Regardless of how knowledgeable and skillful your team is, things don't always run smoothly during the process of project development. Even the biggest professionals and IT experts make mistakes. With so many challenging tasks and looming deadlines they need to juggle on a daily basis, it’s virtually impossible not to make mistakes along the way. However, web design mistakes can have a detrimental effect on the effectiveness of the website and on the overall business and should, therefore, be avoided. While sometimes it’s impossible to predict certain mistakes due to the nature of the project, it’s always advisable to find a way or devise a technique to address these mistakes and prevent them. Here are some of the most common mistakes your team might make during project development and the ways how to avoid them.
1. Navigation that is difficult to handle
When site visitors are searching for specific information, they expect to know where they are at any given moment and to navigate freely through website pages. If a user is unable to swiftly find the link to some of the website sections, he/she may decide to leave that page and visit another site. What’s more, using drop-down menus may force the user to choose multiple times, which may be really frustrating.
To avoid this scenario, designers should devise a navigation bar on every page that guides visitors to the pages they are searching for. In addition, while horizontal navigation should be available at the top of the page, the vertical one should be placed on the left. Make sure you avoid drop-down menus and place important information right at the beginning. In this way, you will draw your users’ attention and make their search much easier and simpler.
2. Bad use of color and contrast
Despite their effort to make an eye-catching website, novice web designers tend to combine too many colors and fonts which ultimately produces a counter effect. Pages should have a unified look, be consistent and precise. While wrong colors that fail to match the site’s theme have an adverse effect on the overall look of the site, too many fonts will make the text less readable and difficult to understand. The aim is to convince the visitors that your website is solid and stable and that they can easily track any information they are looking for. To achieve this, you need to:
- Use maximum three colors and fonts per page
-Choose colors that match the theme, the goal you are trying to achieve with your product or service and your website’s design
Keep in mind that your website colors and fonts should also look good on various devices.
3. Disrespecting the elements of art and design
One of the things that may cause confusion among users is the lack of design consistency. Design consistency has a major role in creating a successful web page as it establishes interaction pattern over time. For example, a failure to create a delete button in one email folder can make the user frustrated, as he will not be able to delete an email. Before you design your web page, you need to think about your user’s expectations and try to answer the question - what does your user want to be able to do?
If you want to keep your design consistent, you need to stick to the same link formatting and use icons following the same style. In this way, your users will navigate through your website much more easily and spend more time on it. Moreover, make sure you listen to your client’s requirements carefully and keep them regularly updated about the project. This way, you will avoid making mistakes that can be harmful to the overall project and leave your customer unsatisfied. To achieve this, you can take a look at the project management software comparison and choose the tool that works best for you. Project management tools will facilitate communication between you and a client and help you deliver the best results.
4. Outdated information
Keeping your website’s content regularly updated and relevant is of crucial importance when it comes to increasing website’s visibility. However, there are still many advisors who disregard the importance of fresh data and keep outdated information on their website. This undoubtedly has a harmful effect on the success of both the business and the product.
If potential clients found your old, outdated website, they might consider you to be unable to keep in touch with the ever-increasing demands of doing business. Consequently, you might end up losing your credibility. If you want your website to have a significant impact on your marketing initiatives, you need to keep your content relevant, alive and consistent. In addition, make sure you fix any mistakes you come across in the text.
5. Inappropriate use of analytics tools
The only efficient way to measure your website’s success is by using some of the analytics tools such as Google Search Console. Even the most successful world brands are constantly testing and optimizing their websites in order to increase traffic and create a powerful customer base. If you fail to properly set up the site’s analytics or decide not to use an analytics tool at all, you will not be able to identify poorly performing pages and analyze important conversion flows. By using big data and associated analysis approach, you will support your company better and significantly increase customer loyalty.
6. Failing to link your social network sites
The ubiquity of social media has an incredible impact on various aspects of our lives, including business. If you want to increase your brand’s visibility and gain a competitive advantage in today’s ever-increasing market, you must market your business on various social platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest. Naturally, using various social media platforms to advertise your product or service will only work if you let your customers easily navigate from one platform to another. This will not only increase your customer loyalty, but it will also drive massive traffic to your site and improve your ranking.
Finally, no matter how much we tried to keep everything in the loop, mistakes will happen. Although they can seriously damage your business, they are a part of a learning process that we all need to experience before we master the necessary techniques that will help us prevent these mistakes from happening in future.
Author’s bio: Rachel is currently working as the Vice President of communications at Active Collab. After finishing her Master's degree in Communications, she pursued a career in the digital industry, most notably in marketing and public relations.