Many businesses choose to design, build and develop their own website in an attempt to try to save money in the early days, with a belief that they can use a designer at a later stage when money is more readily available. This may sound like a good idea but many overlook the importance of design. The way a site visitor judges a website will often be influenced by smaller details on a subconscious level.
Catching the attention of your website viewer is crucial. You only have a few seconds in which to do so, which is why these small details make all the difference.
Research shows that people, and more importantly potential customers, won’t believe a site is dependable unless is also looks visually attractive.
The following common errors are seen when amateur designers aim to create their own website without professional help.
- Using templates incorrectly
Small businesses can benefit from templates more than larger businesses, but if you do decide to use one then having it professionally customised, so that it works for your branding is the best way to start. A common problem is that many templates that have been pre-designed have a poor weak link between the logo and website. Colours in the logo will not be seen throughout the rest of the site and it is also common for the wrong fonts to be used.
- Default bootstrap look
Your brand can be affected if you decide to use the default Bootstrap design because there are so many other websites out there doing it that it can be difficult to differentiate.
An obvious sign that you have used Bootstrap to build your site is Font Awesome. This has become popular because of its large library of icons and the fact that it offers a consistent visual language. Choosing to use another set of detailed icons can help you to focus the attention onto your selling points.
- The importance of fonts
Fonts are more important than people realise and many amateur designers fall foul of their use. Fonts can complete a design or they can simply be the end of it. The main problem with this is that there is often not enough contrast between the headline and main body fonts because applying different sized fonts just isn’t enough. Using bolder fonts help it to stand out and help the user to guide their way through the site.
The background makes up a large part of the website so it is important to choose the colour – or lack of colour – carefully. Black is generally no good and white is very safe but more and more designers are choosing to use grey or lighter tones. A lighter shade of grey is the preferred colour as it makes it easier to read black letters.
- Calls to action
Your website should only have one main call to action. Giving users more than one action to carry out can leave them confused which then takes them longer to make a decision. It can even result in them leaving your website if they have to put in too much effort. Make it simple for visitors to make a decision and they are more likely to stick around!
- The problem with spacing and alignment
How much spacing in a website design is too much and how much is too little? It can be difficult but ensuring that all of the elements are grouped together correctly is a great way to start and leaving the correct amount of white space around this will also work.
- Poor quality copy
Writing is difficult but getting your message across is vital, even more so if you are trying to sell. Therefore, ensuring that your copy is simple to understand is crucial and having it proofread can help to find any errors. Here as WiserWeb we specialise in content provision and that involves writing engaging content.
If your text cannot be read then it is useless. Your text will contain relevant information that is important, but if this is difficult to read and understand quickly then you will be giving out the wrong message. Small line height and fonts that are unreadable have to be fixed and the correct contrast between the text and background will help. Even though many will still be able to read poorly formatted text, it automatically gives off a level of unprofessionalism.
- Lack of consistency
Branding has to have consistency because your brand has to be recognisable regardless of the platform. This means that the logo colours have to match, the same shading has to be used and the same font. Many amateur web designers do not think about this which gives a bad impression on what your brand is all about.
- Design that is off-trend
Some design trends are disappearing but there are many still using them which makes them look outdated. One example of this is skeuomorphism – where design cues are taken from the physical world to suggests something that’s real. Slowly this is now disappearing, but look for off-trend designs that make your brand stand out from the crowd.