10 Common Site Design Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Is your website doing all it can for your business?

You may be making one of these all-too-common site design blunders. Find out how to fix it here.

Site design is an art. And like with any art, it's easy to make mistakes.

If you're running a small business and want to provide a hub for potential customers to get information or you want to make your website your business, you'll need to focus on correcting any design mistakes that could impede usability and aesthetics that could deter potential customers.

We put together a guide to ten major site design mistakes that website owners make all the time, so you can be sure to avoid them.

Check out these common web design mishaps!

Studying site design resources can help improve your site's design, but nobody is totally guilt free when it comes to these common design faux pas.

Don't fret if you're guilty of committing some of these site design crimes. We'll show you how to avoid them in the future.

10. Having no plan whatsoever

Many novice site designers think that they can just dive right into designing their website without a plan.

This is a big mistake. Not only is a plan useful, but it really is a necessary part of designing a successful website.

Make a list of things you want out of your website.

Is it for a business, or is the website itself your business?

Is it important that shopping cart buttons are visible? Do you want to encourage visitors to sign up for a mailing list?

Is a clean, white, minimalist site that's easy to navigate something you want?

Build a plan that includes your website's needs, functions you want to implement, and what content you want to be showcased.

9. A cluttered mess

Less is always more when it comes to website design.

Nearly 90% of users surveyed by Hubspot revealed that an easy to use and navigate website is way more valuable than something with a major design focus.

If your website is super cluttered and it isn't easy to find important navigation links, visitors are going to leave your website. And losing visitors means losing potential customers.

Keep your design simple. Keep in mind that simple does not automatically equal boring, either.

You can absolutely use images and colors to create a vibrant web page, but try to avoid implementing too much of the following:

  • Pop-ups
  • Auto-start videos
  • Auto-start audio
  • Invasive ads that cover up content
  • Inconsistent navigation
  • Your visitors and potential customers will appreciate it.

8. Garbage navigation

We're probably sounding like a broken record at this point, but focusing on user-friendly navigation is very important.

Think of it this way. Your users are going to your website for a reason. That reason varies, but there is always intent when it comes to accessing websites.

Maybe a visitor wants to view your menu or find your business hours.

Make it very clear where to find this information through a navigation sidebar or header.

While creating your site design plan, think of all the reasons visitors would want to visit your site and what information they might be looking for. Organize your navigation section accordingly.

7. Bad color theory

Even if you've never been to art school, understanding the basics of color theory is actually really simple.

The opposite color on the spectrum compliments a different color. Building a color theme for your website around this idea is wise.

Also, remember that your customers need to be able to read your content. Don't burn their eyeballs with a fluorescent yellow background, and don't but black text against a slightly less black background.

6. Skipping the test run

This is just bad business.

Once you've designed your website and want it to go live, you'll need to test it on the following devices:

  • Laptop
  • Tablet
  • Smartphone

We're not saying you have to go out a purchase expensive devices to test your website. Hit up a friend and ask them to check out your site on their phone and take in feedback. You can also use a service like BrowserStack.com which allows you to test on any device.

In this same vein, you should always optimize your website for mobile viewing.

5. Too little whitespace

Whitespace is the space between blocks of text, images, and navigation.

It's pretty much been proven that visitors to a website will be less anxious and more comfortable navigating your website if there is an ample amount of whitespace to break up large blocks of text.

Smooshing your content really close together can result in an overwhelming design that not many people will appreciate.

Your whitespace doesn't necessarily need to be white, either. You just need some separation and negative space to provide optimum usability.

Experiment with different fonts and size to further help break up text. Experiment with headings and image placement as well.

4. Not getting with the times

If you learned the basics of HTML in the late 1990's, you may not know enough about modern coding and site design.

Out of date designs are an eyesore to most website visitors. Visit popular websites to get a feel for what direction web design has taken and applied their elements to your own site.

Go a step further and sign up for coding and design email lists to learn more about hot and popular features for websites. You don't need to be obsessed with this one, but it helps to be in the know.

3. No sharing options

You can access a wealth of visitors by being social media ready.

When you create content like blog posts on your website that visitors find interesting, they are going to want to share what they've read on social media.

Be sure to add sharing options in the form of easy to identify buttons to multiple locations on your site. Always include a sharing options bar to the bottom of every blog post you publish.

Nothing's quite as annoying as a broken link to a location you really wanted to access.

Test your website frequently to make sure that links are functioning.

1. Asking for registration prematurely

Users will sign up for your mailing list or make an account on your site when you have established your value to them.

Making it impossible to advance past a certain point without signing up before you have offered them something useful will lead to users abandoning ship.

Be sure to provide users with something before you try to get their information.

Design Your Website The Right Way

Was our guide to site design helpful? Tell us what you think in the comments below!

Interested in hiring us to professionally design your website and handle all these site design challenges for you? Reach out to us today or go here for a great website promotion offer: http://web-design.buildyoursite.com

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Tem is the CEO of BuildYourSite.com, a web agency providing web & digital marketing solutions to small businesses. When he's not producing great results for clients, he's spending time with his boys.
Miami, FL Website