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How to Spot Sloppy Website Design

Would you ever visit a doctor, who had no official qualifications and was at best guessing your diagnosis based on a few emails and a website they had visited? No, right! So why would you trust your online presence to people who aren’t savvy about the industry they represent?

Even if a website looks good to the eye, it might still be a failure if it doesn’t meet the purpose. Whether you’re designing a website in-house or have commissioned to someone else, you must know what differentiates an effective website and a substandard website. Here are five ways you can spot a sloppy website design:

Unclear Layout

What’s the first thing your visitor sees when they open up your page? Simplify it for a moment and picture yourself entering a room. A messy, cluttered room – your sitting room, perhaps? Maybe you’ve lost your car keys, and you’re already running late for work? The thought of having to sift through layers of magazines, toys and laundry would stress you out to no end. 

You can’t always just walk out of a room, but you can always walk away from a web page. So, when you’re laying out your site, be sure to cut a clear path between your objectives – what you want your customers to see and where you want them to go. ​Once you’ve got a layout that makes sense, the next thing you want to do is make sure that navigating that layout is a simple process for your visitor.

Bad Navigation

Your navigation should allow people to easily find their way around your site and give them one-click access to your best content. Some designers create too many items in their navigation, which can often lead to visitor confusion. So keep it as simple as possible, while still opening all the important doorways.

If you are creating a specific page for a specific sale, you can remove your navigation altogether on that particular page. Although this may not be great for search engines, if you are driving traffic for a specific sale, it removes distractions and allows your visitors to concentrate on your offer. 

Some suggested items to place in your navigation include:

  • Home
  • About
  • Services
  • Blog
  • Contact 

However, your navigation strongly depends on who you are and what you do.

Self-Centred Copy

You have a website you need to fill with copy, and your first inclination is to talk about all the components that make up your product or service. After all, isn’t that why visitors are coming to your site?

They need information so they can figure out if what you’re selling is something they want. You’re not wrong. Customers need your offer details; otherwise, all they’re reading about are their pains. Problems without solutions aren’t going to help them. They’re looking for answers. The challenge for you becomes balancing your customers’ need for information and your genuine need to convey the value of what you’re selling.

Don’t talk about yourself. Talk about your visitors. Focus on what’s in it for them. People make buying decisions based on emotions. Connect with them on a level that clearly states their biggest problem or frustration and emphasise the fact that you have the key to unlock the door.

No Call to Actions or Directions

Give website visitors specific direction on every page about what they should do next or where they should go next. You have to create a communication path for people. 

Every page of your website has a point. Your sales page should enable users to click the buy link. Your opt-in page should convey the users that they’re getting something if they put in their name and email. And it should be obvious where they put in their name and email and the button they click. On the “Contact Us” page, filling the boxes and clicking the button should be intuitive. And it should be the same way with your support page.

Improper Use of Images

With words, you can make sure that all your prospects understand and feel the same way about what you’re saying. 

Images, on the other hand, are much more likely to get misinterpreted or to trigger an undesired emotion. 

Keep these three things in mind when selecting images for your website to make sure they don’t undermine your message. 

  • Will it always evoke a positive emotion? 

Let’s say you call yourself “Word Doctor” and want to have an image of a doctor on your website. It’s a risky move, as most people’s sub-conscience freaks out when they see anything that reminds them of a hospital. 

This is an extreme example, but it can happen with more innocent topics as well. So, make sure any image you use always evokes an emotion that will help you sell.

  • Is the meaning clear? 

Let’s say you’re using a fallen chess queen next to the copy that talks about winning. But the image can also mean “losing”. So, its meaning isn’t 100% clear. 

Make sure your image can’t be misinterpreted. 

  • Does it match your colour palette? 

This isn’t as important for any images used further down the page as it is for a featured image visible on top of the article where it’s surrounded by other colours (navigation, author’s photo, links, etc.). If it has a dominant colour that clashes with the main colours of your theme, your visitors may feel irritated, which will overshadow the positive first impression you were hoping to make. 

Romulus Dynamics is a Human-Centered Web Design Agency

We not only create elegant, responsive and mobile-friendly websites but websites that drive conversions and growth. Our design focuses on the end-user which bridges the gap between you and your visitors.

If you need help with a website or your digital strategy, go ahead and reach out to Romulus Dynamics today!

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