6 Common Web Design Mistakes That Degrade a Website’s User Experience
By Jash Unadkat, Technical Content Writer at BrowserStack - February 24, 2021
Web-applications or websites represent businesses virtually and are at the forefront for driving conversions and revenue. Needless to say, ensuring a flawless user experience for any web-application is a must to succeed in the digital age.
In a constant endeavor to make websites more attractive and user-friendly, website owners might end up affecting the user experience adversely. This can also negatively impact the way users perceive a brand in the digital world.
Moreover, it’s also critical to bear in mind that a bad user experience can cost millions in lost revenue for businesses. Naturally, businesses would like to avoid such loss.
This article aims at pointing out six mistakes that website owners often make when building attractive websites. These mistakes, if not corrected, can adversely affect the website’s user experience.
What are the common web design mistakes?
1. A Non-Mobile-Responsive Website
Let’s begin with some key statistics:
- Mobile accounts for approximately 52% of the overall web traffic.
- There are 3.8 billion active mobile devices (globally) in use already, and the web continues to evolve as a mobile-first space.
- In a country like the USA, 70% of the overall digital media is consumed through smartphones.
- 50% of e-commerce revenue comes from mobile.
The numbers above clearly indicate how mobiles have taken over the web landscape.
Today, majority of people prefer using mobiles or tablets to search for businesses or services on the internet. As a business owner, one would not like to miss out on such customers. In order to cater to maximum customers accessing websites from distinct devices, having a mobile responsive website is of utmost importance.
Refer to the image below to understand how a responsive website differs from a non-responsive site in terms of the viewing experience.
Furthermore, search engine giant Google observed the shifting trend in mobile usage and instituted mobile-first indexing. This new concept focuses on indexing and ranking the mobile versions of web pages in order to deliver enhanced mobile web experiences.
In simpler words, this means that if a site isn’t optimized for mobile devices, it will perform poorly on Google search results.
However, this can be avoided by undertaking certain optimizations.
Refer to this article on How to make a website mobile-friendly which points out the necessary steps to optimize a website for a seamless mobile experience.
2. Cluttered Navigation
A website’s home page needs to be neat and easy to navigate. Often users come across home pages that offer too many links which makes it difficult for them to find what they need. Look at the image below:
Completely cluttered, right? With so many items on a single page, users are bound to be confused. Naturally, users will find it difficult to navigate to the desired page and might just bounce. Additionally, the page is simply not visually appealing. Needless to say, such landing pages result in very few conversions.
Web designers must challenge themselves to limit their homepage (and other pages) to offer a reasonable number of options, menu items, and images. This will make websites appear neat and credible.
3. Slow Page Load Time
Mobile internet users expect websites to load at lightning speeds. The daily usage of social media, emails, and search engines created this expectation because most websites do actually put in the effort to be exceptionally fast.
This means if a user visits a website and it takes too long to load, there are high chances that a user will immediately bounce.
According to research by Google, 40% of users abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load. Google’s computing model, trained with neural networking capabilities with a 90% accuracy rate, has offered the following conclusions:
Additionally, Google’s former head of webspam Matt Cutts had officially admitted that Google considers fast load speed as a positive ranking factor.
Want to check where you stand compared to the above benchmarks?
Needless to say, if a website takes forever to load, there are high chances that it won’t rank high, affecting its overall performance.
Refer to this article on how to increase website speed to learn six effective techniques that speed up a website.
4. Ineffectively positioned CTAs
Call To Action ( aka CTA) or CTAs are an integral part of any landing page. They guide users to take appropriate actions. They also play a vital role in transforming leads to valuable conversions.
In some cases, businesses observe very few conversions in spite of putting all the effort into creating great content. This primarily happens due to ineffectively placed CTAs. One must ensure that CTAs are not placed at the very bottom of the page. Rather the CTAs must be placed prominently in a way that makes them stand out. Placing the CTAs prominently can boost conversion by a whopping 62%.
Web designers must also ensure that the CTAs stand out on small screen sizes too as there are high chances of buttons being scaled-down along with the website. In such cases, users might fail to notice the CTA at the bottom.
Must Find Out: What is the ideal screen size for responsive design?
Having said this, it’s vital to get the CTAs right. One should spend some time ensuring they’re optimized in terms of text, color, and positioning.
One can perform a quick check of CTAs for their website across browsers and devices using this free tool.
5. Un-optimized Images
In the process of creating aesthetically pleasing websites, site owners or developers often use high-resolution images. These images can adversely affect the website’s loading speed since they require time to load. As mentioned in the previous point, the bounce rate increases significantly for every delayed second to load.
Any ideal way to address this issue is to optimize images by compressing them or resizing them. Use tools like Adobe Photoshop to compress image file sizes significantly. WordPress users can use plugins like WP Smush for image compression.
This will be an easy win for image-heavy websites with respect to page speed optimization.
After optimizations, one can use SpeedLab by BrowserStack – a free tool to test website speed on real mobile and desktop devices. It will also help detect pages that take too long to load.
6. Using Pop-ups
When implemented wisely, pop-ups can help generate significant leads or email-subscribers.
On the contrary, if there are irrelevant pop-ups obstructing viewers from consuming the primary content, particularly on mobiles, it won’t be looked upon kindly by Google.
An update by Google in 2017 clearly stated the following:
“Web pages where content is not easily accessible to a user on the transition from the mobile search results may not rank as high.”
Deal with this situation by placing pop-ups in a way that doesn’t end up annoying viewers. For example, timing a pop-up to appear only if a user has scrolled down 70% of the web page. Another example would be displaying a floating banner pop-up that makes a user run a trial of your product.
To conclude, developing a website that appears aesthetically pleasing is very important. Simultaneously it’s also critical to ensure that the site is sufficiently optimized to deliver a flawless user experience.
There’s always a scope of enhancement. Avoiding the mistakes above will help developers and individual website owners to build credible and interactive websites that deliver a delightful user experience.