5 Outdated Web Design Tactics to Change for the Better
When was the last time you visited a website that seemed stuck in the 90s? The loud fonts. The wildly contrasting backgrounds. The marquee design. It may have been all the rage when it was popular, but it sure isn’t cool now. What would people say about your brand when they think you don’t bother updating your web tactics?
Nowadays, online visitors will take a good look and spend around 10-15 seconds before deciding if your website is worth delving into. Businesses and organizations who want their target audiences to stay should make an effort to impress them. Your business should leave a great impression if you want them to stay with your brand!
And surprisingly, it’s a lot simpler to change your design than you think. Whether you’re using WordPress or one of the many site builders out there, don’t see any of this as a daunting task. Instead, see it as a way to improve your site.
Here are 5 outdated web design tactics that you should definitely consider changing:
1. Displaying Massive Hero Images
What’s a hero image, you ask? Well, it’s a collection of large and prominent pictures usually displayed at a website’s front page. Used wisely, hero images can attract those who are visual learners. But currently they are only being used to cover up lack of relevant content. People often make the mistake of thinking they only need one huge hero image and a button just below it to attract customers. Well, there’s more to it than that.
Hero images should be accompanied by a sidekick. Meaning, they may still be displayed prominently at the top but they don’t need to dominate the whole page. Designers may go crazy over the theme idea, but when looking at it from a user’s perspective, it’s not so great after all. The hero image sections should be smaller to accommodate other content.
Keep the single goal and the call to action (CTA). Get your visitors to subscribe instead of flashing them with one big digital billboard. A pipeline or contractor company may have 2 or more goals for their website. In this case, the hero image should reflect the primary goal but leave enough room for the other goals or the other people who may stumble upon your website looking for something else.
In short, the call to actions should be large enough to call action but small enough to leave other content in case your visitor may need more information.
2. Relying On Sidebars
Blog websites tend to put in sidebars to get their audience to look at related content. But what blog owners don’t know is that sidebars are notorious for distracting the visitor from what’s truly important- the end goal. Online marketers may see sidebars as opportunities to highlight other web pages, collect information or to promote special offers, but it doesn’t work when people are ignoring it and looking somewhere else.
Sidebars are tremendously horrible when viewed on mobile screens. The smaller-sized layout forces them to the bottom of the screen where they are the least likely to be viewed. If the website isn’t optimized, the sidebars may not even show up at all.
Changing this outdated web tactic frees up invaluable space. Keep a sharp and interesting contrast at the content and the CTA located at the bottom. The Call To Action will invariably have more views, which translates to getting more conversions.
3. Using Stock Photos
You’ve seen one stock image, you’ve seen them all. You’ll be rolling your eyes when a website loads and you see a generic stock photo of a happy man wearing a headset. Your potential customers will do the same.
How are you different from your competitors if you use generic photos? These boring images simply fill up empty space and aren’t helpful when trying to establish trust and brand confidence. People are getting smarter on the web- they’ll know that the people you put in your pictures aren’t the real people you have working for you.
Instead of using the same stock image over and over again, why not go creative? Eliminate cheesy stock photos and images that look fake. Invest in professional photography and you’ll be glad you did. The return of investment will pay dividends.
4. Not Optimized For Mobile
Here’s what you need to know if you’re a web owner- people are doing more than half of their searches on a smartphone or a tablet. Having your website stuck in the same screen size is an outdated web design tactic that you should change immediately. Not updating means you’ll be losing potential customers who will be scratching their heads and wondering why your site looks so ugly on their mobile phone.
Google is pushing websites to become mobile friendly. The tech giant has stated that they will introduce penalties to websites that don’t look good on mobile screens. Not optimizing your website’s design, layout and content will certainly spell doom for your search rankings. In other words, you’ll be buried beneath your more mobile-friendly competitors.
A website should keep improving for the better. Simply upgrading to a more mobile-friendly version will allow your online presence to stay on top of things.
5. Carousel Sliders
What’s a carousel slider? These trendy web design things look snazzy upfront, but they do have their weaknesses. The most experienced web designers will tell you to stay away from carousel sliders; they’ll say there are better features that you can implement in order to create an attractive website.
For one, carousel sliders aren’t great at sending out information. If the content a visitor wants to see is located somewhere in the 5th slider, then there’s a huge chance they won’t ever see it. They’ll simply think the information isn’t there and move to another site.
Research has shown that the average clickthrough rate for websites that have carousel sliders suffer a .1 percent. There are too many things that can go wrong, more notably having too much information and no clear CTA.
Change this tactic by being clear, simple and straight to the point. One hero image with a well-crafted value proposition followed immediately by a CTA will work wonders for your website.
Ridding or changing your website of these 5 outdated web design tactics will certainly improve how your audience see your website. A great experience leads to good things, and this rule also applies to web design.