Web Design Disasters: 5 Things that your Website Should NOT Feature
How do I make sure my business is successful? It is a question that any owner of a small business or start-up will ask themselves. As an experienced web design agency based in Manchester, it may seem biased for us to say that a smart, optimised, and aesthetically pleasing website are the foundations for success, but it is true. Whether you want your website to be an Ecommerce powerhouse, or an informative brochure website to entice your visitors into using your services, there are certain web design features which work wonders and others that scream stay away. We want to take a look at the web design decisions that not only drive your users mad, but will ultimately drive your users into the arms of your competition.
Mobile phones are something of an extension to our hands. On those long commutes to work, we can settle into a seat on the bus or train or tram – if we’re lucky – take out our beloved mobile device and continue scrolling through the internet. It may be that we are looking to get a last minute outfit for a friend’s birthday celebrations that weekend; it may be that we need to book a pedicure in preparation for the summer holidays; perhaps we want to catch up on the gossip of our favourite celebrities. Whatever it is, our surfing sessions aren’t supposed to be shared with the masses huddled about us, so when we arrive to a website and it has been fitted with an auto-play video, blasting out to our fellow commuters, the immediate response will be embarrassment, and panicked pressing of the back button. It certainly does not inspire visitors to stay. Take our advice; say no to auto-play videos.
More than anything, it’s just really annoying, for the same reasons as above. Beyond that, you may be listening to your own music already, or worse, you may be doing some additional browsing within work hours (we all do it) and not wanting to be noticed by your colleagues suddenly have a silent office interrupted by the blaring music from your computer screen. Imagine the horror.
Unless your website absolutely has something to do with music, we say avoid auto-play music at all cost and keep your customers content.
Urgh. We still don’t understand how so many web designs feature such garish use of animation. A skilled web designer knows that a website can be clean, clear and simultaneously engaging without an animation-overload. Animation should always serve a purpose; whether to add visual interest, signal where the user can acquire more information – as with a hover animation – or to present a notification e.g. an Ecommerce website may have a pop-up function to advertise a sale or discount code. Animations work with science; the human eye is attracted to movement. If you web design is full of animation, it becomes a confusing and frustrating user experience. This is bad. Don’t do it.
A Controversial One but… Pop-Ups
Most of us are not afforded with the luxury of free time. At work we are finishing assignments at the same time as making appointments and answering emails, at home we are doing the laundry, washing the dog, and cooking dinner all in one go. When we are searching for something online, we need it to be an easy and efficient experience.
How many of us have been in this scenario: you arrive to a website and for a brief moment think you are exactly where you need to be, that is until a full screen pop-up blocks the information. The background is dimmed and you can’t find the X to escape. It is the universal pop-up pain and it should not be your users’ first interaction on your website. With that said, a pop-up, as mentioned above, can be really useful on a checkout page where a discount code can be offered to users – because who doesn’t love to save a bit of cash?
It isn’t rocket science; a successful website should be clear, consistent, and on brand, yet there are so many websites which get it wrong. This is no less true when it comes to your website typography. Written content makes up an enormous part of any website. Relevant, engaging, and informative, your content has a lot of work to do. Visually, it must be clear and help to guide the user through your website with headings, different text densities, and font sizes. What your typography shouldn’t be is a Word Art vomit attack because it is tacky, unprofessional, and will not inspire trust between the user and your business.
As a web design agency we bring many of our clients back from the brink of web design disasters, as well as creating beautiful new websites from which they can establish a successful online presence. For a free consultation and website audit, please get in touch.