When we think about web design, we mostly just think about aesthetics. The visual aspect of a web page is immensely important. It’s what makes the first impression on website visitors and gets them to stay and keep reading. However, there are other equally important features we shouldn’t forget. Usability is one of them.
Usability mistakes happen more often than not. They sneak into the design and often get unnoticed by the designers. Still, they can ruin the effort you’ve put into designing the webpage and be off-putting to the visitors. To help you avoid making mistakes in web design, we’ve put together a list of 5 common usability mistakes for you to look out for.
Let’s break it down together.
1. Too Much Information
Online readers today don’t like to spend too much time navigating a website or searching for answers. They’re used to quick and easy navigation, similar to the one on social media.
This is why too much information on a web page can be extremely damaging in the process of retaining your visitors.
– get bored
– get confused
– lose their patience
– fail to find what they’re looking for
Too much information makes navigation difficult for users and makes the retrieval process an uphill task.
So, instead of stuffing your webpage with a ton of information try a different approach:
– strive for minimalism
– be concise
– go straight to the point
– use as little text as possible
Try organizing information better, and only include what’s absolutely necessary. This will make it easy for your readers to navigate, digest and understand.
2. Poor Contact Section
One of the most important sections on your website is the contact section.
Users might want to get in touch with the owners for various reasons depending on the mainstay of the site. If there are no proper contact linkages or buttons on the site, then it becomes entirely impossible to establish communication, and this is a key usability mistake in web design.
This is why you have to pay special attention to the way you incorporate the contact section in your design.
Make sure that it’s:
– easy to locate
– comprised of concrete information
Also, make sure that there’s a Contact Us button available to the visitors at any point during their visit to the website.
This way, they won’t have the time to hesitate or change their minds. They’ll contact the business owner immediately.
3. Navigation Issues
The ultimate goal of proper website design is to ensure seamless and easy navigation to various sections of the site.
Poorly placed navigational links affect the website’s overall structure, and you end up with jumbled paths to different website sections.
This type of usability mistake can cause dissatisfaction among website visitors and get many of them to leave. This is why you have to cover the following:
– make navigation simple
– clearly distinct different sections
– simplify section names
– provide intuitive design
When a visitor takes a look at the webpage, it shouldn’t take him more than a couple of seconds to realize how to navigate it.
If the navigation is complex, hard to understand, or confusing, they’ll just give up.
Make sure you make it easy for everyone to get around the website and find the information they need within seconds.
4. Unresponsive Design
Web responsiveness is another majorly important factor that designers need to take into consideration.
Today, people search the web using various desktop or mobile devices. From laptops to smartphones, you never know which device a visitor is going to use to check out the website.
Still, web designers tend to forget or disregard the importance of cross-device responsiveness. It implies that all users get to enjoy the full design spectrum regardless of:
– the device they’re using
– the type of screen they’re looking at
If designers don’t take care of this it causes problems such as:
– design is poorly showcased
– website is impossible to navigate
– users get frustrated and leave
Make sure you never make this usability mistake in your web design. Don’t design with a single type of device in mind.
Design for everyone, and test your design before finishing the project.
Only when you’re sure it works on all devices, you can say the job is done.
5. Slow Loading Time
As we’ve already mentioned, there’s no patience when it comes to searching the web. Visitors online don’t want to wait for the web page to load or for the information to become available.
They want to keep clicking, uninterruptedly.
This is why heavy designs, that take more than a couple of seconds to load are serious troublemakers. They’re also the last usability mistake on our list.
Designers who want to impress their clients sometimes tend to overdo things so they:
– use a lot of images
– use a lot of videos
– create heavy designs
Although most of this might look fabulous, it can also significantly slow down the webpage. And, if the user isn’t patient, he’s not even going to see the design.
He’ll just click the X and go someplace else.
This is why the key to usability is to speed it up:
– making the design lighter
– removing unnecessary layers
– converting images and video to smaller formats
It’s better to design a simpler website and have people enjoy navigating it. Otherwise, you’ll end up disappointing people and having them lose their temper.
Remember, everything you do needs to be user-friendly.
Designing a website is a highly responsible job that requires your full attention. The visual aspect of the design is important. It’s what draws the attention of the visitors and lets them know a little something about the business or the brand they’re looking into. However, usability is just as important. Usability mistakes can be damaging to the business and your reputation as a web designer.
Use the list above as a guide. Avoid making the mistakes we’ve listed. Improve your web designs by thinking about the end-user and don’t make any of the mistakes.
About the Author: Kristin Savage nourishes, sparks and empowers using the magic of a word. Along with pursuing her degree in Creative Writing, Kristin was gaining experience in the publishing industry, with expertise in marketing strategy for publishers and authors. Now she works as a freelance writer at TopWritersReview. Kristin runs her own blog.