Web design has a huge impact on user experience and your sales. Even the smallest mistake could have an impact on key metrics like conversion rates, bounce rates, and time on page. So what are the five web design mistakes to avoid? Let’s take a look.

You make your images as large as possible

The bigger your images the better, right? Wrong. Large images are one of the worst mistakes you can make when it comes to web design. When your site is overloaded with big, bulky image files, it has a significant impact on loading time. In fact, it can easily drive up your loading time by a few seconds. While this might not seem like a big deal, it actually is, as there are few things customers dislike as much as waiting around for a webpage to load, especially when they’re trying to make a purchase. Research by Akamai and Gomez.com reveals that close to half of all Internet users expect a webpage to load in under two seconds, and a full 40 percent of users will abandon a webpage if they have to wait more than three seconds for it to load. The bottom line? Slow loading times translate into abysmal conversion rates. Strive to keep your images to a reasonable size, and if you do have any massive images that you just can’t live without, use a third-party image-hosting platform to host them.

You don’t have enough white space

“Putting too much on a webpage will overwhelm users. White space, therefore, is absolutely key to good web design, helping to draw attention to your text and images.”

You don’t make navigation a priority

People often get so caught up in the aesthetics of web design that they forget about functionality. Yes a compelling color scheme and engaging images are important pieces of web design, but the bottom line is that people are on your site to find information. If they can’t find that information, they will leave. In order to ensure that your users are able to find what they are looking for quickly and easily—whether that is the address of your store or information about a particular product you sell—you need to make navigation a priority. Use icons to aid navigation, create logical groups of related links with the most pertinent links situated on the top-level navigation bar, and provide location information so that users know where on your site they are when they are on any given web page. Remember, a coherent, user-friendly navigation scheme is associated with higher conversion rates, more time on page, and lower bounce rates.

You don’t pay attention to color and contrast

Color matters when you are designing a website, and it matters a lot. When creating a website, you need to choose a color scheme that coalesces well aesthetically, and also ensures a sufficient degree of contrast between the background and the text. When contrast is low, it makes it much harder for your customers to read your text, especially customers that are color-blind or have some sort of vision impairment. And when people can’t read text, they are more likely to abandon your website. Want to see how your website measures up when it comes to contrast? Try using a free color contrast tool.

You only tested your website in one of the major browsers

If your website works in one of the major browsers it will work in all of them, right? Wrong. To ensure that your website is completely functional and provides an excellent user experience, you need to test it in all major web browsers. A glitch in Google Chrome might not show up in Mozilla Firefox, so the key to a successful website is comprehensive testing. To facilitate easy and convenient browser testing, try using a tool like BrowserShots or CrossBrowserTesting.

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