6 Common Web Design Mistakes & How To Avoid Them
A website redesign is a big investment, and can make or break your online success. It is so important to …
A website redesign is a big investment, and can make or break your online success. It is so important to get things right, and be very thorough in research, planning and implementation.
Unfortunately there are mistakes that are made all too often. Here are 6 of them, so that you can make sure to avoid them.
Many website projects are heavily directed by the C Suite and marketing professionals within a business. But depending on the structure of your business, it may be wise to include representatives from other departments.
They can bring a fresh new perspective, and a new website may be able to address issues they experience, or improve their job efficiency. What could the website include to make their lives simpler, or reduce a heavy workload? What feedback have they had from your customers’ which might inform choices for your redesign?
Find out more about why including a broader selection of stakeholders can be a highly effective strategy on our post about this topic.
Even more importantly, don’t forget that your users are your biggest stakeholder. What do they need, what aren’t they getting from your current site, how can you improve their experience on your website? This leads nicely onto the next point.
If you aren’t considering your users and their experience from the start, and making design and functionality decisions based on opinion, you’re very likely going to end up with a site that doesn’t perform well. This will ultimately lead to another costly redesign in the not too distant future. This is where UX research and UX design come into play.
Making decisions based on actual observable data, and research into your real users can remove this danger. It should be intuitive and simple for users to find what they need, and this will lead to a greater chance of them converting.
This process also leads to the creation of personas, representing your different types of users, their motivations, and their needs from your business, website & marketing. These personas can then be utilised across your business in informed decision making.
Considering your users’ is also hugely important when writing content, and when naming products and services. Businesses can be very inward looking, and forget that internal language and naming conventions don’t always match with those of the user and what they are looking for. User intent, knowledge and language are critical in the success of a website, and effective marketing in general.
I’ve witnessed this numerous times in the real world, where companies have named and written about their products/services on their website in the same way they do inhouse. However, research has then shown them that this is not what their target audience knows their product/service as, and is not how they search for it. After making simple changes to product/service names and content, these companies have seen organic search performance improve drastically.
Everything should be viewed through the eyes of your users and target audience.
It’s all well and good designing a beautiful website, but is that design actually deliverable for the development team? Is it practical, and does it consider performance and usability?
We’ve all visited sites that are very much vanity projects. Outwardly they look very impressive, but on further inspection they are clunky, slow and difficult to use.
Design has to partner with everything else involved in the web development process in order to create a well rounded final product, that checks all the boxes.
We all want an attractive, attention grabbing website. But don’t let fancy visuals inform your decision when choosing a web design partner. Make sure they have a solid understanding of UX and a high level of technical development expertise, and that these people/teams all work together. This will ensure that your website doesn’t end up a failure. A pretty failure perhaps, but if it doesn’t function well, a failure it is.
Content can be one of the biggest blockers in any web development project.
Whether it is delays in content production, no consideration for how it will fit into the design, no agreed sign-off process, or not having the resource to content populate the site before launch, if a website project is delayed, 9/10 times it will be due to content.
Whether you are creating content internally, reusing old content, or using an external content creator, ensure that all of this is planned out and included within the project timeline. All parties involved should know their role and deadlines.
Make sure your content is well optimised for search, and don’t forget your metadata. Meta titles and descriptions are often forgotten in the content production process.
Imagery is important for numerous reasons. It can draw people in and create emotional responses and connections. It can help to illustrate ideas simply. It can either show a product at its best, or make it seem less appealing. More practically, it can affect the speed and performance of your website.
Getting imagery right, and considering it early on in the process is vital.
Do you need to have professional photography done? Do you need to source suitable stock imagery? Who is responsible for image selection? Do your brand guidelines dictate anything regarding the imagery used on your website? If you need product photography, will it suit you users better to have it on a white background, or instead pictured in situ for context? Who will resize the images and make sure they will fit into the design correctly? Will image credits be required? What formats will be used?
Always be sure that image optimisation is high on the agenda to assist with website page speed and performance, and ensure your images are properly titled, with appropriate alt text, to help with image search, and accessibility.
There are so many considerations when it comes to imagery. Don’t leave them to the last minute.
This is an all too common mistake, and particularly for website redesigns and migrations. Without having SEO expertise from the beginning, important SEO considerations will be missed.
SEO best practice can dictate certain aspects of a website build and information architecture. Having an SEO professional involved from the beginning can ensure that best practice is followed throughout the process, and that your website is built to maximise its performance in organic search. From site hierarchy, through to schema.
Migrating an existing site to a new domain, or just a redesign with new pages or site structure, can be very risky and threaten existing rankings and organic search performance. A good SEO professional will be able to negate this risk, overseeing a careful migration process which takes existing rankings and links into account, and ensures thorough and careful redirection mapping is carried out.
These are just 6 of the major mistakes we’ve seen made by businesses during web design projects, and are often why companies approach us to help them fix their website issues. There are of course many more which could be added to this list.
We’ve been designing and developing websites since 2003, and after nearly 2 decades, we like to think that our UX centred process is thorough and efficient. We take all of the above into account (and a great deal more) with every website project we are involved in, and deliver beautiful websites that get results.
If you’d like to talk to our team about an upcoming website redesign, get in touch. Or if you’re looking for support for your existing WordPress website, you can find out more about our WordPress Support & Maintenance plans, and download our Support brochure.
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