When designing or doing a significant re-design of your website or other online properties, missteps that potentially damage your digital performance abound, meaning you fail to capitalize on the opportunities presented or even face poor returns on your investment.
Major designs involve a multitude of decisions, each working in tandem to deliver positive results. Avoiding design mistakes is just as important as making the right decisions, and the two pursuits usually go hand in hand. However, when designing websites for your online audience, it’s true that you can both overthink and underthink your strategy, which can damage your digital performance.
Even firms that produce massive profits for their firms, such as Amazon, do not present the best, cleanest, and most streamlined websites. Sometimes, a website is too slick, or for large and successful initiatives the website may retain a few flaws. For instance, downtime and denial of service problems shut down the site when too many users search at the same time, such as on Prime Day. From the standpoint of Amazon suppliers, massive problems exist with the review system, which routinely removes valid reviews while allowing negative reviews from competitors and other fraudulent reviews to remain. Vendor price and description adjustments are frequently delayed, causing confusion among buyers.
Hence, website design involves more than the pretty pictures and text used to create the site. It involves functionality, as a core concept for buyers, vendors, and employees working on the backend of the website.
Web design is a public-facing effort, showing the taste, practicality, forward-thinking, and also competent nature of your entire business. A business’s web platform may look sleek and well presented, but it lacks security or functionality, there’s a hole in the proverbial water bucket that leaks profits and leads to unhappy customers.
So, how does a firm develop a website and other social properties that maximize profits? That’s the question and finding the right answer is critical because the more web design mistakes you avoid, the less damage your digital performance faces. For that reason, we collected some of the following advice to help avoid digital design pitfalls.
Busy landing pages
A clean, inviting landing page is imperative as it gives visitors the first look at your brand. Remember being told the importance of your appearance since others form an impression of you in the first seconds after meeting? It’s the same for your website.
It doesn’t matter if visitors come through a Google Search, through social media, or by referral, visitors must find an inviting landing page with easy navigation tools to move around the website as fits their needs.
Visitors want a lot of things when visiting your website, including support, search, information, etc, but loading the landing page with big blocks of text or random images, doesn’t work. Instead, visitors choose to leave your site if they don’t see what they want in just a few seconds. You want visitors to stay on your website, visiting multiple pages. Not only does this help with SEO, it means you’re offering customized journeys that allow visitors to navigate through your website in a way that works for their needs.
For an example of an overly busy landing page, head to Amazon, and see just how many hyperlinks, offers, deals, services, and payment plan options they offer just on the homepage. It can be dizzying to start. While frequent visitors are likely nonplused by the over-stimulation of the home page, new visitors likely find it impossible to process the many challenges to their cognitive processing and leave.
Consider the amount of information on your homepage and the organization of that information, which also impacts cognitive load. Head on over to my homepage to see how organization groups like elements together, allowing visitors to easily scroll past information that’s not interesting to them. If you find your traffic heatmap shows that certain areas are virtually unused, don’t be afraid to prune the information. Use heatmaps and other tools to clean up any landing page you feel needs improvement.
Too much forced engagement
Users have their own motivations to visit your website and interfering with their ability to satisfy their goals, replacing them with goals that satisfy your own needs, is a recipe to damage your digital performance.
Examples of circumventing visitor goals with your own include pop-ups that block information with ads or subscription requests, chatbots asking to provide assistance, or requirements for registration before you have a chance to determine whether the site is useful. For instance, box meals are popular with busy people, often in small households. Yet, most box websites require registration before a visitor gets a chance to see menu options. Then, the visitor is bombarded with email requests to order meals even after determining the menus don’t cater to their likes.
Instead, save subscription requests or advertising for after the visit, which allows visitors to determine whether they want to engage with your brand.
However, a website that lists its legally required notice for collecting cookies, as well as an auto-playing video promoting your service or product, encourages visitors to leave. Instead, include required notification of cookies at the bottom where it doesn’t interfere with the view of the information and set all videos as click-to-play (especially important on low-bandwidth devices such as mobile phones).
When designing your digital properties, think like a visitor and design to address their needs, blending in options to satisfying your own in ways that don’t interfere with the visitor.
Amateur web design
Getting your web design right is essential and it’s important to rely on professional web design services unless you’re an expert. Sure, it’s easy to use a website like Squarespace or Wix with drag and drop templates but there’s a difference you can readily see on the resulting websites. Websites created on these sites suffer from extreme limitations, keeping you from crafting a professional-looking website that optimizes the customer journey. They also have crappy SEO, which limits your ability to attract organic search traffic and poor security.
When you find out more regarding professional web design services, such as RMS connect, you will understand that they provide a nearly unlimited number of design options (something for every customer need), strong security protocols, good SEO (limited only by the quality of content created after design), and expertise to develop clean, functional websites.
While copying the crowd is by no means a metric of business success, web design is often best when it is standardized and understandable. For instance, if you use a third-party provider for payment processing or shopping carts, users don’t fully understand how they work, and many distrust them. Hence, saving a little money by using these unknown integrations doesn’t pay off in the long run. Most websites in 2020 integrate a secure means of applying card information, a PayPal integration, or even cryptocurrency payment instructions depending on your target market’s technical ability.
Additionally, it’s important to note what features or integrations could be seen as artificial. It may be that you have a rolling ticker that shows faux product purchases from false users in a similar area to your visitor, such as ‘John just bought our tier 3 package!’ In an attempt to seem more legitimate and ‘live,’ you’re easily spotted as someone trying to gain engagement through any approach, and that, in itself, raises alarm bells even if your outfit is fully legitimate. For this reason, use verified, known, and worthwhile integrations.
With this advice, we hope your web design decisions can avoid harming your successful online approach.