Most people hire web designers because of their creativity. The thinking is that the more creative the more people will pay attention to and visit a website. But that is not always the case. In fact, depending on the type of business you are in, too much creativity can be causing you to loose visitors and even customers. Below are seven design mistakes that could turn people away from your website.

Look at Me!

That’s what you want your website to say, but without blinding the audience. Business owners are looking for unique ways to announce their web presence that gets the attention of viewers and keeps it. At first glance,visitors are interested, but upon further observation what they find may cause them to think twice, and look elsewhere for the information they want and need. Avoid ushering visitors in, only to push them back out with what they find.  Use this guide to avoid the these seven mistakes when you design your website.

1. Poor navigational skills – On your part, that is, not that of the viewer. The first thing anyone wants to know when they visit your website is how to get around. They need a map. Use and place site maps in conspicuous places. Also, headings need to be prominent and self-explanatory. Avoid jargon and terms that your visitors would need a dictionary to understand. Label the Press or Media Room, one of those things, the contact page should be labeled CONTACT or CONTACT US.

Remember that when visitors can’t get past the home page, they leave altogether. If your visitors expect cute you can “get cute” with the labels, otherwise stick with terms a visitor would expect to find and look for.

2. Illegible font – It might seem cool to use a gothic style font on a Halloween website for effect, but those who are trying to read it won’t think so. If viewers stumble over your content for ten minutes trying to figure out what it says, they will take their business elsewhere.

3. Clutter everywhere – People often forget they can have as many pages as they want on their website.  There is no need to add all the information on the same page. In fact, too many images, buttons, text and sounds lead to sensory overload. Tone it down and space your content accordingly.

[tweet_box design=”default” float=”none”]Make your website content and pages flow in a logical manner so that your visitor can make the next logical move – understanding what page they should visit next.[/tweet_box]

4. Contact information is limited or non-existent – Just because you create a business entity on the internet doesn’t mean that phone numbers, email addresses and physical addresses are a thing of the past.

[tweet_box design=”default” float=”none”]Customers will use a variety of contact methods to reach you. Make sure that they can do that. Be sure to also include your social media links.[/tweet_box]

5. Poor form – the registration and opt-in forms should only ask for the information you need. Don’t ask for an address unless its relevant to the topic for which a person might complete a form.

6. Background check –  Dark font on dark background or dark images with a dark font won’t make readers happy. Avoid this combination and save a reader’s eyesight. Preview pages to ensure that you can easily read them. If you can’t, your audience won’t be able to read them either.

7. Keep it seamless – Images and color schemes should match the purpose of your website. From page to page, its okay to vary the images and content  but not the color scheme. Its important to provide continuity. Too many styles mixed together gives a schizophrenic feel to the entire site and viewers can become easily distracted.

[tweet_box design=”default” float=”none”]Creativity does make your site unique, but too much of it and everything becomes a disaster. Today simplicity in style and color will keep visitors attention and encourage return visits.[/tweet_box]