13 Website Design Howlers

13 Website Design Howlers

There’s no denying that the IT industry is inconsistent by its very nature. No matter what the old has to make way for the new.  That is, old data should be replaced by new. Even old website design strategies like homepage carousels, flash, stock images, and even fake testimonials should be done away with on an immediate basis.

In addition to these, there are 13 other website design howlers that online owners tend to commit.  Wish to know them before it causes any serious damage to your business? Here they go:

#1. Growth-driven design is just a buzzword for you

You are still not wised enough to adapt growth-driven website redesigning for your website. You still swear by traditional redesigning. Partly because implementing growth-driven design means you need to have dedicated resources working on your website all through the year. Which may not be possible given your limited means.

So, this means you won’t be overhauling your website design for the next two years. This means facts and figures remain static on your website, at least for a two-year period. This means you are turning the traffic away from your website in a big way.

#2. Posting fake testimonials comes easy to you

Customers are capi di tutti capi. They could see right through you.  But then, you are a start-up, and by far, you haven’t managed to gather enough positive reviews about your company.

So what you do? You plaster all sorts of lies all over the walls of your website. Good. But then, how long you could manage to hide this bluff.

Mind you, if your products don’t live up to the quality expectations, be assured, your bluff would get exposed in no time.

#3. Posting real testimonials without any proof

You are doing your best to accumulate as many testimonials from your clients. Good. But then, you aren’t putting in enough efforts to check out their LinkedIn profiles and their other social media profiles. Displaying real client testimonials without any social proof on your website’s homepage could reflect badly on your site.

Posting of client testimonials without social proof would be considered fake and clients and customers wouldn’t want to visit your site again.

 #4. Flash is a must for you, but not HTML5 content player     

You are a fan of flash and use video content in abundance in your website pages because embedding HTML5 content player in your website seems too much of a trouble for you?

If that’s the case, be prepared. Your visitor count will drop drastically. For the uninitiated, Flash has been blocked on all Apple devices. Google has got it blocked on Chrome as well.

 #5. Homepage Carousels – you still swear by them

Carousels are the thing of the past.  But you haven’t come off them. You still feel that homepage carousels would give your customers a comprehensive picture about your products and services. And that your customers would be interested in checking all the slides in carousels – one by one.

But the fact of the matter, websites with carousels are witnessing decreasing conversion rates. And that carousels are getting lesser clicks. On the contrary, if you replace carousels with static images, probably your website would get more clicks.

#6. JavaScript – You still don’t know how much is too much

Thanks to all those numerous social media plugins, WordPress plugins,  pop-ups and whatnots, you have been going overboard with the usage of JavaScript. But then, you can’t imagine doing away with them. Every single tit-bit seems important to you, some time or the other.

But then, you are putting website traffic at risk. Too much of JavaScript, could kill your website’s loading speed.  Which means, 40% of your visitors would leave your site when they see that your site is taking a lifetime to load.

#7. Your website copyright says © 2016 or even © 2008

You’ve gone ahead and overhauled your website this year. Congragulations! But then, you have conveniently forgotten to change the date of the copyright notice that lingers right at the bottom of your website. It should read Copyright © 2017 by OpenXcell instead of Copyright © 2016 by OpenXcell. But then, you aren’t really interested in changing it. Because you feel that no one is going to look at what is written at the bottom of the page.

This could seem be a trivial error for you. But for visitors this could mean that your website is outdated or probably out of business.

# 8. Your website turns a blind eye to the blind users    

There are about 161 million visually impaired people in the world today.  Agreed, all these people may not have access to the internet. Agreed, all these people won’t be keen to use the internet like their good sighted counterparts. But then, what about those blind people who really want to visit your website and make purchases? Nope, you don’t know of any such user, so you hardly bother to make your website screen-reader perfect.

For the uninitiated, screen-reader scans the website and reads out aloud to the blind and partially blind. By making your website screen-reader friendly, you are not only servicing the need of visually impaired but also chiming in for a charitable cause.

# 9. Your contact form seems endless

And you are really glad about it, for it helps you collect as much information as possible about a visitor. Your idea of the contact form is longer the better.

But then, your users are not showing equal interest in filling out such long contact forms.  So, naturally, they jump over to competitor sites without any afterthoughts.

#10. You like hamburger menus on your desktop

For the starters, Hamburger Menus were designed for mobiles. Checking out your website on  mobile means lesser screen space, so hamburger menus helped in hiding your navigation link.

But then, it’s a must for your mobiles and not for your websites. Given that your websites offer enough and more screen space, there’s no need for hiding your navigation menu on websites. But then, websites are blindly following the mobile trend and embedding them on websites, making interactions with websites difficult for the users.

#11. Stuffing all the content above the fold  

You believe that stuffing all the crucial content above the fold is right. Because you believe that users won’t scroll down your website to have a look at all the interesting offers that you have on offer.

But the fact of the matter is, users are so used to scrolling these days, that it has become their second nature. Going by user’s tendency to scroll instinctively, Apple has, in fact, decided to do away with the scroll bar in its Mac OS X because it believes that users no longer need the visual representation for scrolling down.

#12. Relying heavily on ready-made images 

There are many free stock image sites available from where you can freely pick, choose and plaster images on your website. So your point is, when things are so effortlessly available, why tinker and tweak your images to add a dash of personalization.  Why use sites like Canva and all and while away few precious hours at the altar of designing.

Agreed. But then, according to a recent study by Marketing experiments, stock images get 34.7 lower click-through rates as opposed to original images. Period.

#13. Changing website as per the latest trends

You  are a trendwatcher. You make sure your website reflects the latest trend. So when parallax scrolling trend was in, your website adopted it. Then you switched over to long shadow design. Nowadays, it’s lot of card-based layouts and long scrolling pages. Without a doubt, your website is complying.

But then, shouldn’t you find out whether the trend is good for your site or not? Whether the trend is going to last some time or not?  Whether  your loyal users will take the trendy changes in their stride or not? These are some important questions you need to find answers before you plan to make changes in your website as per trends.

Final thoughts

Websites changes come and go. While some changes are must, some are pure trouble. So before you implement such-a-such trend in your website make sure to measure your site analytics and data to determine whether the trends could add value to your site or they just flash in the pan.

This post is part of our contributor series. It is written and published independently of TNW.

Read next: Wake Up the Entrepreneur in You — Inspiration through Articles, Books, Movies and Quotes