There’s a lot of bad website design out there — so much so that it can make good designers look bad by comparison. But you don’t have to be on the receiving end of bad design. In fact, between our work and research, we’ve identified five common pitfalls that ruin design projects for businesses. So, if you’re planning to hire for a website redesign or new project, make sure your designer avoids these common pitfalls that ruin a website design project.
Failure to focus on the ideal customer and what they should know, feel and do
- “Who I am?”
- “What do I do?”
- “What do I need the website for?”
- “Who is my ideal customer?”
These are all questions that are often underestimated or, even worse, forgotten by those who are about to build a website. In reality, these questions are crucial for the effective creation of your website.
In fact, if you fail to define your business, you risk not letting your user – and potential customer – understand who you are, what activities you do, and where you target your products and/or services.
With a clearly defined target audience, it is easier to sense in which direction a new website needs to be developed. It is important, of course, to determine it precisely. This also includes the impressions and emotions you want to evoke in visitors to your website; the choice of colors, tone of voice, photos, and all other elements as a whole will create a certain emotion in the visitor. It is important to communicate this to the website design firm of your choice so they can realize it.
As the message you want to convey to visitors is something they will remember after they leave, it is clear that your audience is the most important and that every piece of code is directed towards it. A website is most often the customer’s first contact with you.
Focusing on an ideal customer plays an important role in the overall communication activities of your website. This information must be clear and easy to use and understand on your website. To sell your business well, you need to understand well how your ideal customer lives, his or her fears, challenges, and motivators, and transcend this information in a clear, intuitive, and easily usable way to your website. The latter is the reason why you should hire a professional to help you with this step. A respectable and well-educated website designer is aware of all the needed actions to make your website appealing to customers who are interested in buying the products or services you sell.
Failure to establish clear requirements for the design
The process of creating a website is more than just coding and consists of several stages depending on the company that creates them. But every process starts the same way – by collecting relevant project data that will ensure easier communication and desired results. In this phase, you should communicate all the relevant information about the project as possible. This means introducing your business to the website design company, the purpose of the website, and the target audience in detail. This is also the phase where you decide on the technical requirements – whether you need a CMS, webshop, billing system, fill out forms, and similar.
For the website requirements to help ensure the successful project, they should be not only clear but also well-thought, consistent with your goals, specific, and verified. As they are an important input for particular projects, they should be created by you or in coordination with the website design firm. Sticking with the requirements you haven’t put a lot of thought into will lead to the results you probably won’t be satisfied with, will postpone the finalizing of your website, and will cost your time, energy, and money.
Clear requirements also help the company to catch your vision correctly by referring to them while designing and developing. They hold the key to a well-designed and user-friendly website that promotes your business most efficiently. And while they may not include any text about colors, fonts, language style, or any other visual graphic element, they communicate the essence of what you want your visitors to read and find on your page. Every requirement is a part of the overall goals you set up for your business.
Failure to have an efficient development process and collaboration tools
Just like with any other project, a thoughtful and established plan will increase the chances of successful delivery. Some people make detailed lists, some use checklists, and others put their fate into some of the many collaboration tools you can find online. Whatever it is used, if it puts all the scope of work into a clear and intuitive structure of milestones, keep it.
And if you think you do not need to think about the process of work delivery or that checklists are overrated, maybe the next information will change your mind. Almost 70% of small business websites are missing probably the most needed website element, which is a call-to-action button. We can almost certainly conclude that more or less the same percentage of businesses fail to generate value due to this. And it could be prevented by just listing all the work that needs to be included in developing a website.
Most successful professionals start their work by not jumping immediately to a code but with detailed surveys that will help them gain a better understanding of your business, business goals, target audience, competitors, design outlooks you like (and dislike), any concerns you might have and questions you want to address.
It may sound too detached but a business deal should start with an agreement in which you and the website company define all mutual obligations and all rights. It is much easier to start creative work when you know both sides know what they need to do in the next period. This also includes how often will you communicate and what tools you will use, what is the best way to provide feedback on the ongoing work, what tech stack best suits your goals.
Last but not least, an agreement translates a timeline into a text and creates small milestones that will keep the project from derailing from the intended course. Milestones also include your obligation as a client: all the materials you need to provide, including photos, text, instructions, name of the domain if applicable, and other necessary information that will bring the site to life.
Distinguishing your business from the competition is no easy task. The fight with the competition is fought from day to day, and if you want to stay in the game you have to keep an eye on the competition, be fast enough like them, but preferably one small step ahead of them. A quality and well-designed website is exactly what can set you apart from the competition and attract new customers.
Web design is more than just “thumbnails”, colors and letters, and any serious company that cares about its business and clients knows how important quality web design is for business – and will invest a lot of time in setting the efficient development process and choosing the right tools for the work ahead.
Failure to focus on unseen aspects of design such as website speed and performance
A website is a place where your entire business story can be presented as an exhibition space. All aspects of the website can be designed in whatever way you like. This means that you are limited only by your ideas. A website is an extremely useful marketing tool that can be used in a variety of ways in business promotion. But the visual appeal is not the only part you should focus on – there are crucial but hidden aspects of website design that, if not properly develop, will affect the overall experience of using your website – no matter how beautiful your design is.
When we talk about design, we don’t necessarily mean only colors – a carefully selected color palette will say a lot about the image you are trying to build and that is why it is useful to understand the psychology of colors. However, when creating a website, we tend to avoid some of the most common mistakes such as too many clicks and steps, too much text and irrelevant information, poor website structure, navigation problems, etc.
Website speed is one of the factors that Google has considered since 2010 when ranking on a search engine. This means that the slower your web loads, the worse your position will be when searching, and the faster your web loads, the better your position will be. The Bing search engine also takes web speed as a factor when ranking.
Of course, after Google announced that it would take website speed as one of the ranking factors, interest in it increased, both by website owners and by agencies that deal with website design. In addition to being essential to SEO, web speed also affects the user experience. Research conducted by Google itself has shown that faster websites result in more satisfied users, people stay on them more, and thus the website is more productive and efficient.
Kissmetrics also conducted interesting research, which you should take a look at. As many as 47% of users expect the website to load in 2 seconds or less, while 79% of those who are not satisfied with the performance of the website will no longer shop on it. One of the most effective ways to create optimized, modern, and functional websites is choosing the right company that takes all the things that impact the speed into account.
Failure to provide for ongoing maintenance and usability of the website for business staff
When you leave the creation of a website to a reliable company that has been doing it for a long time and has quality staff, then you can expect to get exactly the kind of website you imagined. Professional design means that your website will be developed following all the trends and best practices on the market. Although professional design often requires a little bit bigger financial investment, it will pay off in the long run, because every professional stands behind their work – in other words, whatever happens to your website you will have help and the problem will be solved as soon as possible.
In addition to creating a website, it is necessary to pay for the hosting and maintenance of the website. Hosting is a “place” (server) where your site is stored and available to visitors 24/7/365. The cost of maintenance depends on the number of hours that designers and/or developers will spend to keep your site updated. If the page is not updated regularly, it eventually decays and becomes obsolete in the eyes of search engines. Once your site is on the Internet, that’s when your business begins. Website maintenance is a process that enables the proper structure and functionality of a website.
It consists of updating and modifying textual content, photos, and technical maintenance to allow visitors to quickly find the information they are looking for and to make visitors the end-users of the services you offer. Website maintenance includes all the actions required to keep the website up-to-date, accessible, fast, and protected at all times from the everyday dangers that “lurk” on the Internet.
To avoid any uncontrolled changes to the website and to make the website sustainable, it is necessary to enable the website to be properly and constantly maintained through the following services: backups, CMS system upgrades, security scans, website optimization and customization, and content updates. Maintaining and updating websites is a serious job that requires time and a professional approach. If you do not have the time or do not have enough knowledge to maintain a website on your own, leave your website in our hands.
Websites today are the foundation of digital marketing. With an extensive network of activities on social networks and content marketing, they are still the center towards which everything gravitates. At B. McGuire Designs we are taking the website design seriously as we know it is the main ace in your sleeve. Do not hesitate to contact us if you want to start building your business online.