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6 Common web design problems and solutions

using mobile internet cartoon

The average global internet user spends almost 7 hours online each day. That is a lot of time to invest in just one activity, don’t you think? Amazingly, 4.8 billion people are connected to the internet. You are not alone with strained eyes and back pain, grandpa 😝

As someone who works with websites, you might think that the odds are in your favour. People are glued to their mobiles and their computer screen. They have all the time in the world and they will check whatever you do, whether it’s good or not. Right?

Wrong. 🙅‍♀️

Research shows the average time spent on a website is about 45 seconds. For every website, the user experience must be compelling enough for the visitor to stay. That means no crappy, no cheap, no mediocre designs allowed.

Imagine the ideal customer finally arriving on your site just to see an outdated design with very confusing call-to-action buttons and broken links. What a waste, right?

broken computer cartoon

Mind you, it takes only 15 seconds for a visitor to click out of the webpage. I remember myself leaving a site faster than that when I clicked on a broken link. What if you have a bad website design? Get ready to say goodbye to a potential sale, for good.

The fight for people’s attention has gotten fiercer since the birth of the Internet and it’s always a good idea to review your website and see if it presents the common website design problems listed in this article.

I’ll also go over the solutions to some of those common design issues. Most of them can be solved with easy fixes such as:

  • Hiring an experienced designer or developer
  • Taking stock of the current layout and identifying what needs to be changed
  • Keeping things simple so as not to overwhelm visitors

layers of website design

Front-end website development is compared to a three-legged stool by web developers and web designers. These 3 legs or 3 layers are:

  1. Structure
  2. Style
  3. Behaviour

The design of the website sits in the middle of these layers and, while it is not the only defining factor, avoiding work in it spells disaster for the whole web design project.

What are the most common website design problems?

1. Outdated design and broken layout

oj simpson website
Did you see the broken image at the corner? *shudder*

There are ancient websites like these that are still live, but no matter how amusing they look, they do not give a pleasant user experience. “Oldie but goodie” doesn’t work well with web design.

The Solution: Ask your designer for suggestions on how to improve your website. It might be an overhaul or a simple button or image swap. Whatever it may be, it will do wonders and may increase website traffic.

2. Low-quality and inconsistent content

Compared to handing out brochures and flyers, the client’s content on a website is going to reach an even wider audience now because of the internet. With that in mind, it’s important to remind your clients to create high-quality and relevant content.

Take note: content is not just the text (what we call “copy”), it also includes imagery or graphics to send the message to the target audience.

Are there pixelated images on the website? Let’s hope not because they look cheap (unless it is about Minecraft)👾. Also, are you about to use too many stock images?

The problem with these images is that they’ve become very generic and overused. It is better to have some custom illustrations or photos to present the website effectively and in a unique way.

minecraft screenshot cartoon

The Solution: Hire a designer who can improve the look of your website and also create designs for your clients’ advertising campaigns. Your clients can get immense value out of this partnership if you offer this service.

Any marketer or salesperson knows that for a brand to stick, the messaging and the content across all platforms must be consistent.

3. Lack of navigation and usability

Think of 3 websites you commonly visit and you will realise one commonality – they are easy to navigate. They know what they want you to do and they make it easy for you to do it.

netflix screenshot
google homepage screenshot
youtube screenshot

With the rise in the popularity of mobile devices, website navigation has become more challenging. But then, a great design can work its way around this challenge to improve user experience.

Many aspects of web design contribute to user experience:

  1. Fonts, colours, and images
  2. Headlines and CTAs
  3. Availability of contact information
  4. Page load time
  5. Form design

Did you see the first 3 items on the list?

Fonts. Colours. Images.

They are listed first for a reason: We consume them with our eyes first.

eating with your eyes cartoon

As we mentioned in a previous article, visual content is powerful.

A well-plated dish is more enticing than one in a doggie bag. An interviewee aims to make a good impression by dressing well on the interview date. Diamonds are a girl’s best friend. You get what I mean.

The Solution: To attract potential clients, the website has to look good for them. Get a designer that has a deep and wide knowledge of how fonts, colours, and images can help with website navigation and make the user experience better.

4. Poor call-to-action placement

Call-to-action placement or design style is crucial in persuading website visitors to convert. Without a well-positioned and appealing call-to-action, prospects might find it difficult to find the conversion button or link.

What makes an effective call-to-action design style?

  • It must be clear where the website visitor should click

📌 Tip: The high-contrast colour of the call to action attracts attention.

  • The copy must be compelling
  • The button must be strategically placed

So, where is the best placement for the call to action button?

That depends on the content density.

The F-Layout tends to be more appropriate for pages dense with content.

Jakob Nielsen, the father of F-pattern reading, made such a concession when he first presented his findings:

“Eye-tracking visualizations show that users often read Web pages in an F-shaped pattern: two horizontal stripes followed by a vertical stripe.”

The Z-Layout on the other hand is primarily meant for pages with minimal copy. Essentially, the Z-Pattern is better suited for pages where simplicity is a priority and the main takeaway is the Call to Action.

The Solution: Instead of reading more about eye-tracking research and the various patterns and waste more hours of your time, hire a professional web designer. Problem solved!

how eyes read web pages

5. Cluttered web design layout

Have you seen a website that looks like a pack of Skittles spilled on the floor?

ugly website example

A cluttered website has an excessive number of pages and overly busy design elements. It may contain distracting images or an excessive number of advertisements. These kinds of websites make it difficult to know where to look or what to interact with.

Remember to look beyond the home page. If you have redundant categories and improperly designated content, the website design is still cluttered and will confuse.

The Solution: If you find that the website you are developing has chunks of texts and zero breathing room or white space, ask the copywriter to shorten the copy or to get the designer to adjust the spaces in between the elements.

The latter option might be easier and your brand story is kept intact.

Also, when planning website pages, keep the visitor in mind and make the website journey easy and enjoyable for them.

What is the most pressing issue with web design today?

The sixth one and probably the hardest to solve is your lack of time. With so many websites to create and so little time to do it, it feels like you’re constantly rushing.

Quality and creativity also suffer if you or your clients push simultaneous projects through deadlines.

Deer Designer can not only help you solve this most pressing problem but allow you to scale easily as well. Give us a try. (link to pricing page)