10 Homepage Design Mistakes You Should AvoidWhether you're designing your own business homepage or working with a professional web developer, it's essential to avoid mistakes like ignoring basic design principles, failing to be creative, and loading a page with too many elements will not only hurt website UX, but could also cost you visitors and conversions.
Here are the 10 most common homepage design mistakes.
No Clear Value PropositionA clear value proposition is essential in any homepage design. Without it, visitors won't know what your website offers, and what sets you apart from the competition.
Many companies often make this one mistake when it comes to providing value to visitors: they either go too broad or too narrow; either providing no clear value at all or providing too much detail and overwhelming the visitor.
A good value proposition should be tailored to the audience, serve as an introduction to the website's offerings, and entice visitors to stay and explore the website further.
Don't make the mistake of not including a clear value proposition on your homepage – give visitors something that is unique and engaging that validates their decision to visit your page.
Slow Loading TimesAnother website design mistake you should avoid is slow loading times. With competition for user attention at an all-time high, it's essential that your homepage appears quickly. If it takes too long to load, visitors could get frustrated and leave your site before it even loads.
The longer the loading time, the higher the chances of your bounce rate increasing. Make sure you test the loading time on all devices and optimize your images to increase loading speed.
If necessary, you can purchase additional resources from your web hosting service or use a content delivery network (CDN) for improved performance.
Using Too Much ContentAvoid cluttering the page with too much content. Unnecessary text, images, graphics and ads can make the page seem overwhelming and unappealing.
It's important to ensure each element on the page is necessary and well balanced, both visually and functionally.
Additionally, extensive content can also slow loading times, negatively impacting users' experience and website performance.
Striking a balance between streamlining the page and providing interesting content is the key to effective homepage design.
Ignoring Usability RulesOne of the most basic usability rules that should never be ignored is to keep the homepage clutter-free. A crowded homepage looks chaotic, makes it harder for readers to find what they are looking for,
and can really hurt the user experience of your website.
It may be tempting to include all sorts of design elements and content to make the page look visually appealing, but too many elements can make your homepage look cluttered and distracting.
Furthermore, content that goes on for too long can be difficult for readers to navigate and can distract them from the main message of the page.
Keep design elements and content minimal, and user friendly. This will help users focus on what matters, which is your website’s overall message and main objectives.
Overdesigning Your PageHaving too much design on one page can have a negative impact on your homepage design, no matter how creative and technically savvy it is. Design overload can overwhelm visitors and lead to lost business, as visitors can have difficulty identifying key messages and action items.
Keeping your design simple and linear can help combat this problem. Furthermore, try to limit the amount of elements on each page and group text, photos, videos, and forms into distinct sections that are easy to identify and navigate.
Taking the time to audit your page for additional design elements can help you create a homepage that is visually attractive, yet simple enough for visitors to understand quickly.
Using Generic imagesAvoid using images that are too generic - they look unoriginal and don't help tell the story of your business.
When looking for images for your homepage, make sure to find ones that are more personal and relevant to your company.
For example, if you're a real estate company, you could use images of local landmarks instead of generic stock images of a house.
Using images that evoke emotion and authenticity will help draw visitors into your site instead of drive them away.
Not Being Creative EnoughPrevious sections of this article have already gone into detail on the importance of using quality, original images on your homepage. A successful design is also one with a creative touch.
By failing to be creative, websites often make their homepage designs blend in with their competitors, failing to provide an obvious and memorable experience.
If your homepage design looks identical to dozens of other companies, it is unlikely to attract the attention of users. This can lead directly to a loss of potential customers, as a website's homepage stands as the virtual greatest asset.
Poor Page ReadabilityNot being creative is not the only mistake to avoid. Poor readability can also hurt your homepage's design.
When setting up your homepage, make sure to break up your text into short, easy-to-interpret sentences.
Also, do not make lines too long, break them with a new line when you can to help give readers a more visually appealing experience.
Additionally, use a larger font size and a readable font type to ensure that your homepage design is easy to read.
Poor readability can be confusing, overwhelming, and downright painful to look at – all factors that can hurt the UX of your homepage.
No Home iconAnother mistake often found on homepages is not including a home icon. This icon, usually a house, allows guests to return to the homepage no matter where on the website they are. Its purpose is more than just a link - it's a constant reminder and quick way to get back to the beginning of the website.
Without it, visitors may struggle to find their way back to the homepage, leading to frustrated users and a potential drop in readership.
Including a home icon is a simple and effective way to help ensure a great user experience, so don't forget to add it when designing your homepage.
Not Being Mobile-FriendlyNot being mobile-friendly is a huge mistake. With more people accessing the web through mobile devices, it’s crucial to ensure that your website has a design that translates to all sizes of screens.
If your website's design is not mobile-friendly, it could mean that visitors may struggle with usability, a poor experience, and ultimately, they will simply leave your site.
Make sure to include mobile-friendly design elements such as an off-canvas navigation, content that can be easily read on smaller devices, and image format optimization for each device.
Doing this will give your website the chance to reach a larger audience and will help your visitor engagement and conversion rate.