Web Design Deadly Sin # 3 – Website too cluttered

One aspect of website design that leaves people divided is how much information should you include? Many clients want their web designer to fill the pages with as much information as possible, fancy fonts, flash animation, and other design elements.

If your web pages are too cluttered and distracting, you run the risk of hindering communication with your visitor. The message becomes unclear, while your potential customers’ eyes try to absorb all the distraction. Remember that visitors to websites have a very short attention span, not to mention a finger always poised on the mouse button, ready to click off and go somewhere else. Keeping it simple is paramount.

This is Part 3 of the 7 deadly sins of web design, and what you can do to avoid them.

Do: Images reinforce the message.
Long content is not inherently bad.
Add graphics that reinforce, rather than just decorate.

Do: Powerful images say a 1,000 words
Images only say a thousand words when they
have a meaning, not just for decoration's sake.

Website too busy. In web design, content trumps design every time. The design layout and look of your website should be part of a strategy to augment your message, not decorate it. Unnecessary aesthetics can actually REDUCE conversions.

  • One of the key annoyances for visitors is fancy flash animation that can take ages to load and drain resources. Your web designer will also need to take into account browser compatibility and site loading time when considering GIFs, other images and animations. People don’t like to wait.
  • Another pet hate is landing on a page and encountering distracting audio which is difficult or impossible to disable. Remember that many people browse the internet at work, and privacy could be an issue.
  • Make sure that any images and text are balanced, and that there is plenty of spacing in your text to avoid a cluttered look. Visitors hate to trawl through large blocks of text.
  • Choose your colours carefully. Your colour scheme should highlight your website, not send your visitors’ into visual overload. For example, red is considered one of the primary colours in web design, as it is said to make your viewer feel passionate about anything located near it. But not too much. Blend in some light blue, silver, white or grey for maximum effect.
  • Asking visitors to register before accessing content is another key distraction. It may seem like a good idea to get visitors to sign up as soon as they reach your website, but as mentioned, people are usually in a hurry. Asking them to sign up for something they haven’t even seen yet can produce a negative browsing attitude, which is not what you want to achieve.

Your website designer should make sure that every design element is strategically placed to drive attention and flow towards your call to action.

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