It may be easier than ever before to get involved with web design and development. There are a myriad of software tools and hosting companies which make it very easy, even for someone with almost no background in the field, to put together a decent-looking website today.

But – should you? There are some ways that poor web design can really detract from your site, and send visitors running for the hills. If you have a business and you’re putting up a new website, you should be aware of and avoid the pitfalls listed below. It’s still a good idea to leave design and development to the professionals, especially if you’re also incorporating content marketing, copywriting, brand strategy, and other elements.

Forget splash pages

About the only thing a splash page accomplishes these days is to increase your bounce rate, because visitors can’t immediately locate what they came for, so they leave in frustration. It’s much better for visitors to see your home page first, so the menu can quickly direct them to the category of information they came for in the first place.

Non-uniform presentation

When visitors to your site are confronted by several different font sizes, clashing color palettes, and non-traditional locations for expected information like the Home, About, Services, and Contact pages, they quickly form a negative impression. They won’t waste time trying to figure out what makes them uncomfortable – they’ll just leave.

Logo navigation

Not surprisingly, a majority of visitors to web pages have the impression that by clicking on the company logo, they will be navigated directly to the Home page. It’s a very simple thing to ensure that this expectation is met, and that you don’t give someone a reason to move off your site.

Excess or oversized images

Having numerous graphics and images may be appealing to users, but there is a cost for including all those images – it slows down the display. The last thing you want is for a site visitor to be sitting there, staring at a screen which is ‘loading’. Studies show that about 40% of all users will skip town when confronted with this slow-loading scenario.

Overlooking the value of whitespace

This may sound like a curious ‘mistake’ to make, but there is no doubt about the truth of it. Over-crowded screens that have too much text and too many images make the screen just plain busy, and hard to interpret at a glance. Sometimes a glance is all you might get from a trigger-fingered user who’s just a mouse-click away from the next site. By strategically incorporating significant whitespace, the overall presentation remains clear and uncluttered, far more palatable to the nervous visitor.

If it’s time to focus on great web design, using best practices, then contact Linda Fanaras, President/Strategist of Millennium Integrated Marketing www.mill-im.com at Lfanaras@mill-im.com or 877-873-7445.