Common booby-traps in web design

It’s not always easy, or indeed cheap, to attract visitors to your company’s website, and with the ever-growing expansion of the internet it’s becoming more and more competitive, of course. Your rivals will have spent money and taken time to perhaps create eye-catching sites that interact with the viewer, showcase products and services, engage the interest of readers and even monetise transactions, will yours be doing the same?

Even if it is, however, there could still be a chance that visitors to your bright, shiny web pages won’t be staying for too long. Here at Purple Imp, we specialise in creating websites that are as practical and effective as they are slick and beautiful. When surfing, however, we often see examples of site design that have fallen victim to a number of common errors. Here are some of the booby-traps that you might find with other agencies, but you definitely won’t find with Purple Imp.

My eyes! My eyes!

In some instances, website designers will have worked hard to incorporate as many whizz-bang features as possible, without thinking enough about the end user experience. The result can be pages that are busier than Piccadilly Circus on a summer Sunday, giving the viewer an optical overload that can become more than a little painful. You may believe that more is less, or that less is more, but in cases like this just enough is, to put it simply, just enough.

Where do I go now?

Another common error is forgetting all about the journey the user will hope to go on when using a particular web page. Poor navigation is all very well in the car, especially if you have a sat-nav with you, but on a website it’s immensely frustrating. If your site requires an effective search facility that will take a potential buyer to the right products, and from there to an ordering page followed by a payment station, your web design team needs to make sure it’s all there. The process has to be simple, smooth and easy to negotiate, preferably without the need for Google Maps.

Upwardly mobile, upwardly successful

More and more web users are using their phones to access the information, the guidance and indeed the retail therapy they need. As a result, any commercial website that isn’t completely mobile-friendly is likely to be financially unfriendly. If a potential purchaser of one of your products isn’t able to buy on their phone, do you think they’ll then move to their laptop and buy from you? Or simply head to a rival’s site on their phone and buy there instead? In most cases, you’ll lose the sale in seconds.

Make love to the camera!

The overall quality of images used on a website is hugely important, yet it’s one of the most common errors we see. There are far too many websites in existence with photos that look like they were taken with a Nokia phone from the early 1990s. On a cloudy day. In a dark room. At the very least, your site should be using high quality images taken using a state of the art appliance. Better still, why not do it properly and use professional images taken by a talented photographer?

Don’t annoy the user

It’s so important to always imagine the customer experience with a commercial website, so ask yourself how you would feel when visiting the site. Those three or four pop-ups that appear in the first few seconds may bring in a little revenue, perhaps, but how many potential customers simply get cross and move on? If you have a special offer on a particular product by all means tell the world about it, but if you want to say more then it’s best to avoid further unwanted intrusions into the user’s visit.

And finally…closing the deal

If your website has been designed with a view to sell things, at what point (if at all) are you going to persuade the visitor to part with their money? Or to move on to another page? Or to sign up to a newsletter? This is the moment to make sure there’s a link to where you want them to go, and hopefully to where THEY want to go. Calls to action are so important yet on some sites they are as rare as a raw steak. Your web designers should be making sure the journey that you want the user to take actually exists, and that’s why CTAs are so crucial.

Here at Purple Imp, we’ve designed websites for clients in a huge variety of industry sectors, and we work hard to make sure they engage, entertain and inform in the most effective possible ways. To find out more about sites that work for you from the very first click, call the team today on 01382 699 660. We always say the devil is in the detail, and it’s especially true in the case of web design.

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