6 Commonly Overlooked Web Design Flaws
And How You Can Fix Them…
The more digital our life becomes, the more we expect from our online experience. No longer pleased by the unbelievably miraculous invention of the internet, we now demand our web browsing adventures to be aesthetically enriching, engaging, and increasingly interactive. Over 150,000 websites are created everyday. Making sure that your’s stands out and its users have a positive experience are paramount to attract more customers. Whether we are talking about a mom-and-pop brick-and-mortar shop or a global corporation, centering the user is vital to these endeavors.
1. Delete Your Comment Section
Unless you sell a product online that customers may need to ask questions about directly, a comment section does not provide much value to the user experience. Instead, add links to your social media pages. Driving traffic to your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other mediums, and consolidating conversation and user interaction to these platforms, increases visibility and engagement. If customers feel compelled to reach out, having them do so via social media is far more impactful than the confines of an online comment section.
2. Improve Your Visuals
A simple way to increase the quality of any user’s experience on your web page is to give them something beautiful at which to look. Too often, companies settle for mediocre images to display on their site, and as a result, increase bounce rate and decrease engagement. The window to get a potential customer’s attention is small. The average visitor to any particular web page will stay for less than a minute. Consequently, the first ten seconds are the most important moments for the user. It is within this time frame that a user decides to engage with the site, or to leave.
Passing this initial judgement is key in converting users to consumers. Having striking images that display the uniqueness of your business is a great way to keep their attention. Remember, a business’ website should tell its story. The smaller the business, the more personal the story and the more important that it quickly engage viewers. Including photography costs in the budget of making a website should be a priority for any business, and for those with more money to spend, getting professional videos would be an important next step.
3. Change The Pop-Ups Interfering with User Experience
I know, I know, you want to add people to your e-mail list. I get it. You want a direct way to communicate to your market. You want to be connected to your consumer and to have a way to measure conversions. I understand. But the easiest way for a person on your site to get rid of a pop up is to hit the back button.
Instead of having the whole screen interrupted by your call-to-action (CTA), include a more subtle CTA. A slide-in CTA will attract the user’s attention, while not disrupting their flow on your webpage.
The pop up still attracts the eye of whoever is browsing your site, but doesn’t overwhelm their experience. You could also include a call to follow you on your social at the bottom of the page, or even include your CTA in the text. If you want to learn more about this trick, go to the Maribel Homepage.
As previously mentioned, most users do not stay on any given webpage for that long. Creating a delay in your pop-up targets those who are engaged with the content of a page instead of blindly asking random users to sign up.
4. Start Sweating the Small Stuff…
Often, the little details can get ignored during the creation of a website. Designers are so focused on the big picture, that something as simple as picking a font can be left unattended. Understanding the type of visitor you are likely to attract and then deciding on a font based off of that information can play a huge role in user experience. While not a hard and fast rule, limiting your design to two fonts is generally a safe bet.
According to Nielson, small font size and low-contrast are user’s chief complaints when it comes to websites. Picking out a font to go with can be a time consuming process. Scrolling through endless examples can also be a headache with which most people don’t want to deal. Luckily, there is a handy tool to make this process much easier.
Using the Fount App, you can see the font and size of any text, on any website. Study your competition. Find a site that you find has aesthetically appealing typography and discover how they did it! These little details can add up to a much more user friendly site.
5. … By Integrating Micro-Interactions Into your Interface
Micro-Interactions are one of the simplest, most effective ways to keep a user engaged. And they are everywhere around us. If you think you don’t know what micro-interactions are, check out this quick video:
Micro-interactions are contained product moments that revolve around a single use case — they have one main task. Every time you change a setting, sync your data or devices, set an alarm, pick a password, log in, set a status message, or favorite or “like” something, you are engaging with a micro-interaction. They give a user feedback on the task they just performed and are an excellent way to add a human element to the web experience. While not the easiest effect to integrate, the effect they have on users is paramount.
At Maribel, we have always valued the importance of micro-interactions. Lead designer, Chase Klingel, said this on the matter,
“I view micro interactions as a subtle way to delight and to engage users while also giving them greater context as to how they should interact with the interfaces I’ve built. Although these moments are incredibly small, my belief is that they make or break how a user feels about a product/service.”
While they may be a small facet of a user’s experience, these moments can fundamentally change the way a user engages with a web page.
6. Brand Consistently Across All Devices
With mobile-browsing over taking traditional desktop web browsing, not having a mobile compatible website is heresy! This may seem obvious, but making sure that your color themes, type of font, and content (Yes, some businesses really struggle with this) are consistent is huge for branding.
You want users to get a similar experience no matter the device they are using. Return user’s should have a familiarity upon returning to your site, regardless of how they are accessing it. While the mobile version may be simplified, the branding should stay the same.
The user experience should be centered in any discussion of website creation. Even if you are a small business owner using a CMS such as WordPress or SquareSpace, integrating these rules into your design should be a priority. Websites are often a customer’s first impression of a business, and by following these steps, you are putting your best foot forward.