4 Common Website Design Mistakes

Common Web Design Mistakes and What To Do Instead

By Megan CombsSep 9 /2021

Your website is oftentimes the first interaction a potential customer has with your brand. They sought you out because you have something they need. If your website design is clunky and outdated, they’re liable to ditch you for a competitor with a better website and user experience. To put it bluntly, a bad website just won’t cut it anymore.

Think of your website as the front door to your home. How is your curb appeal? Is it inviting and bright with easy-to-see user paths? Or is it cluttered, dark, jungle-esque and off-putting? Think about what message you want to send to your visitors as soon as they get to your door, and use those design ideas to invite them in.

Here are a few outdated web design elements you may be employing right now and what you could implement in their place.

4 Common Web Design Mistakes

  1. Auto-scrolling carousel images
  2. Actionless CTAs
  3. Unresponsive site design
  4. Homepage buttons in the navigation

If your website includes any of these design flaws, it’s time for an update — otherwise, you could miss out on future customers and website visitors. Let's dive a little deeper into each of these.

1. Auto-Scrolling Carousel Images

You’ve likely stumbled across several websites with auto-scrolling image carousels or sliders. While images do help enhance your web pages, auto-scrolling images may cause your visitors some grief.

First off, your scroll may be too fast, causing a user to have to click back to look at an image longer — especially if it contains text or an offer. Second, your scroll could be too slow, and the visitor may move down the page if they don’t know there’s more to see. Either way, this is a bad user experience (UX).  

What to do instead: Keep your carousel, but turn off the auto-scroll and instead add clear toggle-through arrows that are easy to use on desktop and mobile. This way, your visitors can see that this is a carousel/slider, and they can click through at their own pace. Also, keep the slides to no more than four.

2. Actionless CTAs

When you’re trying to sell products or services, a boring call-to-action (CTA) like “Click Here” or “Submit” won’t compel anyone to move deeper into your site. The whole point of a CTA is to convert leads, so it needs to encourage your audience to take an action.

What to do instead: Ditch the actionless wording and go with phrases that will motivate your visitor to make a move. Here are a few phrases we like:

  • Get the Guide
  • Get the Report
  • Tour Our Software
  • Register Now
  • Schedule a Demo
  • Get a Free Consultation
  • Read the Trends
  • Get Started
  • Try [Product] Free Today

Your CTA should look like a button, have rounded corners and it should match your branding colors. It should also be consistent with the color of the rest of your clickable links throughout your website.

3. Unresponsive Site Design

A common mistake in designed websites is that they aren’t responsive — still. It’s easy to overlook this mistake when you’re totally invested in how great your desktop website looks, but mobile-friendly websites are a must. There are more than 7 million mobile users worldwide, which means many of the clicks hitting your site are likely from a mobile device.

What to do instead: Build a mobile-friendly, responsive website! There is no way around this if you want an amazing user experience and more leads. Most CMS tools allow you to preview your website on different devices, such as phones, tablets and desktops so that you can make tweaks where necessary.

4. Homepage Buttons in the Navigation

Gone are the days where you need a link to your homepage in your navigation menus. Your navigation should instead direct people to what they are looking for. Make sure every piece of your navigation bar is descriptive and matches the keywords you’re trying to rank for. A link that says “Home” doesn’t mean anything to search engines and it won’t achieve what you’re hoping for.

What you should do instead: Your logo is likely already in the top left corner of your website. Make it link back to the homepage on every page.

Avoid These Website Design Mistakes

As you’re redesigning your webpages, pay attention to how they render on all devices, get rid of auto-scrolling image carousels, link your logo to the homepage and create a CTA strategy that will convert leads. Avoiding these mistakes will bring more visitors to your website and will also deliver a user experience people have come to expect.

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Megan Combs
The Author

Megan Combs

Megan provides copyediting and macro editing recommendations across Kuno. Previously, she was a top content marketer at Vendome Healthcare Media, where she helped clients translate their brand promises into strategic digital and social media messages. She also served as a content creator and editor at AOL’s Patch.com.