Bad Website Design – What is it?
I found my first pair of glasses in a cupboard the other day, I could still use them, push comes to shove, but they don’t really cut it anymore! They also belong in the 1980s.
We had a bit of a laugh of how I looked in them, which lead to talking about website design and what makes good design. Good design, meaning stands the test of time, whether a simple 5 page site, through to a huge information based site or full e-commerce. The next thought was… what makes a bad website?
When you come across these sites, they glare at you and I think worst of all, don’t feel trust worthy. If their website isn’t taken care of, what else isn’t?
If you have a sneaky feeling your site is looking a bit off, it probably is! And other people are probably thinking the same.
Here’s our list of what bad website design looks like, in an easy to read list.
No clarity or focus
If a web page had one job to do – it would be to provide clear and focused information. We all know how annoying it is when you are looking for an answer to something or further information on a product or service you are interested in buying.
It can be the case that page is either too waffley or that you feel “overly sold to”, rather than informed. Make sure your pages focus on one message per page.
Website visitors are notoriously impatient and a slow loading site isn’t conducive to then browsing your services or products. This can be due to a number of factors ranging from huge image sizes (not resized before uploading) to the hosting package your website is on.
We’ve also noticed that some sites are slower in the afternoon if they are hosted on US servers.
Not being able to find contact information
Maybe your website visitor is interested in purchasing from you, but need to check a few details beforehand (I know I’m someone who always has questions!) not being able to find an email address is a barrier to purchase. Another more recent contact annoyance is the rise of live chat, which in effect isn’t a live chat, more an email as the message pops up “we aim to get back to you within 48 hours”.
Uninspiring design/difficult to follow
If your website looks dated or marked as not secure (check the browser bar) or uses jarring colour combinations, visitors will move on. We make first impression judgments so quickly these days. That’s not to say you can’t have your own look, as some businesses thrive on having a quirky image, but everyone needs to make sure the user interface is easy on the eye and easy to follow.
Too many pop-ups
Argggh!! Think you’ve found just what you’re looking for, start reading and then to only be beset by constant popup boxes asking if you want to sign up, take advantage of an offer, latest news item, be the first to know about etc… Even worse is navigating to another page – it all comes up again! One pop up per site is enough and maybe on a couple of key relevant pages. Keep it simple and user friendly.
Responsiveness – or lack of it
Another big no-no these days and has been for some time. When a site is developed, it should be tested for responsive layouts. Google also penalises old non-responsive sites. If you have some heavier loading content like videos, it may be worth only making the content available on tablet or desktop – check your Google Analytics stats first though to see where you visitors are coming from.
Bad Stock Photos
You know the ones…. the handshake in a staged office, photos of food that are too perfect, aspirational sunsets with a couple holding hands etc… They look insincere, are off-putting and should say in the early 1990’s. There are a variety of amazing stock libraries these days that have realistic images that ring more true.
If you’re thinking of redesigning your site or it’s a first website, take a note of not just websites you like, but those that you don’t – it’s often easier to say what you don’t like than what you do.
Any more to add to the list?
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