Avoid these 5 Web Design Pitfalls

It is hard to ignore web design trends when designing your website but you might not want to blindly follow the hype to avoid some of these pitfalls. Trends are not always what they cracked up to be and can create annoying user experiences and poor SEO.

One Page Websites

A single page website is when all the pages of a traditional website are combined into one page and the navigation just scrolls to a particular content section. This is fine for landing pages where there is a very specific topic like a product launch. However, if you offer more than one service, your multiple headings can really confuse search engines. Having only one page means that you are limited to one title and description tag, which may not accurately describe all of the content on your page. Because search engines index all the pages in your website, having one page means you only have one chance to rank. Finally, one page websites also tend to have shallow content because of the limited space, which also negatively impacts SEO.

Rotating Carousels

Even though few users interact with rotating carousels, they have become synonymous with most website homepages. Carousels cause many SEO issues including multiple H1 headings, JavaScript, slow loading time and shallow content. Every time a slide changes, there is a new H1, which significantly devalues the keyword relevance. Many websites even go as far as displaying full-page sliders pushing their important lead generating content below the fold and forcing users to scroll. Rotating banners add a lot of bandwidth especially on mobile devices magnifying the slow load times. According to Search Engine Land less than 1% of users actually click on carousels probably because they look like ads. Using a combination of compelling images and content catered to your target market would be more effective. We are not saying to never use one but rather to consider if there is a better way.

Parallax Scrolling

Parallax scrolling is when the background moves slower than the foreground creating a 3D effect as you scroll. Parallax scrolling is cool at first but it gets old pretty fast. Because this effect takes a lot more time to load, scrolling too fast may cause large portions of missing content. Most users find types of websites confusing and annoying, as they take too long to scroll through. In addition, it is difficult to access the information you want unless you want to scroll through the entire website again.

Less is More

Too many animations, fonts or colors, no matter how cool, will detract from your web design. Negative space is your friend so less is more. A good web design is not achieved when there is nothing left to add but when there is nothing left to take away. Limit your website to only one moving thing per page and use no more than two fonts or colors. Your fonts must be legible and clearly represent tone and messaging and be appropriate for your target audience.

Infinite Scrolling

Infinite scrolling is another popular web design trend in which content continues to populate at the bottom of the screen as a user scrolls down the page. Websites that use this include Facebook, twitter and Pinterest where information keeps populating so that there is no end. Although this is great for mobile users, navigation and linking can get messy and users cannot go back without scrolling their lives away. Infinite scrolling websites can be slow or get stuck. Worse yet, they can crash.

In Conclusion

The next time you want to redesign your website around a hip new trend, consult your web design and development team to see if there is a better way. After all you hired them for a reason. At Kwok Design, we have been creating engaging San Francisco website designs for over a decade. If you are interested in more information or a consultation, please contact us.

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