Average Read Time: 7 minutes

With Halloween just around the corner, we explore the absolute horrors of bad web design, what makes for good web design, and how you can improve your website…

The internet is a wonderful thing. Now over a quarter of a century old, our wonderful World Wide Web has been through all the regular changes and developments any other millennial has – from the stumbling infant years of multicoloured text upon bright white backgrounds (no photos, please!), to the awkward, hormonal teenage phase of GIFs, upon GIFs, upon GIFs…! It’s an undeniably funny old place, with many faces and personalities, which makes for a patchwork of both beautiful, and horrific work…

The evolution of the internet and mobile technology

Used very differently now to how it was 25 years, largely thanks to massive advancements made in mobile technology within the last 10 – 15 years, the internet is now heavily relied upon by billions of people around the world every single day, who access it almost continuously, on multiple different devices.

As a result, websites are much more sophisticated than they were when our beloved internet was first born; once endless indexes of unsophisticated hyperlinks, and elongated business’ origin stories, websites are now user-led, mobile-friendly, supercharged lead generators; driven by content and focused on sales… or they should be.

Why is bad web design such a horrifying thing?

Unfortunately, not all business’ websites have been brought into the 21st century or even remotely near it which, in the golden age of the internet, means more than just the odd obscure visitor having a bit of a giggle at your website, and buying something from you anyway.

Bad web design leads to high bounce rates, poor brand reputation, low rankings in Google searches, and – ultimately – little to no sales. And we all know what a decline in sales makes; a decline in your business.

Alongside this is the growing importance in recent years of UX Design; a way of designing your website to optimise the user experience, and ensure every visitor hitting your site has a positive, enjoyable, and informative encounter, from the moment they land, to the moment they leave. The better the user experience, the more traffic you’ll receive to your website, the longer visitors will stay on your website, and the more inclined they’ll be, not only to make a purchase or enquiry but also to return.

So, when we talk about bad web design – or the ‘horrors’ – what do we mean?

Let us give you some examples:

1. Arngren.net

As much as we love colour, creativity, and a bit of personality, Arngren definitely hasn’t got the balance right here. A non-responsive website, with no sign of a logical user pathway, Argren is best described as a myriad of unexplained and unexplainable pictures, accentuated by mid-90s GIFs, without clear branding or a logical pathway. What are they? What do they do? What am I meant to do? How can I find out? The whole thing gives us a headache…

2. Lingscars.com

Umm… what? Ling’s Cars may be a great business, but we certainly can’t tell from the website! It looks like it was built by a 13 year old in 2001; flashing images, clashing colours, about 100 pulsating images and videos squashed onto one page that don’t tend to do anything… It’s confused, non-responsive, and makes our eyes hurt.

3. martinsburgpd.org

A less obvious ‘bad’ website, Martinsburg PD looks pretty good on the surface; a responsive website with a clear user journey; nice big images front and centre, and even social media widgets so visitors can follow the Police Department on other platforms. All great. Except, when you start to look a little closer, the horrors appear… There’s ill placed photos with people’s heads cut off, and news items that look like they should be part of Google Maps. All a little strange!

What makes for good web design?

So, if bad web design encompasses non-responsive, cluttered, unbranded (or poorly branded) sites, with lots of useless broken links, and unintelligible copy, what makes for good web design?

1. Apple.com

We love the Apple site; efficient use of negative space, aspirational imagery, and all the short, sharp, useful information we need displayed front and centre. And it’s responsive, which means we can view it on our mobiles; all 80% of us internet users!

2. Snapchat.com

Yes, it’s bright yellow, but this site makes a lot of sense. It’s simple, clean, and the menu bar tells us exactly where we need to go, depending on what we’re looking for. It doesn’t claim to be anything like the app, and doesn’t take any attention away from it; it merely helps us get the best of the beloved social media app on our mobile phones. It’s an extension of a defined brand. A brand we know and love. Great.

3. Webkick.co.uk

Obviously, we think our website is great! We’ve future-proofed it, we keep it regularly updated by creating and publishing new blogs every week, and it was created for mobiles first; social buttons are prominent, and there’s a call to action on every page. Lovely stuff!

How can we help you?

As ever, there’s so much more we could say about both good and bad web design; but the most important points to take away from this are:

  • Bad web design gives visitors a hard time, which makes for a high bounce rate, low traffic, and non-existent sales
  • Good web design is stylish, simple, and works as an extension of your brand
  • Bad web design is non-responsive – non-responsive websites aren’t discoverable on searches made through mobile devices, which makes up 80% of searches!
  • Good web design is responsive and considers mobile first

Here at Webkick we do all of these ‘good’ things; we build with mobile in mind, we future-proof, and we make all our clients’ websites supercharged lead generators – utilising good content, social media, UX Design, and everything in between to give a great business, a great website.

Talk to us about good web design today.

Get in touch