5 Gruesome Sins of Website Design

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20 Feb 12.

#Design

Is your company website guilty of over-loading the home page and making your visitors think? Is that home page about as welcoming as a door mat? Maybe that’s a bit harsh but our creative website designers are sharing some of the gruesome sins of website design….

1) Designing first…

When starting a new website design project, it’s ever so tempting to open the paint box and get cracking. We say plan first. The client, project manager and website designer should have a chat before designing to plan what information has to be on the page, the goal of the page and so on. The web designer can then get creative and design the beautiful elements and site around that key information.

What really matters is ensuring that the navigation is intuitive and clear. Well organised content makes for an effective web page and website design.

2) The almighty fold.

Many home page designs are cluttered and overwhelming as we try to communicate everything to everyone and it all has to be “above the fold”. Ideally you want to tell visitors in a glimpse who you are and what you do. Nothing more. And we promise… people do scroll! Give your home page space to breathe and create a hierarchy of information. Forget the fold!

3) Going overboard with flashy stuff.

We hope we can confidently say that gone are the days of Flash… In it’s place we have mobile and tablet friendly ways of ensuring we ‘create a little movement’ on the home page using jQuery to make sliders or images fading in and out. The rule here is to ask 1) does this add value and 2) is it overboard?

For user experience, load times are important so you don’t want it to take too long for a page to load.

4) Be yourself.

These days it’s all about brand story and building relationships, forget the hard sell and remember that people do look at the ‘about’ page. Make it personal and be yourself, include team members and if you can – videos talking about what you do and why you do it! The products and services pages are important too, we’re not denying that but the old saying goes people buy from people and that’s just as true online! Do you know that we get more traffic to our about page than our portfolio page!

5) Remember who you’re talking to.

Sounds obvious right? But in fact it’s really easy to design your website and navigation around ‘what you do’ – the services, products and often we get caught up in how internally we categorise things. Do your users follow the same train of thought? Step back for a moment, build a buying persona of someone who is going to visit your website. Then map out how they got there, what they are looking for, what they will do next and what you want them to do when they leave. This kind of ‘user-journey’ mapping can really help to put your user at the heart of your website design.

Planning a new website or upgrades to your current website?

Here are some other articles which might be of use! If you have any queries please feel free to contact our web design team in Birmingham.

 

 

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