Most consumers who encounter a truly awful website will click away to competitor’s site in a matter of milliseconds. But not Vincent Flanders. On the contrary, he has dedicated a whole book and website to Web Pages That Suck.
While the title sounds slightly cruel, the site serves a good purpose. By checking out sites that completely miss the mark, you can make sure you never make the same conversion-killing mistakes that these poor people made.
There are a lot of errors than contribute to a poor website experience, but what follows are the five deadly sins of web design:
Over Promotion: Typically, customers visit your site for one of these basic reasons: They need to find information, they need to make a purchase, they need to join a community or they need to be entertained. And as such, your site should be dedicated to meeting at least one of those needs, not just promoting your company.
- Lack of Focus: People should be able to tell what your company does within 5 seconds of visiting your site. If users can’t easily figure out what your company does, and consequently, what value you can bring to them, they will immediately click away. Irrelevant graphics and fluffy copy will just confuse your customer and slash your conversion rate.
- Too Little Contrast: People need to be able to read what you write. Don’t make it hard on people to read your copy by making it light gray on a white background, or even worse, hot pink on lime green. If users have to strain to read your info, they’ll just choose to read it somewhere else.
- Getting In Your Own Way: Make it easy for your visitor to take action. This seems obvious, but distracting graphics, needless splash pages and registrations often do just that. If a consumer visits your site with the goal in mind to make a purchase, let them do it without throwing up roadblocks and distractions.
- Putting All Your Eggs In One Basket: Your website is undoubtedly an important marketing tool in your overall strategy, but you need to be realistic about how much a website can achieve. You cannot expect a website to replace all other forms of media and trying to design a website that does so is a recipe for disaster.
There are a lot of ways for websites to go awry, but keeping a customer focus and using a little common sense will help you avoid many of the common pitfalls… and ensure that you are not deemed a Web Page that Sucks.
Posted by Nicole Hall, Account Manager with Mobilize Worldwide. Mobilize Worldwide develops mobile apps, mobile ad campaigns, mobile websites and just about anything else related to mobile marketing for brands interested in growing their sales and revenue using this new and emerging medium.