Cut the cringe from your custom web design.
There are literally thousands of sites on the internet that offer to ‘teach you good design by showing you bad design’. However, when you look away from the page and start considering your own custom web design, things are rarely as clear cut as the internet’s ‘Peanut Gallery’ like to make them seem! Today we aim for a bit more clarity, looking at the biggest mistakes in custom web design, and spelling out clearly how you can avoid them. This list isn’t comprehensive… but it will help you eliminate the most important frustrations from your website experience.
1. The wall of text
The information on your web pages should be well broken up rather than one big chunk of text, you can achieve this by using:
• Main headings
• Bullet points
• Bold and italicized terms
• Paragraph breaks
• Graphics — just a few
When you are doing the copywriting for your site, you also need to seriously consider whether a piece of information ‘needs’ to be on the site. If you already have a site, check in your analytics for pages that users simply don’t use — and consider cutting them out.
2. Trying to be unique but just being plain weird
Don’t get me wrong — there are many ways in which your business should be unique. When it comes to custom website design, though, try not to challenge conventions like:
• Putting the menu at the top or left of a page
• Labelling search buttons ‘Search’, submit buttons ‘Submit’ etc
• Keeping the navigation constant
Your website should look unique, but should function the same way that most others of its type do.
3. Try to avoid using PDFs
Only include important information on PDFs if absolutely necessary. They take a long time to load, are difficult to navigate and read, and require too much thought to print or save!
4. Failing to list prices
The greatest benefits of the web include the sheer amount of choice it creates, and the speed with which you can get information. You completely cut those benefits out of a custom website design that doesn’t list prices — users have to have a phone conversation or wait for an email to get very preliminary information in their buying decision, and therefore their amount of choice is reduced because they’ll buy only from the narrower selection of sites that list their prices. Of course there are exceptions — but if possible, try to give a guidelines to rates and prices.
5. Poor search facilities
Having a search box is good — however, if it returns only ‘exact’ matches it will be extraordinarily frustrating for your visitors. Don’t go with the ‘cheap’ search box when building it into your web development — this is one area of Custom Web Design and Development where you need to put quality first.
6. Failing to use keywords
Knowing the keywords that are relevant to your business and ensuring that you use them in your headings and content is important not only for your Google positioning, but for your readers. They will use these keywords as clues to tell them that they’ve found the right web page; including a healthy sprinkling of keywords confirms people’s decisions to click on the link to your custom website design.
7. Custom website designs that look like advertisements are a bad idea
We are constantly bombarded with more advertising than ever before. Most of us have learned to tune it out — so if your custom website design looks like an ad, people will gloss over it without really taking in the meaning. Make sure that your custom website design follows these guidelines, and you’ll give your business the best chance of online success!