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The 4 Key Website Design Mistakes Most Business Owners Make

Whichever digital marketing strategy your online business adopts, from content marketing and social media drives to PPC advertising, the unifying goal of each is to generate traffic to your website and create conversions. 

But, with typical website conversion rates between 2.5% and 3%, the job is clearly less straightforward than it might sound. For business owners looking to impress and captivate would-be clients, the first job should always be to invest in a website that is equal parts visually engaging, intuitive and fully optimised. 

In short, the longer someone stays on your website, the vastly higher chance of conversion.

Here are 4 common web design mistakes that might be losing you customers.

creating content

Choose your colours wisely

Colour is an often overlooked but hugely important factor when it comes to consumer decision-making. Just as a user’s likelihood of purchasing is increased if a product is available in a certain colour, so too can a website’s colour scheme affect their retail choices.

Psychological studies have long since demonstrated colour’s persuasive cerebral impact on the human brain—and, as we can process images 60,000 times faster than text, the colours you choose for your website can have a huge influence on the engagement levels on your landing pages.  

Every website is different, and there is no one-size-fits-all colour scheme that you should look to follow. The combinations you choose, however, can determine the emotions and reactions you elicit from a visitor.

Blue, for example, can convey a sense of calm, stability and trust, while orange is thought to denote creativity, friendliness and warmth. Choosing the colours which represent your brand and inspire the intended emotion is not a decision to be taken lightly!

Don’t use standard or free templates

Plenty of content management systems come with free website themes and templates, and many business owners try to reduce costs by using these cookie-cutter models.

While not all free themes are a visual bin fire, it is important to remember that these templates were not designed with your specific business in mind, so it’s unlikely you’ll find a theme that suits your unique brand. They’re often overused and not updated regularly—which, if used, can make your business website look cheap and generic, with only a limited ability to customise.

To really get the website you’re looking for, one that truly represents your business and its core values, you’ll need to seek the help of a professional web designer. Here at Sonder, you’ll work closely with our Head of Design, leaning heavily on their expertise, while always ensuring the finished product is one your business can be proud of. This is something your run-of-the-mill content management system cannot offer with their free template options. 

Fonts for thoughts

There’s an art to getting the right combination of typeface on your website—and it’s certainly something that leaps from the page when executed poorly. While there are no definitive rules that will see your website reported to the design police if not followed to the letter—except perhaps liberal the use of Comic Sans—it is a good idea to be aware of some best practices when combining fonts. 

There is a school of thought which suggests that you should always pair a sans-serif typeface with a serif body typeface when choosing your headers and body text, but there are plenty examples of which don’t follow this convention. Archivo Black, for instance, is a clean, impactful sans-serif font that works perfectly for headers and titles; and pairs naturally with another sans-serif, Roboto, as a body text.

As a general guide, subtlety is the key. You’re not looking to overly spotlight either the body or header typeface. Instead, they should sit in harmony and complement rather than contest visually.  

White space is your friend

Just as a great musician can be lauded for the notes they don’t play, so too can the use of white space in web design be an effective way  of giving breathing room for the visual elements of your site— the result being an enhanced user experience, and a greater sense of balance and clarity.

We can find examples of white space all over the internet; from the New York Times to the official Nike website; this is a ubiquitous design approach which can be hugely effective when executed properly.   

We can break the use of negative space into two types; macro white space, which provides legroom between larger elements such as text columns and graphics, or micro white space, which concerns smaller features; think letters, text lines, paragraphs, icons, and buttons. Both play crucial roles in guiding the user’s attention and improving readability. By using white space, you can highlight key elements, such as important text or captivating visuals, and ensure they stand out. It can also give your design a minimalist quality which many great websites are all the better for adopting. Or, to use an oft-cited design mantra: keep it simple, stupid!

How can we help?

Looking to give your business website a much-needed makeover, or is it time to start again? Why not get in touch with our design team today and see how we can help?

Posted on November 14th 2023

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