Web Design Mistakes That Can Hurt Your Online Reputation and Customer Experience

It takes site visitors 1/10th of a second to judge your brand. As such, for businesses that rely on online presence, prospects, and customers make determinations primarily based on website design. Online businesses and brands with an online presence should reconsider their website design if it isn’t appealing enough to attract customers within 50 milliseconds.

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Developing a website that directly resonates with the target customers’ demands and expectations is certainly challenging. However, it is possible if businesses can avoid some simple mistakes. For instance, dental hospitals looking to capitalize on their online presence should adopt a dental website design that allows patients to find, evaluate, and book their services without struggling. The same applies to ticketing businesses, rentals, and ecommerce stores.

How a Poor Web Design Affects Your Business

Simple web design mistakes can cost your business a fortune. Below are a few ways web design mistakes affect customer experience and online reputation.

1. Hurts your brand reputation

Unsurprisingly, 75% of customers judge a business’s credibility based on its web design. Simple web design mistakes can cost your brand a good reputation. For instance, customers can abandon their cart if they can’t easily find what they are searching for. Your business incurs significant losses and diminished revenue.

2. Customer experience is affected

More than 80% of online shoppers said they couldn’t return to websites without wanting a customer experience. User experience can make or break your success in converting generated leads. You shouldn’t ignore customer experience to gain a competitive edge in your niche. Customers criticize a poor web design. It negatively affects their purchase intent and drives them to competitor websites.

3. Poor conversion rates

Almost 60% of online customers say they won’t recommend businesses with poorly designed websites. As mentioned, web design mistakes can ruin customer experience, making them rethink their purchase decision. Common mistakes, such as failing to optimize your website with the right call to action, not making it mobile-friendly, and using cluttered navigation tools, can significantly drop conversion rates.

4. High bounce rate

More than 90% of internet users reject websites based on design-related issues. You should reevaluate your web design aspects if your bounce rate is over 70%. A high website bounce rate means you aren’t attracting the right visitors, or site visitors don’t enjoy the user experience. Inconsistent design elements and cluttered navigation are common web design mistakes that increase your site's bounce rate.

5. Low engagement rate

Approximately 38% of internet users stop engaging websites with unattractive layouts. A user-friendly website design/layout can hold site visitors long enough and make finding what they are searching for easy. Web design mistakes, such as cluttered navigation, boring design, and minimal white space, can make site visitors uneasy.

Critical Web Design Mistakes to Avoid

As mentioned, a poor web design can hurt your online reputation, customer experience, and other hallmarks of business success. That said, below are common web design mistakes to avoid.

1. Inconsistent design elements

Websites with consistent design elements make it easy for visitors to familiarize themselves with site components and UI patterns. Sites with uniform text arrangement and fonts enjoy better readability, scalability, and navigation. To achieve this:
  • Have site menus in the same position
  • Use the same logo, fonts, and colors
  • Optimize website interaction elements like CTA buttons
  • Don’t overload the website with many elements
  • Have a clear visual hierarchy

2. Unattractive website theme and color

Unfortunately, internet users won’t stay longer on a messy and unattractive website. As mentioned, a first impression is very crucial. If your website has good traffic but getting minimal conversions, low engagement, and a high bounce rate, chances are the color and theme are the problems. Below are a few tips to fix this:
  • Choose brand colors that can arouse visitors emotionally
  • Follow the 60/30/10 rule: 60% dominant, 30% secondary, and 10% accent colors
  • Understand color psychology

3. Unresponsive UI

An unresponsive UI can take a toll on your website traffic. Unlike before, designing a website for a single device isn’t enough. A big percentage (51%) of website traffic currently comes from mobile devices. This underscores the importance of having a responsive and flexible website. If your website isn’t responsive, consider the following:
  • Adopt a minimalistic design approach
  • Have a defined website topography
  • Develop a fluid grid
  • Test website responsiveness for different devices regularly

4. Clumsy navigation

A Stanford University study found that websites that are easy to navigate have more credibility. Unfortunately, most business owners don’t stress this fact. A clumsy navigation tool won’t motivate your site visitors to go beyond the home page. They won’t spend time checking other product options and prices. To avoid this:
  • Plan your website navigation using a sitemap
  • Use a sticky menu
  • Prioritize website pages
  • Add a clearly visible search bar
  • Limit the number of items on your navigation tool
  • You should maintain a consistent navigation bar across all web pages. Working with a professional web designer is prudent.

5. Slow loading speed

Loading speed essentially refers to how long it takes for a webpage to display its contents. Website loading speed is an important Google ranking factor and affects the customer experience. Modern internet users prefer websites that load content in a blink of an eye. If your website takes long to load:
  • Optimize image size: Optimizing image sizes on your website significantly increases load speed. Using .jpg image files is the best way to achieve this. With .jpg files, you can be sure of high-resolution photos and visuals that won’t affect site load speed.
  • Use white space: Great use of white space also reduces data consumption. As the name suggests, white space is unused space on web pages. It has no text, images, or videos. Proper use of white space spreads web content and design elements, which accommodates mobile users. Site visitors can read your content with ease. White space also helps web pages load quickly.
  • Remove auto-play multimedia: Disabling auto-play in audio and video files also improves site loading speed. Doing this means users won’t use much of their mobile data when accessing your site from their smartphones. Autoplay is also an irritating way of promoting content. Disable autoplay to allow site visitors to manually activate visuals if interested.

6. Not addressing customer needs

A good web design should go beyond creating an aesthetically pleasing website. Your website should primarily focus on addressing customer needs. You should identify your target customers and know what they hope to get from your site. For instance, websites for established businesses should have a professional appearance that reflects the brand. Customers should easily find what they want.

On the other hand, a website for retail stores should focus on improving the customer’s shopping experience. The website should have basic features, such as an attractive product display and an easy checkout process. Understanding the target audience and designing a website around their needs ensures that you provide customers with the best experience.

7. Unsecured website

Security is another important element of web design that can hurt your site’s reputation and customer experience. Websites that aren’t secured with SSL certificates are a barrier to site visitors and SEO. Internet users promptly get a warning of an insecure website. Google and other search engines warn them before granting access. These notifications affect the number of people visiting your site.


There’s a lot that goes into designing a good website for your business. Online visitors will come back to your website if they find what they are searching for with ease. Simple web design mistakes can affect your business growth and reach. You can avoid the mistakes mentioned above by working with web design experts.
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