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5 Common Mistakes in Web Design

I've had businesses come to me and ask for a web design consult. All too often, the creators of these websites make these common missteps.

Common Web Design Mistakes from the Perspective of a UX Designer

Using a Template Based Site Design

The issue with a template based web design is it's not created with your audience and your users in mind. Template based web designs are created for one purpose: get a site up and running - fast. While that seems like a great solution to your web presence, it can cost you down the line.

A successful web design requires planning. You should plan your site around these common questions:

  • What is the purpose of my website?
  • How do I mean to connect with my audience?
  • What are the goals of my website?

By asking yourself these basic questions, you can avoid creating a site that doesn't connect with your users and doesn't convert.

Inconsistent Padding & Margins

This easily leads to chaos on a web page which causes distractions and doesn't guide your users through your intended flow.

When you begin to plan your site, a very necessary step is creating the wireframe. By doing so, you avoid layout pitfalls that lead to your users navigating away.

  • Establish the flow of your site
  • Create your prototype with your goals in mind
  • Stick to the margins and padding laid out in your prototype and be sure to optimize across all breakpoints (large desktop, typical desktop, tablet, portrait mobile, and landscape mobile - to name a few).

Long Paragraphs

This is a tricky item as there is a fine line between too much content and too little.

You want to have content broken up into digestible bits for your readers, but you want to have enough verbiage on your webpage to hit your search engine optimization goals. This typically means planning out your copy keeping both those things in mind.

Your copy should:

  • Educate and demonstrate your value to your potential customers
  • Not overwhelm with confusing verbiage
  • Use your buzz words, naturally
  • Have hierarchy and structure in your content

Using Images that Don't Bring Value

I see this one often - stock images GALORE. Yes, having images brings value. Imagery can create a visual or emotional connection with your audience; however, images for the sake of having an image will make your site look spammy and unreliable. I see this often in my own field of web design - stock images of people sitting at a computer, or laughing as they speak with a client. These types of images are cheesy and don't really showcase your value.

Your images need to:

  • Represent your brand effectively
  • Show your value or the value of the service/product you offer
  • Engage and add value to your website
  • Appear seamlessly and don't stick out

By ensuring your images do the above mentioned items, you will find your images work for you instead of against.

Not Properly Utilizing the Above the Fold Section

This is likely the biggest issue with websites that have a high bounce rate.

You have nearly 2 seconds to grab a users attention and convey what you do - from the moment they click on your domain.

If your above the fold contains:

  • A generic stock image
  • Copy that's vague and indirect
  • No call to action

Your website simply won't compete. The above the fold section is the most important section to plan, as it's the first impression your users get when they land on your web page; plan it and use it wisely.

I hope these tips help you increase the effectiveness of your website!

Best of luck and as always, no trees were harmed in the making of this article.

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