Even the best web designers are capable of making mistakes their clients can spot at a glance. It may not happen often, but it still happens.
It’s not due to laziness or any lack of professionalism. It’s simply due to the difficulty involved in adapting web designs to the industry standards. The standards can be different since clients expect them to be followed.
These mistakes can be avoided by taking the time to dig deep into consumer psychology. One can also understand UX practices and principles from A to Z. Having a thorough knowledge of what a given website’s users want and expect works as well.
A simpler approach that is just as effective. Possibly more so is to start your projects using pre-built websites. Be Theme has a library of more than 340 pre-built websites that cover close to 30 different businesses. Each one is adapted to a specific industry standard.
These are the design mistakes you want to avoid:
Design Mistake #1 – Losing Your Focus
It’s called taking your eyes off the prize or forgetting what you’re there for. It’s easy to become enamored with the visual appeal of a website. You can even forget the reason you’re creating it in the first place.
Clients really hate design mistake #1. It gives them the impression you created the website for yourself and not for them. The design can still look stunning, but the #1 priority should be the website’s goal.
What might that goal be? It might be to sell products online or build brand awareness. Or, it might be to show how a business differs from its competitors’ business models. Maybe it is attempting to establish itself as the go-to place in their area for a service or product line.
Whatever the purpose, you need to keep it in mind as you proceed with your design. If you allow yourself to lose sight of the goal, you’re doing the client and the business a disservice.
By using a pre-built website you’ll find you can focus more on the creative aspects of a design. Your focus will be less on the client’s business itself. Industry standards and a pre-approved user journey have already been programmed in. It is shown in these two examples from Be Theme:
BeApp3 follows a typical user’s journey for an app centered around features and pricing plans.
BeHome places an emphasis on showing what differentiates this business from its competitors. It highlights what makes their handmade products so special.
Design Mistake #2 – Failing to Appreciate Content Hierarchy
All content is NOT equal, as you’ve no doubt discovered for yourself while surfing the web. It can be frustrating to search for a piece of information only to find it deep down in the bottom of the homepage. It can also be hidden away in a megamenu.
The obvious solution here is to take time to identify what type of content will be best for every website. Learn to do that, and you can be crowned King of UX design.
The only problem is it can take dozens of hours to accomplish that. You may not want to invest hours of time and effort to seek out the industry standards for a single project.
Here again, pre-built websites provide the needed solutions.
Take BeDigital for example. Visual content is an ~absolute must~ in the digital industry. That is why this template uses large and impressive visual content above the fold. The simple yet bold menu resides at the bottom.
BeIndustry makes clever use of background visuals. At the same time, the focus remains on the main message in front-center. It has an eye-catching mix of shapes and textures. Yet, users are drawn to the call-to-action button.
Design Mistake #3 – Overfamiliarity with Design Standards
Trying too hard to follow industry best practices and standards? It is one of the most common web design mistakes. By following these practices and standards, you can end up with a truly boring website.
The more you follow the rules, the more your website is going to look like most other websites. You want to be creative, but not overly so. Your design should surprise and delight users without interrupting their flow.
So, how do you draw the line between standards and creativity? Once again, why not use pre-built websites like these:
BeFantasy succeeds in replicating the familiar feel of video games. At the same time, it surprises users with an eye-popping assortment of design elements. Don’t forget textures, colors, and animations.
Or take BeChurch 2 for example! Here, a combination of vintage imagery and cursive typography plays the key role. It reinforces the church’s beautiful history. The modern logo and menu help bring it into the 21st century.
Design Mistake #4 – Being Overly Disruptive
You’re sometimes encouraged to let your creative juices run wild, yet there are limits. The goal here is to be creative while still controlling the flow.
This mistake can be partially the fault of a client who asks for something innovative. When that happens, we feel free to be at our creative best. In doing so, we make it harder for the poor users to find what they’re looking for.
The better approach is to stick to a familiar structure and innovate around it.
BeEco has such a simple structure, yet the design is definitely eye-catching. All the information users need is at their fingertips. However, the website is clean and surprisingly fresh.
BeYoga2 is another simple design that sports a clever use of metallic elements to give it a glam look.
Design Mistake #5 – Not Meeting a Client’s Expectations
You should feel free to give a client advice but never tell a client he or she is wrong (or stupid). Sometimes you simply have to build an “ugly” website to meet a client’s specifications. You may not like doing it, but that’s your job.
Many clients tend to copy their industry’s websites. They think that their own websites should look similar. From the client’s perspective, those websites are exactly what is needed to bring in business.
Again, you may not like it, but you still need to do it.
BeCopywriter has bold colors, huge font size, and crazy-simple structure. It is an example of brutalism that isn’t really all that bad, especially when it’s sending the right message.
Summary and Conclusion
You’ll find it much easier to avoid these 5 mistakes by using pre-built websites. They will help you to get the burden of side stepping them off your shoulders:
- Don’t wander from a website’s goal
- Don’t bury important content in hidden or unfamiliar places
- Don’t create a design that follows standards and best practices to the letter
- Don’t build a website that’s overly disruptive
- Don’t ignore specific client expectations; even if you disagree with them
Do~use pre-built websites to build user-friendly designs in line with your client’s specific business.
This article is sponsored by Muffin Group.