As small business or personal website owners our aim is to create a visually impressive website which puts us ahead of the competition; the problem is often times we sabotage ourselves in our quest for perfection.
Inexperienced web designers will often fall into the trap of taking a more is more approach; usually this is in a quest to provide prospective customers with as much information as possible to persuade them into making a purchase or sign up. The problem is that forcing people to read a wall of text in order to find the information they want can lead to disengagement. Information is important, however you need to construct the page in a manner which presents the key points in an easily identifiable format, this could mean placing it near the top, in bold or with greater font weighting, for example. You’ll also need to be mindful of placing the text in a logical order.
Lack of/inappropriate use of pictures
Using pictures is a great way to capture attention, augment text or as a means of conveying a complicated concept in an instant. However, you need to ensure that any pictures or images you do use are relevant to the subject matter or else you risk unnecessary confusion, which, as I’m sure you’ll agree, is not conducive to making sales. Images also need to be high quality, irrespective of whether you use photographs or SVG’s etc. If you plan on using photographs make sure they are high resolution images which match your design and be wary of over-used stock photos.
Lack of continuity
Different colours, font styles and font weighting are a great way to place emphasis on titles, subheadings, key words and phrases and can greatly enhance the overall look of your website, so too can a nice set of pictures. However, if they are applied in an inconsistent manner, used on some pages but not all, or differ from page to page it has the opposite effect and makes your website look unprofessional.
No call to action
A call to action provides a means of converting the interest you’ve created into leads or sales. Providing customers with information is great, but the whole point of your website is to produce sales or at least some return to traffic. Add a call to action function close to your most powerful points, those which explain to potential customers why they want to purchase your product or service, and why you’re the best person to offer that product or service.
Difficult to navigate
To run a successful online business your website needs to be visually impressive, functional and equally as importantly, user friendly. Part of creating a user friendly website is to make it easy for users to find the information they’re looking for when they need it. Make sure that your website is easy to navigate by including links to the home page and other important pages, fixing broken links and presenting information in a logical sequence.
First impressions are important, particularly so in business, and it’s no different if your business exists primarily online. Your website is the first thing a potential customer will see and as such will use to form a judgement about you and your suitability to fulfill their requirements. So don’t forget that it’s important to pay attention to design factors as they can play an important role in your success.