Breaking bad – characteristics of a lousy web design


Have you ever thought how long does it take you to form an opinion about a website? Do it now, open E!Online and DailyMail and in no more than a couple of seconds you’ll exit one and browse the other because it’s more aesthetically pleasing. Most people need less than 50 milliseconds to decide whether they like a web page or not, and you’re probably no exception.

When designing a website, remember people are spoilt with millions of choices when it comes to online resources. Try to provide your public with the best experience because this is the primary deal-breaker on whether you convert them into clients or they keep their visitor status.

To put it in other words, online buyers have the attention span of your Beta fish, (one blink and bye-bye memory) and mobile users are the worst (studies show an 88% drop in their attention annually). When you direct your selling efforts online, this isn’t good news for you because 40% of users won’t engage with a website if the design doesn’t attract them.

This piece of information may put some pressure on you, as you try to design a website to sell your products. So how can you attract and retain visitors? Doing research. But you shouldn’t get lost in the latest web design trends; you should instead find out what makes a website lousy and what bad characteristics you should stay away from.

We’ll make it easy for you, we’ll list the worst web design mistakes you can make if you create a website in 2020.

Cheesy stock photography (everyone is tired of it)

You can’t believe it also that in 2020 someone still uses stock photography on their website. And even if professional photography services are affordable, and people have tons of inspiration to choose from, they still head to the first stock photo directory and download the first ten pictures that match their keyword search to upload on their new website.

You don’t want your visitors to think your business that is lousy, and you don’t put the minimum effort into providing them with a high-quality experience. Understandably, some businesses fall into the trap of using stock photography because it’s affordable and saves time. But you can do better. You must do better if you want to stand out.

The images you post on your website should represent your brand. The lighting, subject, color scheme, and message should be consistent. The photography is one of the most important elements of a polished brand image you try to create, so put some effort into picking unique photos.

Auto-playing videos with sound (we get it you like that song, but we don’t)

You’re a Beyoncé fan, and you want to embed one of her songs on your website. (Don’t forget about the copyright when you do it). But do yourself and your visitors a favor and turn the autoplay feature off. Does no one want to hear Who runs the world? every time they access your website.

Most people are browsing the internet while they already listen to their favorite tunes. Don’t ruin their zen with yours because it will only irritate them and cause them to hit the exit button.

Popping chatbots and CTAs overwhelming (annoying like I-want-to-kill-them)

Chatbots are useful when you need information, and you don’t want to call the service provider, but when they pop on all website pages and keep asking questions, they are so annoying you may want to kill them. Or at least disable them.

Don’t get this article wrong, it advocates for helping clients, and you should base the entire methodology behind your website on this idea. But you must identify the fine line that stands between creating a helpful chatbot and one that pops when the visitor needs it less and pursues them around the website with annoying messages.

Chatbots and calls to action that pop up everywhere, right in the face of the user, and are always asking if they can help, are as annoying as the sellers that hound you the minute you step foot in their store. You leave the store, and in the same fashion, your visitors will exit your website.

Too much animation (the 2000s called to ask their animations back)

Yes, video and animation are trending in bespoke website design these days and designers have started to use moving elements on all websites. Websites that include video animations attract more clients than the ones lacking them. But when deciding what animation to include in the layout of the site, keep in mind the rule of the Jurassic Park just because you can do something, doesn’t mean that you should do it. Only because the present trend is about video content, it doesn’t mean you should overcrowd your pages with animation.

Moving elements distract attention, and Internet users have short attention spans. Place animations and videos strategically on the website to draw people’s attention to specific pieces of content. When the site is filled with moving elements, the visitor feels intimidated and overwhelmed, and well, they leave the page looking for something cleaner.

Poor use of whitespace (do you really had to use that font?)

Your website has a critical role in informing your visitors about your business and products. But you can ruin this goal if you poorly use whitespace, which can easily distract your clients.

Your content may be amazing, but no one will read it if the layout looks unappealing. Make sure that the whitespace of the website draws visitors towards the content. Break the blocks of text into small sections, and use visual elements to represent concepts when possible.

Confusing brand messaging (wait do you sell lemons or shoes?)

Be clear in your brand message. Show your target audience what your business is about and what it offers. You don’t want your visitors to scratch their heads when they browse on your website wondering if you sell the pair of shoes or the anklet in the photo.

To stand from the competition, your messages should rely on tour brand values and address the needs of the market.


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