Web Design Errors that Stop Users in Their Tracks

Friday, 6 December 2019  |  Posted in: Most Recent  |  6min read

When it comes to your user journey, every step in the process matters. Even minor mistakes in the user journey can seriously impact your business as customers turn away from your website and choose your competitors, instead. These errors mean that users can’t find what they’re looking for. Often, they stop them in their tracks–in this case, meaning that they leave your site, which in turn means that you don’t get the conversion.


Error #1: You’ve Broken Web Design Conventions

When users visit your website, they expect things to look and act a certain way. Most of your users spend a lot of their time online. They know what to expect from websites. If your website breaks those conventions, it makes your users uncomfortable–and as a result, they’re more likely to click away from your site. You might want your website to be cutting edge and unique, but you still need to follow a number of design standards that will make it easier for users to find what they’re looking for, including:

Link styling. Users want to know where there are links on your page and have an idea of where they will lead. They do not, however, want to see text styled like a link that leads nowhere–especially if it’s combined with link-formatted text that does lead to another page.

Navigation. No matter what page they’re on, users want to be able to navigate easily around your website. Ideally, navigation should be located at the top and/or bottom of the screen so users can easily jump where they need to go.

Icons. Today’s users are highly familiar with a variety of icons and designs: envelopes to indicate mail or the familiar icons that represent social media platforms, for example. When you break convention and try to use those icons to represent something else, however, it can be highly uncomfortable for your users.


Error #2: Your Website Design Isn’t Responsive.

Responsive website design has become standard for most designers and most platforms–but that doesn’t mean you’ve taken the time to think through every element of responsive design. You must carefully consider how your website will display on all your users’ screens, not just in terms of whether it will resize for a smaller screen, but in terms of:

Text content. Are users really looking for the link at the bottom of a wall of text? Navigation should be simple and convenient from any device, including mobile devices.

Vertical display. On small phone screens, your page may display vertically, rather than horizontally.

Decreased navigation options. In order to provide enhanced convenience, you may pare your mobile website down and remove unnecessary links or content to make it easier for users to accomplish what they need to.


Error #3: Illogical Content Structure and Navigation

How your content is organised is every bit as important as what content you choose to display on your website. If your users can’t figure out where things are located, they are more likely to grow frustrated and, as a result, click away from the website. This includes:

Logical hierarchy. Email addresses, for example, should logically be located under the “contact us” section, along with your phone number and physical address. You should sort content into reasonably intuitive locations that will make it easier for users to find exactly what they’re looking for.

Easy-to-navigate content. The 3-click rule is incredibly important for your most critical content: that is, users should be able to easily locate the most important content on your page in no more than three clicks from the homepage.


Error #4: Information that Isn’t Organised for Readability

As your website grows, you will likely create a diverse content library that will help enhance the user experience and provide them with critical information about your products, your services, and your industry. If it’s not readable, however, your users aren’t going to be able to get anything out of it. Effectively organised information includes:

  • Heading and subheadings
  • Bulleted lists, where needed
  • Easy to skim content without large blocks of text
  • Legible font choices
  • Readable colour schemes that will help your content stand out on any background


Error #5: Complicated Form Design

Your forms are essential for gathering information about your customers, whether you want an email address to add a new contact to your list or signup information that will allow your customers to schedule a service or consultation. Allowing online form completion can help you gather more information about your customers, which can in turn help you deliver more personalised content. At the same time, however, you do not want to create a complicated form that will slow down your users, frustrate them, and cause them to leave your website. Make sure to evaluate:

  • The length of your forms. Users who have to spend too much time filling out a form may choose to leave your website instead.
  • What questions you consider mandatory. Users who do not have an answer for a specific question or who do not want to share that information may choose to turn to a competitor, instead.
  • How users navigate your forms.


Error #6: Unclear CTAs

Your call to action is, in many cases, the last chance you have to communicate with a user after they view a specific page on your website. A call to action should clearly tell the user what you want them to do next–and, in most cases, contain a link that shows them how to do exactly that. A fantastic call to action:

Uses strong action verbs. It is, after all, a call to action, and should therefore encourage the user to take one.

Contain only a single instruction. Don’t muddy the waters by encouraging users to fill out a form or contact you or complete some other action. Instead, clearly state exactly what you want the user to accomplish.

Create FOMO. The fear of missing out is a powerful thing. When you convince users that they may miss out if they don’t take the action you’ve encouraged, it can help move them to make a solid decision on the spot, rather than putting it off.


Are you worried that you have made critical web design errors that could stop users in their tracks on your website? Our Adelaide web agency can help!

Schedule a website audit today and let us identify–and help solve–any challenges that could prevent your users from converting.

Get Audit


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Phone us on 1300 375 368 for an obligation-free chat with a digital specialist about how we can help to scale up your business online.

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