In today’s digital-first world, website design impressions are irrefutably powerful. Did you know that a staggering 75% of a website’s credibility is judged based on its design? It’s a fact that is both astonishing and critical for businesses to understand. Yet, with the plethora of websites splurging onto the internet, it’s shockingly easy to fall victim to design mistakes that can undermine a company’s online trustworthiness. However, steering clear of these blunders can dramatically uplift your business’s digital impression and ensure your website shines for all the right reasons.
So, let’s zoom in on where websites often miss the mark and dissect insights from seasoned HubSpot professionals as they reveal common foibles in web design. We’ll delve into actionable tactics to remedy these faults, ensuring your website not only looks polished but also functions impeccably for every visitor.
First and foremost, accessibility shouldn’t be an afterthought; it should be the bedrock upon which your website stands. Maria Kelly, a sage in web development at HubSpot, pinpoints four critical accessibility blunders that are all too common:
1. Poor Color Contrast:
Websites imbued with a company’s brand palette may exude charm, but these choices often overlook color contrast – a critical aspect of accessibility. Text and icons could become camouflaged to those with visual impairments if the contrast is insufficient. A staggering 80% of homepages were called out for this very oversight, according to the 2022 WebAIM Million annual report.
2. Neglected Image Alt Text:
Screen readers are quintessential for some users, and image alt text acts as their visual interpreter. When this text is missing or fails to encapsulate the image’s message, it sidelines a portion of your audience. Remember, images are not mere decorations; they communicate and your alt text should reflect the same story.
3. Invisible Focus Indicators:
Keyboard navigators depend on visual cues such as focus indicators to grasp their whereabouts on a webpage. Without these indicators, users are left navigating in the dark, unsure of which element awaits their command.
4. Overlooked Assistive Technology Labels:
Web design elements like card components with “Read More” buttons can be beguiling but devastatingly ambiguous for those using screen readers. Without accessible labels detailing what each button pertains to, such as ‘Read More About Marketing Hub,’ these visitors may be lost in a sea of indistinguishable commands.
If we then pivot to Global Mobile Device Traffic, we see it accounted for over 58% in the second quarter of 2022, excluding tablets. This magnifies the importance of mobile-friendly websites. Sadly, this critical aspect is often blundered. With users flitting between devices, a site that stumbles on mobile can frustrate visitors enough to have them bounce away. These issues are largely born out of designing on desktop browsers and assuming that users will do the same, ignoring the ever-growing mobile user base.
Prioritizing aesthetics over functionality has gained unfortunate momentum in recent times. The internet, teeming with design novelties, has led to a surfeit of stylistic elements that thrill the senses but disconnect from the site’s ultimate purpose. According to Sergio Martinez of HubSpot, while the allure of design is undeniable, the act of balancing form and function is what truly embodies success. It’s about designing with intent, ensuring every aesthetic choice aligns with the site’s functionality and message.
Have you ever felt utterly disillusioned upon entering a store with a bland window display? Your website is your virtual storefront and should paint your brand in the most compelling light. Common mistakes such as opting for a generic hero banner or other uncustomized templates can render your site indistinct. Lindsay Derby, another HubSpot connoisseur, suggests breaking away from the mundane to captivate your audience. Consider the value that each design element contributes to your site rather than conforming to a done-to-death formula.
An additional design debacle is the absence of hierarchy. Websites need structure and Order to guide visitors through the content as effortlessly as reading a well-written article. When hierarchy is amiss, confusion reigns, and user experience suffers. This often stems from catering to a broad audience without clear guidance or prioritization of content.
Navigation clarity is another vital component to smooth the user’s journey. With an increasing number of businesses transitioning online, websites become more intricate. Straightforward navigation and consistency across the digital experience are crucial in converting first-time visitors into staunch advocates.
When someone lands on your website, clarity in communicating what your company does is vital. This clarity helps in reinforcing the visitor’s decision to stay. A website should be a reinforcement of your business’s credibility, explicitly showcasing the products or services it delivers.
With an understanding of the pitfalls laid out, how do we go about fixing or circumventing these mishaps? Awareness is a potent ally. Knowledge is power, and with it, you embark on creating a site that doesn’t just look good but is inclusive, functional, and exemplary of design best practices.
Let’s demystify some remedial strategies. Start by embracing web accessibility, making your website a bastion of inclusiveness. Consider an early and continuous focus on accessibility during the design phase and create user personas that embody a diverse range of abilities. HubSpot offers free tools for persona creation that can set the stage for a more accessible website.
Educate yourself and your team on the best practices of web accessibility, employ responsive design principles, and test exhaustively across all devices. Adopt seamless navigation that guides users effortlessly, ensuring clear labels and intuitive pathways. Strive for balance in your design, reinforcing function without sacrificing visual appeal. Effective communication within your design team is paramount to preserving the integrity of your brand’s message.
Consider ditching overused design elements, like carousels, unless they’re implemented thoughtfully and designed to convert. Introduce a robust hierarchy using HTML heading tags and leveraging design principles such as proximity to establish a clear order of information. This will not only enhance the visual appeal but also direct users purposefully.
In conclusion, avoiding common website design mistakes is not just about aesthetics but is integral to fostering credibility and engaging with your visitors meaningfully. As Martinez aptly suggests, web design is a collaborative endeavor – it’s about iteration, user research, and testing. By adopting a holistic approach, your website can pivot from a digital liability to a compelling destination for your audience.
Remember, it’s a journey of design, but it’s one with a clear destination: a website that welcomes, informs, and converts. It’s time to go beyond the baseline and craft a website experience that beckons visitors back time and again.
For professional website design help, contact Thompson Marketing.