9 Things To Avoid When Designing Your Website

You probably have encountered at least one website which was so poorly designed or hard to navigate that you immediately clicked off.

You don’t want that to be your website. If you own a business, you want visitors to feel welcomed on your site. Your website design shouldn’t make people click away. We’ve gathered a list of 9 items we think you should avoid when designing your business website.

Website Elements You Should Avoid

1. Music Auto-Play

When music automatically begins playing on a website, it can be startling and quite disruptive. Even if the music is calming, your visitor might be in a quiet office, already listening to music or a video, or simply not expecting the music to play. If you want to have music, let the visitor decide by displaying a Play button easily available for them to click.

2. Pop-ups

Nobody likes pop-ups. We don’t, at least. We find pop-ups to be distracting from the user experience. Unless you need to verify the visitor’s age, keep pop-up usage to a minimum.

3. Busy Background Images

Background images can have a big effect on the presentation of your site. If the image is too loud, sends the wrong message, or makes accompanying text too difficult to read, try selecting a different, simpler image.

4. Not Knowing Where Links Are Pointing To

If you have links that take visitors to an external website, be sure to open them in a new tab. Otherwise you will abruptly terminate their session with you, as if they left your site entirely. Generally, external links, PDFs, and other non-internal links should open in a new tab.

5. Camouflaged Links

If a visitor is unsure what is a button or a link, it can be somewhat confusing or deceiving to know what to do. Buttons and links should be clearly distinguished from the rest of paragraph text.

6. Animations

Incorporating animations into your website, if don’t right, can pack a powerful punch to your website design and really impress visitors. Subtle animations are also valuable. visitors appreciate creativity and the subtle communication between them and the website.

7. Too Many Odd Fonts

Yes, you can use a creative font to express your personality. But remember that a lot of fonts may be hard to read or look ugly to certain visitors. You could risk loss of interest if the wrong font is selected. Sticking to clean, web-safe fonts is a good idea if you want your website to look professional.

8. Moving Text

Generally, you should avoid scrolling, flashing, or blinking text. It’s true that it will catch people’s attention, but that could easily cause more confusion thatn convenience. Instead, combine colors, fonts, and other peripheral design techniques to create a compelling presentation.

9. Asymmetrical Negative Space

Inevitably, you will encounter too much, or too little, negative space. Incorporating negative space is important for any website, as you don’t want the entire page to be off balance. Take a few moments to consider the negative space you have based on the amount of content and find ways for spreading items out, or closer together, to fill in the gaps.

Ask For Feedback From Your Close Circles

You should generally avoid these design elements. However, there are exceptions to the rule. We’ve mentioned some of these exceptions above but every website is different and there are various reasons why these elements might work for you. If you really think one of these website design elements suits your site, you could be right!

When you’re not sure about your website design plans, reach out to us. You can also get a second opinion from family, friends, other business owners you know, or regular customers. User feedback is always helpful for website design.

Here at A La Carte Web Services, we provide you with expert website design services for your small business. Contact us to find out more.

How To Plan For A Website Design: A Guide For Non-Developers

The planning stage is the most important part of any small business website design project. When working with a website designer, you have to clearly describe your ideas and desires so they can create the website you want. The designer has to describe their ideas as well. By offering you various options and examples, they can show you what your website might look like.

Every design has three key parts. There’s the actual design, which is how the website appears and how it feels to use the website. Then there’s the content, which is the text, images, and videos which will make up the final website. Finally, there’s the functionality, which is how the website works. Stay mindful of all three of these parts when you’re working with your website designer. Remember also that your plans will likely grow and evolve as your designer learns about your business and figures out how to communicate your vision online. Strong communication is an important part of making this design relationship work and creating the perfect website.

There are some essential website design tips for small businesses which make it easier for you to work well with your designer. As a team, you can create a fantastic website with the help of a shared vision, strong communication, and good planning.

1. You don’t need the perfect idea

Your designer doesn’t need you to have an exact vision for your website. Your website designer will probably be happy to take creative control if you aren’t sure what you want, so don’t be afraid to let them do their thing.
Tip: Request some samples of the designer’s previous work and check out their own website. This will help you figure out whether you like their style or not.

2. Offer your designer examples of what you like

Clear visual examples are so helpful in the website planning process. Take a look at various websites and take note of what you like. Make a list of links, including information about what you specifically liked about that site, and give it to your designer.

Tip: Check out your competitors’ websites for design ideas, but don’t limit yourself to them.

3. Don’t branch out too much

Examples are very helpful, but too many examples can be confusing. Your designer may find it hard to pinpoint what you want, and you’ll pay for the time they spend checking out hundreds of websites.

Tip: Aim to send between three and five design examples to your designer, along with notes describing what you like about each design.

4. Get specific about what you like

Tell your website designer specifically what you want and need on your website. Unless you’re clear that you like the color scheme on website one, the layout of website two, and the use of images on website three, your designer will have to guess what’s appealing to you about each one.

Tip: Include specific comments detailing what you like about each link. Is it the layout? The content? A certain feature? The aesthetic?

5. Explain what you don’t like

You might come across a common design element that you really don’t like. If that’s the case, let your designer know. Don’t wait until it crops up on your own website!

6. Don’t Fall Prey To “Feature Creep”

Feature creep is a common issue in website design and you should avoid it. Feature creep occurs when you suddenly decide that you want to include various new ideas in the design once you see the finished product and expect the designer to work in these new ideas at no extra cost.

If you find yourself saying, “I didn’t want X but now I’m thinking it would look great. It won’t take long to do that, right?” and “I saw a website with Y. Can you quickly add it into my site?” then you might be falling prey to feature creep. The assumption that these changes will be quick and free is the real problem here. Your designer will probably be prepared for some changes and add-ins as your project evolves, but big add-ins, or many little ones, should incur an additional charge.

Your designer wants you to be happy so feel free to describe the changes you want and ask for add-ins if you need them. However, if it’s a big change or a lot of smaller changes, bear in mind that you should be paying for it.

7. Partnership

Just like any other good professional, your website designer will want you to be happy with the product they deliver. However, you play a central part in that process. You need to build a strong partnership by describing what you want your website to look and feel like. Encouraging strong communication will let the planning and website design process work well so you can get your dream website.

Here at A La Carte Web Services, we can provide you with expert website design services for your small business. Contact us to find out more.