Designing a new website can be like standing in front of a loaded buffet. The choices are plentiful and piling your plate with a little bit of everything seems like a wonderful idea. Your health-conscious judgement goes out the window because this delicious buffet has a hold on you - there is no control.
Much like you accidentally plate up... let’s call it a “challenging” meal, you can also pile on every tool, asset and design you think you need on a website design project. But, what about your users? What do they really want? If your website presents too much of a challenge, users will bounce.
Here are 5 of the worst design choices out there right now, and some good reasons to avoid them:
Home Page Sliders
These “carousel” style headers are thought to target a wider audience-base by offering changing content. When in reality, what they do is monopolize Flash players, make mobile users frustrated, and make a total mess of your SEO efforts. If you want visitors to consume your content, stop distracting them with big, flashy moving images.
Home Pages With No Rhyme or Reason
We’ve come across home pages that could rightly be called a “jumbled mess,” but is your website one of them? Are you sure? Users want to be able to make it from point A to point B without being sent on any complicated detours. They also don’t want to be forced to read unrelated content, or go through a series of “toll booths” before they land on the content they’re looking for.
No Conversion Opportunities
You’ve got eyeballs on your website…now what? Ideally, after reading the content on your page, the next step for acquiring new leads should be front and center. “Download Your Free Guide,” or “Register For Our Upcoming Webinar,” or even “Start Your Free Demo,” should all be easily accessible and obvious. If you have no calls-to-action for your readers, you have not maximized their user-experience, and they will simply click away.
Even if you have your meta tags, page titles and keywords all in order, you’re not done yet. If a user searches on an issue, and lands on your page - will they find the solution? There’s nothing more infuriating than being directed to a site which seems like it will answer your question, only to wind up feeling tricked. Google is smart, it’s your job as a company to make sure you are producing quality content for the answers your users are searching for, or Google will not be ranking you any time soon.
Not Following The 3-Click Rule
The average user-experience comes with a timer. If a user can’t navigate through your website to reach the info they want in 3 clicks or less, they’re going to bounce. In order to help reassure your readers they’re on the right path, make your website structure as logical and straightforward as possible. If your user doesn’t feel lost, they won’t leave.
If any of these items left you nervously glancing at your own website, maybe it’s time to re-think your website design. You’re looking for consistency, a mobile-friendly design, and an overall structure with the user in mind. If you need help, perhaps some education on Growth-Driven Design would be empowering.