Web design trends: Some come along and last for a while, and even become game changers, and some fizzle out and are forgotten about quickly.
When designing or improving your website, it’s great to delight your users with new features and options, just as long as your visitors enjoy using them to their benefit.
While there are some great design features that focus on improving user experience and functionality, there are also many web design features that will actually do more harm than good to your website.
Yeah, I know it’s tempting to add new website features, but you’ve really got to ask yourself – How are your users going to benefit?
OK, so let’s take a look at 8 web design features that could potentially ruin your conversions.
Now, I’m not stating that you shouldn’t use any of these, but just moderate how you use them.
- Thin content
- Poor typography
- Content sliders
- Overused stock images
- Intrusive pop-ups
- Large images
- Options overkill
Now, let’s dive deeper into each of these design features. I’m going to keep them brief, so don’t worry.
Remember, each time you add a new feature or upload a new plugin, you’re essentially adding more code to your website.
And the longer your site takes to load, the more damage you’re potentially going to do to your conversions
Recommended reading: Simple ways to improve your Google page speed insight score
2. Thin “Unclear” content
I want to stress something first, and that is creating short pieces of content is not always a bad thing.
Creating thin and “unclear” content is bad.
Recently I changed my opinion, and strategy, on writing lengthy blog posts.
In fact, I’ve stopped doing it as much.
More often than not, you don’t need to crunch out a 2,000-word blog post just to get your point across to your readers.
Yes, some research suggests that Google prefers to give higher rankings to long-form content, and that’s OK if you’re writing for the search engines.
If you’re writing for people; your subscribers, potential customers, etc. on the other hand, you don’t need to shove 2,000 words down their throats all the time…
All that being said, thin content can affect your conversion rates in a negative way… if –
- Your message is not clear and concise.
- You fail to put the best parts of your content in the first few paragraphs of your blog posts, or web copy. Don’t think that saving the best stuff till last will work either. You don’t need to be a copywriting genius to know that folks online have short attention spans.
- There are no clear call-to-actions.
- You don’t provide quick take away bits.
3. Poor typography
Your website’s typography is more important than you think.
Can your site users comfortably read the copy in your blog posts and sales landing pages? Or do they have to squint to make out the tiny 12px sized characters?
What about the line-spacing? And, the font type you’re using on your website?
Comic Sans Serif just doesn’t cut it anymore.
Poor typography can lead to poor conversion rates.
If you need to improve your website’s typography, consider doing some A/B split testing to see what really works for your users.
Why not create two blog posts and test them against each other.
Increase the font size, font type, line spacing and font color of your variation and compare the results with the original.
If you’re using Thrive Architect with Thrive Optimize, you can do this quite easily.
4. Content sliders
If you’re using those dreaded content carousels on your website, what you’re actually doing is overwhelming and possibly confusing the trash out of your brand new website visitors.
Content sliders provide zero clarity and zero value, and it’s one feature that most web users don’t even care to use anyway.
If you don’t believe me that content slider suck, just take a look at these authoritative blog posts –
- Why sliders make your website suck! – By Thrive Themes.
- Sliders suck and should be banned from your website – By Yoast
- Don’t use automatic image sliders or carousels – By ConversionXL
If you’re trying to get ONE powerful message clear and concise to your new website users, then you’re not going to achieve that by using a slider that features various messages and options just to confuse your users even more.
Conversion killer? Big time!
5. Overused stock images
I love using free stock images, mainly because I can never afford to pay for premium stock images, they’re not cheap, right?
Nope, I prefer to use a combination of both my own images, often taken with my iPhone, or some free, high-quality stock images.
That being said, if you’re using any kind of stock images, free or premium, just make sure that the ones you select haven’t been overused.
Overused, generic stock images can give your website a bad impression, and definitely dilute your brand, I think so anyway.
Mix it up, explore different ways to create images for your website that reflect your brand properly. Create your own images even.
Or if you want to use stock images, find and use ones that haven’t been used often.
6. Intrusive pop-ups
Pop-ups are not just intrusive, but they’re also annoying.
Especially the ones that fill the entire screen after just a few seconds, and then you find it’s almost impossible to close them.
I’ve been there, I’ve made the mistake of using them, and yes, I’ve been told off about them too, now I’m advising you.
Want your website visitors to convert? Don’t shove an intrusive pop-up in their faces that makes them angry and turn away and close the page.
There are plenty of other more effective and less intrusive ways to offer subscription offers and incentives to your website users.
Thrive Leads have some of those none-intrusive features built right into its list building plugin.
7. Large images
One thing that really gripes me, as a web designer, is seeing website owners uploading huge image files to their website still.
And the best thing is that they then resize these large images to a thumbnail!
It makes zero sense unless you want large boxed images.
Image files can take forever and a day to load, plus think of the resources it could take on your web server.
Your customers aren’t going to hang around to wait for your 5000 x 8000 px sized images to load up…
What’s my best advice? Optimize your images before uploading them. Here’s how.
Again, a slow loading website is a conversion killer, so get smart with your image optimization.
8. Options overkill
Last but not least, is the never-ending number of options some websites offer.
Whether it’s your contact form, website registration form, online order form, checkout pages, email opt-in forms, I really don’t care, just keep them simple by providing only the necessary options and form fields.
ImageScape were able to increase their contact form conversions from 5.4 to 11.9 simply by bringing down the number of form field options from 14 to 11.
Do you have too many forms on your contact form page?
Could this work for you too?
What I would suggest is that you do some A/B split testing to see what works for your website, because after all, what works for one person will not necessarily work for someone else.
It’s a wrap!
So, there’ you have it! 8 web design features that may look, sound, feel cool to you, but might also be the reason your website isn’t converting its users into subscribers or customers.
- Have something to share?
- Do you disagree with anything discussed here?