“Design is the silent ambassador of your brand.” — Paul Rand, Designer
In today’s fast-paced, online marketplace, websites have become the first place most prospective consumers look to when considering a business’s products and/or services; making them a key component in whether a customer will move forward with you—or navigate away and seek business elsewhere.
Studies from the Missouri University of Science and Technology show that it takes “less than two-tenths of a second” for an online visitor to form a first impression when viewing a company’s website. And further research from Harvest Media reveals that “94% of people cited web design as the reason they mistrusted or rejected a website.”
So when it comes to securing—and keeping—a competitive edge in the marketplace, having a professional-looking web presence is key. But what elements cause a website to appear bad? And how much of an impact does poor web design truly have on the overall growth of a business?
5 ELEMENTS OF BAD WEB DESIGN
1 ) LACKS VISUAL APPEAL
The overall aesthetic and layout of your website have a profound impact on whether potential customers will trust you, remain engaged, and ultimately decide to opt-in to your products and services. Without visual appeal or supporting imagery that clearly identifies what your business does, your business misses an opportunity to gain instant trust and credibility.
In fact, Harvest Media likewise found that “38% of people will stop engaging with a website if the content/layout is unattractive.”
So, when looking at the visual appeal of your own website, maintain a sense of simplicity and order by infusing white space where appropriate, leveraging compelling photography, and using a pleasant, consistent color scheme.
2 ) TOO CLUTTERED
We’ve all experienced a cluttered website before; the ones with a myriad of imagery, colors, fonts, content, animations, videos, menu options, pop-ups—you name it, they’ve got it. And although each of those elements can certainly be used to enhance a website’s visual appeal, overcrowding not only displeases the eye but causes you to appear less credible.
As explained by Usability Geek, “Crowded sites often violate the golden rule of white space, which is essential for maintaining user attention. Our brains crave order and simplicity, and too much content on one page will just increase the likelihood that a user will navigate away from your page.”
3 ) NOT MOBILE-FRIENDLY
According to Broadband Search, mobile traffic has shot up 222% in the last seven years, going from 16.2% in 2013 to 53.3% in 2019, transforming mobile optimization from a neat buzzword to an essential way of life. Without a mobile-friendly—and overall digitally responsive—website, your business is failing to reach an extensive audience; meaning you could be bringing in far less than you would be otherwise.
4 ) INEFFECTIVE CONTENT
Beautiful web design goes hand-in-hand with quality content. When used properly, the two should complement each other and work in unison to engage users, navigate them through your site with ease, and lead them to partake in your website’s ultimate goal.
If you’re unsure about the efficiency of your current web copy (as it relates to design and user-experience), consider these helpful guidelines:
- Make content easy to digest by using short paragraphs.
- Employ headlines and subheads to keep readers engaged.
- Break up large chunks of text with bullets and white space.
- Be clear and concise on what you’re offering.
- Anticipate and answer any questions your visitors may have.
- Strategically infuse keywords for SEO purposes, but don’t lose your context.
5 ) DIFFICULT TO NAVIGATE
A survey conducted by Hubspot showed that over 75% of consumers believe the most important characteristic of a website is its ease of use. They expect to adapt seamlessly to every website and, generally, have a specific purpose for going to them. Meaning the longer it takes to fulfill their motives and answer their questions—the less likelihood there is of you closing the sale and gaining a new, loyal customer.
More often than not your website plays as the first impression of your business; meaning before you even have the chance to meet a prospective customer or client, your website is deeming you as worthy or unworthy of their time and further consideration. But with a well-designed website, your business has the opportunity to be seen, heard, and remembered by new users and loyal, reoccurring customers.
Looking for further assistance on creating an effective website that engages visitors, generates leads, and increases sales? Let’s chat.