We talked about landing pages, but now we need to talk about the design your website overall. Think of your website like a storefront. The image you give off here reflects how potential customers are going to see you. You want to make a good first impression, because you might not get a second one. Do you know what you are doing right? How about what you are doing wrong? What are you close to doing right, but need a push to get there? This article will focus on five things you might need to improve on your website.
Your Website Has Low Readability/Legibility
Content is king. If people can’t decipher the content on your website, that becomes a problem. Your image will be determined by how your website looks, so be diligent when deciding what to publish. Not only that, but how you display your content also matters. If the text on your webpage is low contrast, has big blocks of text, and low-quality pictures, people aren’t going to stay. Add variation to what kinds of things you put on your pages, and break them up. Don’t overuse ultra-fancy fonts. Better yet, avoid them altogether. What about the font size? Are your paragraphs separated with headers? Are your images high-quality and relevant?
Your Pages Have a Messy Layout
Another big issue businesses have with their website is how their pages are laid out. If your text isn’t properly aligned, your images are all over the place, etc. etc. your website looks messy. Keep image placement and size consistent. One way to make your website look cleaner immediately is to add more whitespace. If your content is crammed too close together, it looks unorganized. Give it, and your reader, space to breathe. Another thing you can do is strip unnecessary content from your website. If there are things that people don’t ever look at, or are stated elsewhere, get rid of it. It’s just getting in the way and you can potentially use that space for something else.
Your Website Has Poor/Unclear Navigation
This one is a biggie. People come to your website for a reason. If they can’t find what they’re looking for because you have poor navigation, you’ve lost a potential sale. When figuring out your website’s navigation, think in terms of categories. You might have your “about” category, which can then be further sectioned into pages about your employees, as well as the history of your company. Maybe you also have a FAQ page, or a blog page, both of which could be their own category. A great way to test your website’s navigation is to do a sitemap, or a diagram that shows which pages are linked to which page, and how. If an important page is buried under three layers of navigation panels, how are people supposed to find it?
Your Website Has Inconsistent Design
The aesthetics of your website can’t be overlooked. It’s your brand. Your website should look consistent throughout all it’s pages, with similar colors, fonts, and layouts. Think of it like a chain store. If you go to two different Walmarts that are three hours apart, chances are you know what the inside of both are going to look like. Keeping the look of all your pages consistent allows your visitor to focus on the content and not get distracted. Some things to consider when deciding if your design is consistent include:
- Is your color scheme consistent?
- Is your font the same (both style and size)?
- Are your pictures consistent (rounded corners, straight edge, topic)?
- Are your layouts similar?
Your Website is Too Flashy
I know, you want to stand out from the crowd. It can be tempting to have your sections fade in when a page loads, or have tons of animations all over. While these are certainly cool and it’s great in moderation, it’s easy to overdo it. If everything is moving and changing and flashy, it’s all fighting for attention. It becomes impossible to focus on anything and the visitor becomes frustrated. Keep in mind what things are most important, and focus your energy and pizzazz there. Also keep in mind what kinds of animations or extra bits you’re putting where. For example, if text is constantly moving or changing it becomes impossible to read.
Having good website design is an ever-evolving process. Not only do things change, but different people can have different ideas on what works best. For example, your navigation might seem straightforward and organized to you, but your customers have trouble finding what they need. Look out for feedback and adjust when necessary. When in doubt, go simple. You can always add bells and whistles later.