I'm going to go out on a limb and assume this blog post isn't the first website you've ever laid eyes on. If so, allow me to formally introduce you to the internet - you have a lot to catch up on, and honestly, this post is probably not going to be the best start for you.
For those of you who are more adjusted to modern technology, have you ever opened a website and felt like this?
WHAT IS EVEN GOING ON IN HERE?
Maybe you went to said site to order some new sunglasses for your dog, but you have no idea where to click to see the frame options or how much they cost or if they're even going to fit poor, style-deprived Fluffy. None of the information you need is there, or if it is, you don't know how to find it, and before long, you're looking for somewhere else to get your paws on those sunglasses with less hassle.
Is that how customers feel on your website?
I might not know anything about the dog sunglasses industry, but we do know a thing or two about design. Here are some common web design mistakes that are keeping your potential customers from buying with you - and how to get started fixing them.
The design doesn't follow a strategy
Design should always follow strategy and not the other way around. How do you want to be perceived? How do your customers want to be perceived? And how can all of that be communicated visually?
Like this, obviously:
That's it. This blog is done. I have solved all your web design problems, and you are welcome.
No. Just no.
An actual good place to start is with your buyer personas. Knowing if you're reaching out to single investment bankers looking for a luxury cruise or a family of five hunting the perfect weekend of bonding time will be much more helpful to your designer than just being told to design a webpage about vacation packages.
It's also important to make sure your style guide is up to date and your branding strategy is consistent across all platforms - print, social, and web. If your website doesn't have the same branding as the business card or social media page they found you from, they may think they ended up there by mistake and leave the site - without buying anything from you.
Directing people to the wrong content
You could have the most beautifully-written content in the world, but if your design isn't supporting it, no one is going to read it. But, if you throw all your eggs in the pretty design basket, you won't be counting any chickens, either.
There are a lot of things to consider when designing: order of the elements on your page, their size, contrast between them, color palette, and use of negative space, to name a few. The design needs to speak to the person visually in the correct, persona-appropriate way and also communicate what you have to say in the right order and intensity.
Sorry Avril, I don't make the rules.
It sounds like a lot to master because it is. Balancing all these elements is, well, complicated. But not impossible.
Once again, strategy is queen. Start by making SMART Goals for your website if you haven't already, then think about how you want to apply them. If your goal is to increase your conversion by 200%, consider how you can adjust your design to call attention to that call-to-action, for example.
And like most good marketing, it might take some testing. Keep an eye on your web traffic and see how the changes to your design are affecting how people interact with the site. And be prepared to make changes if you need to.
No consideration for conversions
Speaking of conversion, I'll let you in on a company secret. The number one issue we see when people come to us for web design help is an absolutely beautiful "hero" area with no call to action.
If you think about it, that means the first thing your customer sees, and what often dominates most of the first page above the fold, gives them nothing to do. Even if there is a link in your header, if it's not obviously calling for your customers to take an action, they may not even notice it's there. Not telling someone they can click on something is basically preventing them from clicking on it, which means one less potential customer for you.
I can be your hero, baby.
Here's VIEO's homepage hero image for an example. It's pretty clear where you should click and what will happen when you click there.
You have a lot of options for drawing attention to your clickable interface elements - framing, outlining, color, hover state, typography attributes, whatever floats your boat and fits into your style guide. The important part is that people don't miss it, and you don't miss a sale.
These three tips are far from the complete book of rules. Web design is an incredibly complex art that, in the digital age, makes a huge impact on the success of your business. If you're not seeing the results you'd like from your website, we want to help! We would love to show you what a difference great design can make.