
It is a breach of trust to lead viewers to your site or a landing page and then bombard them with a video they were unprepared for. The initial shock is often enough to set potential buyers on edge.
Once the walls are up, you have a much harder time convincing them to convert. Often, they will just leave your site.
Interrupting Display Ads
For years people have been told to avoid pop-up ads. They are irritating, are subject to ad blockers, and are potential liabilities in terms of security.
But, common replacements for outdated popup ads is placing auto generating display ads in between content blocks or interstitial ads (the ones that cover the screen a few seconds after page load or at certian scroll points).
Interstitial ads on mobile can be punished by Google, and are very disruptive to the user.
Display ads, on the other hand, when done right are effective and unobtrusive. But often, this style of advertising goes awry.
Ads are placed between content blocks, forcing the viewer to at least see the ad.
This is bad UX. Regardless of what marketing gurus tell you. These ads take the user out of your content. You break their concentration and take them out of the experience. One might argue that is the point, that pattern interrupt is why these ads are successful.
But, numbers show that people are beginning to ignore these ads all together. They simply scroll past them – much like people learned to ignore animated and flash ads in the early 2000s. There is also another major issue with this style of advertising – Ads often don’t load.
We’ve all experienced sites where as you are reading an article an ad will load late forcing the page to reset, and you are taken to the top of the page to start again. Or, as you scroll you hit a large, blank, block where an ad should have been and you have difficulty scrolling past it, only to be taken back to that spot when the ad finally loads. This is more common on phone and tablet viewing, but does happen on laptop and desktop as well. Is it any wonder why this style of advertising can lead to high bounce rates?
Integrate your advertising into your layout seamlessly. If you use content interrupting ads, do so in a way that doesn’t require them to load separately.
There are many elements to good website design. Though modern advertising has convinced many people that predesigned templates are the cheaper, faster way to a high performing website, but that is simply not the case.
When planning your website design, think about the user. Just like with architecture, fashion, and interior design – just because it looks stunning doesn’t mean the design is effective.
User experience and practical application should come first. Sacrificing these means you’re sacrificing your conversion rate.
Coming soon: 3 Website Design Mistakes You’re Probably Making