How to Avoid 5 Common Web Design Mistakes in 2017Last Updated: November 9, 2017
WHEN aiming to take your business online, the temptation to build your own website is alluring. Entrepreneurs at early startup phase might be reluctant to invest in a professional web design team. However, DIY websites are fraught with common web design mistakes, and these errors and judgement lapses can have a significantly detrimental impact, not only on your site, but also on your business.
It’s a question of balancing the viability of, on one hand, spending the money now for a fantastic looking and fully functional site that will bring your business a whole new audience; or, on the other, saving now and creating a site that will most likely require money and time to fix at a later stage.
Here are the 5 most common web design mistakes in DIY websites.
1. Structure & Navigation
NOVICE designers often choose site structure templates on a purely aesthetic basis. If it looks good, it must be great, right? No. The best structure and navigation of a site is determined by the needs of your market. For professional developers, navigation is the most important aspect of a site. If you choose a structure or template based on the prettiest theme and it’s possible that your users will find it confusing, which is bad news for your SEO.
2. A Disconnect with Business Goals
The best commercial websites are not the ones that ‘look good’, although that helps, of course. But to really perform for the good of the business, the site must be built with the end-user in mind. This requires not only a profound understanding of what your customer is most likely to want from the site, but also the technical expertise to transfer these needs into simple ‘calls to action’ on your site. Whether you want prospective customers to telephone, or fill out a form, or buy an item online—or perhaps all three—each of these options requires distinct design principles. Failing to include clear ‘calls to action’, can limit your site’s potential for maximising sales.
3. Slow Loading Speeds
IT HAS been found that a website must load within 3 seconds, or risk losing well over a third of its potential audience. The speed of a website is always determined by its graphics, images and video, and how the designer has managed this content. Professionals are expert in making your site look attractive while keeping its speed and loading times snappy. But if you don’t have any experience in compressing images, for example, your site is likely to be sluggish.
4. No Mobile Functionality
STANDARD web design has its own complexities and boxes to tick, but mobile presents an entirely distinct set of design and SEO challenges. This will require you to think about not only a different or distinctive target market, but also about screen size and shape, appropriate fonts and images, and other technical aspects. Mobile has become increasingly important, especially for new businesses. If your site is not designed for mobile, you are missing out. At worst, you could be severely damaging the credibility of your business.
5. Imbalanced Focus on End Users or Search Engines
THE best commercial websites are those whose designs have been optimised for both search engines and the audience. The most common mistake is an emphasis on the one at the expense of the other. As we have seen already at Point 1, the fundamentals of getting this balance right begin with the website structure and navigation. Images and speed are also an important aspect of this process. Striking a balance between the robots of Google and your human audience is much more effective if done from the bottom up and the inside out. Failure to appreciate this fine balance is perhaps the most serious of novice web design mistakes. Getting it right from the beginning means that you don’t lose valuable traffic in the beginning, or later if your site has to be redesigned.