How Web Design Can Easily Go Down the Tubes
This isn’t the first time we’ve talked about how important web design is. In our Jumpstart series, we dedicated an entire post to evaluating your online presence, and your website is obviously a huge part of that. Bad web design will immediately turn prospects away from your business – it’s just a fact in today’s online-focused world. If your website doesn’t look sophisticated, is hard to navigate or isn’t well designed, your bounce rate will reflect that. How your site looks and works can make a prospect respect and trust you or send them running for the hills. I think we know which one we’d prefer!
How do we tell if web design is going the wrong way, then? A lot of times, first impressions can tell you if your web design sucks. Try looking at your site as an outsider. How would you feel about it if you were a prospect? If you’re not able to disconnect yourself, call in a friend, family member or agency to help you be objective.
Ok, so first impressions matter. But that’s still just a gut reaction and hard to put into a checklist or hard analysis, so how can we be a bit more technical about it? What exactly is it that makes a web design suck?
Here are a few things that you’ll commonly find with bad web design:
It doesn’t work well on your phone, tablet, desktop or all of the above. Non-responsive sites are the #1 sinners of bad web design. We’ve talked about it before. We talked about it again. We’re not going to stop! If your site isn’t responsive, this should be at the top of your to-do list. Making your visitors pinch and scroll back and forth on a mobile phone screen is just plain rude (which is how most people are visiting sites these days, plus Google is Mobile First with ranking and visibility these days – so this isn’t just a passing phase). Not only is it annoying when a site isn’t responsive, but it also says that your company doesn’t care about keeping up with the times. That could translate into an impression of your business overall, which is not a good thing.
It’s difficult to use, and you can’t find what you’re looking for. Don’t you hate it when you’re looking for a simple piece of information about a company (why is it always so hard to find a restaurant’s open hours on their site!?), but it’s nowhere to be found? Crummy web design doesn’t pay attention to what a visitor will likely be asking, and it buries information in a complicated architecture. It should be obvious where you can find answers to questions, and it should be simple to click from one topic to another.
It’s ME-focused. Sure, people visit your website to learn about you, but ultimately, they want to know what you can do to help them. Why should they buy your products or services? Not just because you’re an industry leader, but because you have the solutions that they need. Speak to your target audiences’ pain points while also tooting your horn. That’s Marketing 101, but it is often forgotten when it comes to web design.
It’s just plain ugly. Ok, this one is really back in that “gut feeling” category, but you know what I’m talking about. The fonts, colors and graphics are outdated. They don’t convey a modern image to the world, which in turn says that your products and services probably aren’t modern, either. Yikes. No one wants that.
Bad web design basically boils down to poor architecture and non-responsiveness. Get that right, make sure things look good in the process, and you’ll be on your way to good web design…marketing that doesn’t suck!