On your journey to a new and improved site, beware these common website design pitfalls.
By Katie Bridges
You know a well-designed site when you browse one. And that site didn’t happen by accident. It took a team of folks taking specific, methodical steps to create that intuitive, easy-to-navigate, well-written experience. As you plan your website redesign, avoid these six common website design mistakes.
The Issue: Failing to Do Stakeholder Interviews
A vital part of the discovery process, stakeholder interviews ensure that everyone who engages with the website on a regular basis is getting what they need from the site. The goal in conducting these interviews is to uncover the pain points that affect the people you talk to — and then let this data inform the design.
The Issue: Not Running a Traffic Analysis on Your Old Site
A traffic analysis gives you key data points about the web traffic going to and from your existing site. Running an analysis on your old site can help inform priorities for the new site by helping you understand:
- Who’s visiting your site
- How long they’re staying on your site
- What they’re doing while on your site
- Most-likely reasons they leave your site
The Issue: Writing Copy Without a Content Strategy
When caught up in the excitement of a website redesign, it can be easy to put content on the backburner. But when it comes time to write new copy for your website — or repurpose copy from your old site — having a strategy in place will help your team create cohesive, actionable copy that moves your target audience through the funnel.
The Issue: Neglecting to Create User Stories
User stories use informal language to outline the actions you’re envisioning users will take on your site. For example, contacting your organization or subscribing to your newsletter. They use non-technical language to provide context for the content, design and development team. After reading the users stories, the team knows what they’re building, why they are building it and what value it creates — which ultimately leads to a website that is user-friendly and more likely to convert.
The Issue: Not Prioritizing Intuitive Navigation and Accessibility
Websites with bad design features like a poor navigational structure can drive away visitors who are short on time and patience. And accessibility issues can make it impossible for some people to use the site. Text size, color contrast, page titles, image alt text, keyboard accessibility, moving and blinking contents like carousels, ads, auto-playing videos, scrolling news feeds and tickers are all elements that need to be reviewed from an accessibility standpoint.
The Issue: A Lack of Clear Calls to Action
Your website users shouldn’t have to fumble and guess their way through your site. Clear, concise CTAs allow users to quickly and easily take a measurable action like donating or signing up for emails. Without CTAs, users are less likely to convert.