The internet is full of tips that teach you how to design a website that draws visitors, increases conversions, or puts Picasso to shame. While most of these tips are excellent, some advice can actually do more harm than good.
Here are seven deadly web design myths from SEO Winnipeg professionals, that you should avoid at all costs.
1. The Homepage Is the Most Important Element
Back in the old days of the internet, when the homepage served as the main directory in exploring the site, it was, indeed, one of the most important elements. But, that’s no longer the case.
Most search results or links shared on social media will land you directly on the page that interests you, completely skipping the homepage.
The sole purpose of a homepage today is to get you to the content you need. Users access a website because they want to get information, make a purchase, or download an app. The homepages will show the top and latest stories, highlight the most popular products, or direct the traffic to the relevant landing page.
That said, don’t make your homepage the ugly duckling or rely just on creative slogans. Just understand that it’s not as important as it used to be.
2. It’s Simple; Therefore It’s Minimalist
Minimalism and simplicity are not one and the same thing. Minimalism is about how your website looks while simplicity is about how easy it is to navigate. You can achieve the latter without going for a minimalist style. In fact, in some cases, having minimal content can lead to a bad user experience (UX).
Let’s take a form that doesn’t contain any labels, just a placeholder text, as an example. Although this design contains fewer visual elements (and can pass as minimal), the missing labels will confuse the users. The design is simple, but their interaction with the form isn’t.
3. Fewer Choices Means More Conversions
One of the biggest web design misconceptions is that having fewer navigational options will improve your conversions. That’s false.
You can have as many choices as you want as long as you group them into similar categories and make it easy for users to find them. If the categories and clusters are sloppy and chaotic, then it will translate into an awful user experience. And, nothing can affect your conversion rate more than bad UX.
4. More Than Three Clicks Will Drive Users Away
Most visitors are committed to finding the information they need, even if it takes more than three clicks to get there. In fact, studies have shown that people are willing to visit 25 pages before they give up on their search. As long as they are sure to find what they’re looking for on your site, they’ll stay and explore every corner of it.
The key is to provide them with relevant and easy to digest content to keep them actively engaged. Otherwise, users will leave your site after just one click.
Another thing to keep in mind is that the three clicks rule doesn’t influence customer satisfaction. In other words, people won’t feel dissatisfied with your brand if they have to click more than three times to find what they need.
5. Mobile Users Are Always on the Go
A lot of web designers falsely assume that mobile users are always distracted and on the go. But, here’s the truth: people nowadays use their phones not only for calling, texting and emailing but also for shopping, reading, browsing on social media or playing games. Most of the time, they do all these activities from the comfort of their homes, and not during their commute.
As for distractions, they are a part of everyday life, regardless if we’re watching TV, reading a book, or playing a game on our phones. That’s just the way the human brain works.
6. Aesthetics Don’t Matter as Long You Have Good Usability
First impressions tend to stick. Whether you like it or not, your site will be judged mostly by its appearance. In other words, the experience may be smooth and your content may be high-quality, but it may not be enough. Usability is purely technological whereas aesthetics are emotional. People react best to emotions than to technical aspects. Good design can trigger a positive emotion that’ll stir visitors to take action.
7. The User Is the King
Of course, it’s critical to understand your users’ needs and ask for their feedback, but keep in mind that people have a hard time explaining themselves, which makes their opinions doubtful or superficial.
Do your research based on their feedback to figure out how you can improve your site’s usability. Address the main issue instead of your users’ complaints. You could also get in touch with a design company such as Outre Creative. They will advise you on ways to improve your site.
These are just a few design myths that you should avoid. Keep them in mind when you design your site and always question everything before blindly apply it.