You can spend countless hours creating high-quality, relevant content for your website, but it’s not going to yield traffic and conversions unless your site is properly designed. Unfortunately, many webmasters take the wrong approach with web design by using outdated or otherwise ineffective techniques. Whether you’re building a website from scratch or redesigning an existing site, there are certain web design mistakes you should avoid.
Here are the top 10 web design mistakes that you don’t want to make
#1) Setting Links to Open in a New Tab or Window
In an effort to lower their site’s bounce rate, some webmasters set external links to open in a new tab or window. The general idea is to keep visitors on the site even when they click a link directing them to a different site. Although this seems harmless enough, it often confuses visitors while hurting the site’s user experience.
#2) Autoplay Video
Some web design mistakes involve intrusive content, such as autoplay video. If a visitor wants to watch a video on your site, he or she can click the play button. Forcing them to watch it creates a poor experience. Furthermore, autoplay video consumes significant server resources and bandwidth, which can slow down your site’s load times.
#3) Too Many Fonts
There’s nothing wrong with using a different font for titles and headers, but you should stick with a single font for your site’s main content. Using two or more fonts makes your site look messy, unattractive and difficult to read. So, use a single web-safe font like Arial, Times New Roman, Verdana or Georgia. In addition to improving your site’s aesthetics, this ensures that everyone who visits your site will see the text.
#4) Separate Mobile Domain
Most seasoned webmasters know the importance of creating a mobile-friendly website. According to Smart Insights, more than half of all web visitors use a smartphone or tablet to access the internet. However, some mistakes in web design occur when creating a mobile-friendly website. If you use a separate mobile domain, for instance, you’ll have to create and manage two versions of your site: one for desktop users and another for mobile users. Instead of using a separate mobile domain, use a responsive web design so that visitors on all devices can access your site.
#5) Low-Quality Images
When you think of common website design mistakes, images and photos probably don’t come to mind. Granted, not all images are bad, nor should you avoid using them altogether. Adding the right images can boost user engagement, increase your search rankings and drive more traffic to your site. However, you should avoid using low-quality images. Whether you create them yourself or purchase them from a stock photo website, only use high-quality images that are relevant to the page on which they are published.
Navigation plays an essential role in web design. According to Kissmetrics, website users expect to see navigation links either at the top of the site or in a left-hand side menu. Placing your site’s primary navigation links elsewhere may confuse visitors when they search for content. Stick with the traditional areas for your site’s navigation, emphasizing them with contrasting colors and a large font size.
#7) Infinite Scrolling
Web design mistakes can also involve the way in which your website scrolls. Infinite scrolling is one such tactic to avoid when designing your site. As the name suggests, it involves coding your site so that content is dynamically displayed as the user scrolls to the bottom. On a normal website, you can scroll to reach a bottom where the footer is displayed. On an infinite scrolling website, the bottom expands while displaying content like recent posts or pages. The Neilsen Norman Group (NNG) explains that infinite scrolling makes it difficult for users to remember where specific content is located on a website.
#8) Keyword Stuffing
Mistakes in web design often involve on-page content, particularly the use of keywords. As a webmaster, you probably know that the higher your site ranks in Google, the more traffic it receives. In hopes of achieving a top search ranking, some webmasters include an excessive amount of keywords in their site’s content. Known as keyword stuffing, this tactic dilutes the site’s content while offering little to no SEO benefit. Don’t stuff your site with keywords just for the sake of SEO. You can still include the keywords for which you want to rank in your site’s content, but you should include them naturally.
#9) Inconsistent Design
Inconsistency is a common element found in many common website design mistakes. If your website features different color schemes and layouts on different pages, you’ll struggle to keep users engaged. This is why it’s a good idea to use a common design template or theme, which you can replicate when creating new pages.
#10) Pop-Up Ads
Finally, don’t make the mistake of trying to monetize your website by designing it with pop-up ads. According to HubSpot, pop-up ads are the most annoying type of online ad. Users expect to see your site’s content, not an ad when visiting your site. If you deploy pop-up ads, you may send some of these users away from your site.
After reading this, you should have a better understanding of the top 10 mistakes in web design and how to avoid them. Just remember to monitor your site’s analytics to gain insight into how visitors’ perceive your site’s design