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The biggest mistakes in business web design and how you can avoid them!

When it comes to business web design there are a number of things to take in to consideration before you start to ensure that your business site is effective, popular and makes you profits. Unfortunately, a great number of sites fail to do this and this results in a bad design and an ineffective site. So this week we’ve gathered some of the worst offending mistakes in the world of web design to act as a warning against falling in to the same traps.

Fussy and flashy designs

Yes, it’s tempting to throw everything you have in to your web design in an effort to show how sophisticated and complex you can be or how much information and how many features you can include. Unfortunately, this can have the opposite effect; making the design to visually fussy and confusing to understand. Flashy features and effects can also make your site susceptible to slowing down or breaking down. So when you’re thinking about the visual impact of your design, the ‘less is more’ ethos can be very true.

Outdated content

A common mistake that many online businesses make, whether their site is designed for informing or selling, is to put a great deal of effort in setting them up and launching them and then forgetting about maintaining them. Outdates content is as bad as no content at all. If your discounts and offers are out of date or the contact details for staff and locations have changed but not been corrected, this leaves a poor impression for visitors, who may feel that your business will also be outdated and stale in their approach to service and products.

Irrelevant content

A truly professional website design considers carefully what content needs to be on show and what doesn’t. Although your personality as a business should show through your website content, this shouldn’t be your own personal personality. Think branding not ego. Just because you like particular images, anecdotes or famous quotations doesn’t mean they will attract the right customers. Information on services and products that you don’t offer or processes that are irrelevant to the process the customer is engaging in wastes valuable time and confuses the visitor – and this can ultimately lead to site or cart abandonment.

Poor media usage

If your web development solution offers add-ons and plug-ins that enable media usage this is a wonderful thing to utilise. However, we’ve seen many sites who seem to go a bit crazy on the video and music front; getting completely carried away and forgetting that the customer experience is what matters. Remember these features can slow a site down if it isn’t supported enough so minimise their usage to what is truly required for effect. Also, give your site visitors choice. Having music or videos that play on page load – especially the home page – can be a major irritant for online users. Avoid these where possible.

Bad navigation

As a business owner or a site designer you may know how to get about through your website and how to get where you need to get, but do your visitors and if they don’t can they find out easily? This is a common mistake and one that contributes hugely to why people abandon their visit and their cart when shopping online. Trying to find a product or service in a range should be simple and with minimal clicks. Ensuring your site layout is effective and your site map is useful in offering additional help is an absolute must.

Over paying or underpaying

From a business and marketing investment perspective one of the frequently made mistakes by online businesses is to over pay for website design services by going to the big named design companies that offer premium services at premium prices, when what the business needs is a basic online presence. But likewise, underpaying or going DIY on your web development can seem like a better value move, but in the long term Affordable website design will mean a poorer output and more investment later on. So the key to combatting this is knowing what your online web development budget is for and doing your research to find the right company at the right price.

So don’t fall in to these terrible traps and take a little time to think and invest in your site and you’ll soon see the difference the impact will make!

Posted on 18 Mar 2014