Common web design fails and how to avoid them

Web design mistakes to avoid

Common web design fails and how to avoid them

Think of your website as a shop window for your business. You only have one chance to make an impression yet many businesses are still ignoring basic usability principles when it comes to web design.

From slow loading sites and cluttered layout to omitting key information such as your phone number, we outline some of the most common web design fails and how to avoid them.

Not responsive

More people are using their smartphones to access the web and mobile currently accounts for half of all global web pages served. In response to this trend, Google is beginning to roll out its mobile-first index which means it will consider the mobile version of your website before the desktop version in search results. If you don’t have a mobile site, the desktop version will be indexed instead but this lack of mobile experience could negatively impact your rankings.

You can check a site’s responsiveness using Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test tool. The tool is easy to use - simply enter the URL you want to test and the tool will quickly analyse the page. Test results include a screenshot of how the page looks to Google on a mobile device and a list of any mobile usability problems that it finds.

Slow page load time

According to Google’s latest research, 53% of users will leave a mobile page if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load. A slow load time will create a poor user experience and increase your bounce rate (the number of people who leave your site without interacting with it), harming your SEO and reducing conversions.

You can speed up your page load time by:

  • Minifying and combining your HTML, CSS and JavaScript files using a plugin such as WPRocket for WordPress sites or CSS minifier. This will also help to reduce the number of HTTP requests to your site.

  • Optimising your images by reducing their size to fit the exact dimensions required and remember to ‘save for web’ to further reduce the file size.

  • Enabling server side caching to generate a static HTML version for page elements that don’t change. This means that a visitor doesn’t have to download an entire page each time they visit it.  

No prominent Call to Action

Even with the most visually appealing site, failing to provide an obvious call to action will confuse visitors and lose you sales. Visitors interested in your products or services need to know exactly how to contact you for more information. Provide a simple contact form using only the fields you need and place your CTA (Call to Action) above the fold (in the top part of the screen before you scroll). The CTA in the screenshot below demonstrates this perfectly. 

No obvious telephone number

Some people prefer to talk to a real person over the phone rather than email or complete an online form. There’s nothing more frustrating than not being able to find a phone number on a website and then having to search for it on Google. Don’t risk losing those customers by providing an obvious phone number on your contact page at the very least, and also ideally within the footer and/or header of your site.

Large blocks of uninterrupted text

Users scan web content rather than read it left to right like they would a book or newspaper. Presenting them with large chunks of text is very unappealing. Make your content accessible by breaking it up into short paragraphs to provide breathing room for the eyes. Use bulleted lists and headings to make it easier for users to scan and identify the content that is most relevant to them.

Width scrolling

Long scrolling websites are a popular feature of contemporary web design. This stylistic trend simplifies the navigation of a site, promotes engagement and increases dwell time. Beware of implementing width scrolling on your site though which is bad for usability. Users scroll down on websites and don’t look left to right, so keep your site vertically aligned for a problem-free browsing experience.

Cluttered design

Less is more with web design. Don’t overload users with too many distracting elements such as pop-ups and ads and avoid making the page look crowded. You can achieve this by leaving lots of white space around on-page design elements, presenting a consistent style and dividing the content into easy to identify sections. This will give the reader’s eyes a chance to rest and improve the overall user experience.

Not making your pricing obvious

Many companies don’t want to list pricing on their website for fear of putting potential customers off or their competitors undercutting them. Shying away from pricing altogether is a missed opportunity as it could annoy prospective customers who would rather know your costs up front before they contact you.

Publishing prices on your website will help to generate more qualified leads, save you time and establish trust as it assures prospects there are no hidden costs if they buy your product.

If you’re still unsure about displaying prices on your site, a good workaround is to create a tiered pricing structure or package style pricing, similar to our web design packages. This provides a flexible pricing system and helps to manage your customer’s expectations.


Are you guilty of any of these web design fails? Is it time for a redesign of your site? Implementing these tips will improve the usability of your site, help your SEO and drive conversions and sales. We can help you build a flawless online presence! Get in touch for more information.

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Author

Joan Lavery on Thursday, 15 March 2018

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