Considering a website redesign? Before you go any further with your project, stop and read this article. You may have plenty of ideas about what you think should be included in your new design but just as important are the things you should NOT do on your website redesign.
Here’s my list of top 5 things to avoid when redesigning a website:
1. Navigation menu you need directions to find
There’s no quicker way to loose your audience than with a hidden navigation menu. You want the visitors who come to your website to be able to find their way around quickly and easily. There’s a theory that if it takes more than 3 clicks for a visitor to find what they are looking for on your site, they’ll go somewhere else. Navigation should be simple and intuitive.
2. Autoplay music, videos or anything else that makes noise
You might think it’s helpful to your visitors if you start off with a video explaining a bit more about your company or perhaps using some music to set a mood. If you have a video or music that starts playing as soon as your site loads, it could be a big detractor. People want to be in control of their audio and video.
Remember, too, not everyone who’s looking at your website will want to broadcast this to the world. Jolting music could interrupt an otherwise quiet office space. Rather than fumble for the volume, your visitor is more likely to close the window completely and forget all about your website. If you are going to include any kind of audio or video on your website, give your visitor control of how and when it plays.
3. Making visitors wait
It’s generally not good business to keep customers waiting. This principle applies to website design as well. Not only do seconds count, but milliseconds are important when you’re talking about web page load times. This is according to Google engineers* that have found even the time it takes for you to blink is too long for people to wait for a website to load.
So, don’t use a lot of pictures, fancy graphics or anything else that’s going to make your website slow to load. Keep your design clean and simple.
4. Forgetting about your mobile users
I hope you’re not naive enough to think mobile doesn’t matter. If you are, I am here to tell you one of the biggest website design mistakes you can make is forgetting about mobile users. People aren’t just searching the Internet on their desktop computer or laptop anymore. They’re searching on mobile phones and tablets. If your website is difficult to read and or navigate on a smart phone or tablet, you’re loosing customers. Instead, choose responsive website design so your site looks good and performs well on all platforms.
5. Outdated content
The content on your website needs to connect with your audience. It also needs to be current. Outdated content or content that doesn’t speak to your audience’s needs or concerns is a mistake that will cost you visitors.
If it’s time to give your website a makeover, start out with some simple goals. Keep your site engaging, easy to use and relevant to your target audience. Whatever you do, be sure to avoid these design mistakes: hard to use navigation, autoplay, long page loading times, incompatibility for mobile users, and outdated content