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The 8 most common web design mistakes

The 8 most common web design mistakes are not only committed by smaller companies – sometimes they also happen to top dogs. Here now web design mistakes that make you lose your customers.

A high-quality website is the easiest and best way to bring your own company to the front, and not only in Google. It will attract more visitors to your website and increase your customer base. But a low-quality website can also have the opposite effect: customers are put off by it and the company appears unprofessional.

So that customers are not scared away by bad web design or an inferior website, I have summarized the 8 most common web design mistakes. It should be noted that we are in 2019 – some errors (Flash websites) are hopefully now extinct on the Internet and need no further mention in this web design error list.


The 8 most common web design mistakes every business can avoid


Poor navigation

Even today, I still see websites that have inconsistent or confusing navigation. Contrary to Steve Krug – Don’t make me think  some web designers still seem to have the need to show how smart they are or to torture the user with especially unique navigation concepts. The rule for navigation is: as much as necessary, as little as possible.

So there is no need for new navigation concepts with simple content – just a good and logical structuring of the content and a balanced navigation concept. You should try not to display more than 5 or 6 main navigation points at once. The user cannot grasp more than that at once – then it is better to summarize the content and offer a sub-navigation.

But caution is also required with the 2-level navigation – some customers already come to the first meeting with the idea of a two-level navigation. In this case, the content is not yet structured – the following also applies to navigation: form follows function. This means first the content of the navigation, then the structure and then the form of the navigation.


Too long loading times

In times of leased lines and LTE, you might think that loading times and the size of the website no longer matter. Far from it! Due to the mobile Internet and the different devices, the loading time of a website is still relevant and red-hot today. You can get to grips with the long loading times of two pages:

  • Fast hosting
  • Small data – abandonment of bells and whistles and irrelevant scripts

Therefore, the size of the website should be included as a criterion in the conception phase of the next redesign. You can subject your existing website to a speed test. I have already presented some website speed tools in another article.


No call to action

Every page or subpage should have one goal. Exactly ONE goal. There are start pages (and also subpages), where a lot happens. Many possibilities overwhelm the user, confuse him and do not let him perform any action when leaving the website.

If your website is only designed for one goal, every text, every image and every button should lead to an action or prepare the user for it. Then the user knows exactly what it’s about and is prepared by texts and images more and more gently on the action, or led to this.

Of course, you still need the classic CTA – Call to Action. Sounds stupid sometimes – but studies show a significant increase in conversion with buttons like “Order now!” or “Register now!”. Sometimes the user just needs a little push.


Color and contrast

One of the most common web design mistakes is the wrong use of color and contrast. Important elements should be marked by a very contrasting color. A gray button on a gray background does not give the user the impression of being particularly important.

It is the same with the size contrast. Important elements should be displayed in a large size. Less important elements, on the other hand, should also be subordinate to more important elements on the respective page in terms of size. This guides the user – important web elements are therefore large and colorful or stand out from the rest of the web page.


Too much content

Another common web design mistake is overloading individual web pages with too much content. Okay – Google likes long web pages, but the user does not. And that’s why you should not overload the web pages (especially the home page) with content.

The user does not read a website like a book – from front to back. He scans the website. The worst desert is the text desert. It offers the scanning user’s eye a lot of work and little overview of what it’s all about.

My tip if you want a lot of text: Texts for nerds or users who really want in-depth information can be integrated on the website, for example, by fold-out info accordions – but do not disturb the scanning user eye.


Do not prioritize content

A similar web design mistake is offering many different types of content equally. How to prioritize content? As already described in the fourth point, prioritizing content is achieved through various design methods. Important content should be displayed large and prominently. More important content should be hidden or displayed smaller.


Poor graphics/photos

Stock photos are boring and say nothing about the company to be presented. That’s why you should use your own professional photos. The emphasis here is on professional. Because bad homemade photos do not appeal to the user and have only one statement: “We quickly snapped our own picture, which could not cost anything!

Like good web design, photos have a message and emphasize the professionalism of the company. Or just not.

Graphics should also be created by a professional graphic designer who knows his craft. Beautiful graphics invite the user to explore the website further and make the website content stick in the mind longer.


Bad texts

Many small companies want to write their own texts. This is logical – after all, the company knows itself best. However, text writing is unfortunately often handed over to the trainee in a step-motherly fashion. The text is the information carrier number one. A good text should make the user want to know more and at the same time make complex issues quickly and crisply understandable.

Another point that I myself often experience is the desire to rank as high as possible in Google. In the process, standardized texts are delivered and it is later wondered why one does not rank or only poorly in Google. The website text is the most important clue to what the website is actually about. Therefore, you should write texts for users and equally for Google.

A typical web design mistake is also the use of undefined one-size-fits-all texts (or even worse: stolen texts). Every second company (from tax advisor to baker) today is young, dynamic and flexible. All of them are interested in making their customers happy. But what exactly makes the company really stand out? What differentiates the company from the competition? USP’s should be clearly communicated here.

Web Design Error Conclusion

These were the most common web design mistakes and tips on how to avoid them. Many of them sound trivial for a professional web designer. However, in the web designer everyday life I meet these mistakes again and again. There are ways to avoid these web design mistakes. What do you think? Which web design mistakes did I miss?

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