What did I do to deserve this? You don’t want a visitor to ask themselves this question when they stumble upon a website right? Well, they won’t if the website is clean, great looking, and fully functional! Even though everyone knows what constitutes a good website, even the pros tend to make blunders while designing a site.
Besides making sure that the visitors don’t get a headache, web designers need to avoid some common mistakes. You might get so engrossed in your work that even the most obvious errors can skip your eye. That’s why we have prepared a list of 7 common web design mistakes you might be making. These mistakes can kill ROI, sabotage the online success of a business, and drastically reduce the effectiveness of a website. Let’s dig in.
Website Not Being Mobile-Friendly
With more and more users switching to mobile devices for internet surfing, mobile responsiveness is not optional anymore. But a responsive website will adapt to every viewport and fit accordingly, thus, presenting the same design and features. The design should be such that users don’t have to endure the pain of constant zooming in and out, and content spilling out of their screens.
The biggest mistake that doesn’t make a website mobile friendly is creating drop-down menus that don’t respond well to touch. Designers make them clickable but it can take the user to a load of irrelevant stuff if the menus aren’t touch-friendly. Another feature that works well on a desktop is hovering but not so much on mobile devices. In a nutshell, web designers should make sure that users have equally excellent experiences irrespective of the devices.
Using Difficult-To-Read Fonts and Colors
When users encounter a website with a white background and light grey text, it looks like they are going to get sucked into the screen pretty soon. They shouldn’t have to look like they are figuring out the structure of blood cells under a microscope! When it comes to selecting the font color, the higher the contrast, the more convenient it is for the user to read.
The same goes for font-size. If the website’s text is too big it would seem like a children’s book. This way, potential customers are unlikely to take a business seriously. On the other hand, font size too tiny would prompt users to fetch a magnifying glass which they obviously won’t! Remember, if a website’s font gives them a headache, they will curse the design while popping an aspirin.
Disabled Zoom Feature on Mobile Websites
The whole point of making a website responsive is to help users avoid constant zooming in and out. But that doesn’t mean you disable the feature altogether! There might be a picture in between the content that the users might want to get a clear view of.
Sometimes, no matter how appropriate the size of the fonts you select is, visitors have their own comfort zone for reading. If they have to squint too much at a tiny chunk of text, they’ll just hop on a competitor’s website.
If you have ever read a book on Kindle, you must be familiar with the zoom feature and would have probably thanked it before. That’s how it works with users browsing on their mobile devices. It offers more freedom, give them the choice of navigating at their own accord, thereby, creating a good impression.
Background Audios and Videos
Yes, we know that the primary purpose of a website is to gain attention. It’s easy to think of a sudden playing sound as a great way to catch attention, in reality, you are just guiding them towards the cross button above. Imagine scrolling through to a website sitting in a library and having blasting sound coming from your laptop. Don’t tell me that the judgy stares won’t bother you even a bit.
Most readers prefer their screen still while reading content. Videos can act as a distraction and irritate them instead of enticing users. If you do have audio and videos embedded, try turning the autoplay off. Most users as it is search for close or mute as soon as random videos and audios start playing.
High Loading Time
Have you ever noticed while talking to people that most humans are usually impatient? When they behave this way online, imagine how short their attention span will be when they are online with no one to disappoint. The back button can be a website’s worst enemy when an impatient user is scrolling. So it’s clear, your website should load fast. But how fast should it be to avoid letting a user go? Well, most people like a web page to load within 2 seconds. Moreover, when they are browsing on mobile, the patience level further declines.
So, to avoid the probability of increased bounce rates, web designers should make sure that the page load time is as less as possible. In my experience, anything beyond three seconds can be a deal-breaker. There are many websites out there offering value, be the fastest to do the same and the users won’t give a glance at competitors!
Incorrectly placed pop over
A popover is a great way to immediately catch the attention of the users. But they serve their purpose only as long as designers take care of the timing of their placement. The sole intent of content marketing is to offer value before encouraging opt-in. But if a website displays pop over immediately after users arrived on a page, it’s not much of use.
For instance, how can you expect someone to sign up for your email list before they get a glimpse into your content? A good idea would be to have a user stay on a page for some time before the box shows up. Just the other day, I was browsing a website when a box suddenly popped up and I wasn’t able to find the cross button. In some cases, the exit button doesn’t even work on mobile devices. Make sure this doesn’t happen at all costs!
Space Hogging Sticky Headers
Sometimes, navigation menus and branding blocks can take up a lot of space. Normally, a user can scroll past and they will disappear. But in the case of sticky headers, they are glued to the browser window at the top. As the users scroll to browse, it can block a lot of useful content. Even though sticky headers can have some really great benefits, web designers have to be careful with their use. If they cause UX issues they are not worth it.
Never ever stuff sticky menus and headers with content if they are too big and cause discomfort. Always remember to leave lots of room for primary content. No user should feel claustrophobic while browsing through a website. One solution is to reduce the height of the sticky header. But if that’s not possible, another idea is to make them slightly transparent. If users can see see the images and text through it, it wouldn’t put them off.
Not every user is navigating through a website on the big screen. Even if a user is browsing the internet on a desktop, sticky headers can make them suffer if the screen of the laptop is small. Hamburger menus can solve the problem to a great extent on mobile devices.
If you want to design a successful website, the most important factor is optimal performance irrespective of the device, browser, browser version, or interface. There are two main points web designers need to keep in mind. First, note the above mistakes and vow to never commit or repeat them again. Second, use a tool that offers to test a website on different devices, in-built DevTools, on-the-go debugging, and other similar crucial functionality.
LT Browser goes the extra mile by offering users the provision of creating their own custom devices. Another feature that’s a big time-saver is side by side mobile view of the site without having to switch screens. You can even test local websites without using tunnels and extensions. Designers can use the lighthouse report to enhance site performance.
Web design is not all about painting a pretty picture in front of users. People can get past some ugly UI and focus on its usefulness. But the combination of pretty and pointless never amounts to anything. So, how about combining good looks with great value? Works in real life as well as for websites!
A site is the face of a business and design determines whether more people get to see it. So, what are you waiting for? Design a killer website, help a business thrive, and chill while watching your work create an impact!