Whether we believe it or not, there are some web designs that turn-off audience instead of attracting them. Yes! This is true. Maybe you are hearing this for the first time as site owner or web designer. It does happen because we all seems to be fully engrossed in appreciating what we have and the hard work that have gone into what we’ve done. But, little do we know that the site was not created for us rather, it was primarily meant to serve customers’ need and audience that may find it useful while projecting our brand credibility.

So, often times we need to see and view our website from customer’s perspective and be well disciplined enough to take pro-active steps to make it serve them effectively.

Our potential customers are on the ‘go’ taking decisions. We must be able to capture their attention and create that first impression that strike competence, value, care and love for them to look in our direction in a world that is already saturated with known brands. And we have split of seconds to do so online.

I’ll try to enumerate features or designs on website that can turn-off a potential customer so that we can begin to see tremendous improvement on our website usability and functionality. These are inferences drawn from what people (potential customer) say about websites they’ve visited.

Website design turn-off and the solution

1. Color combination
Colors when combined intelligently can add glamor to the general outlook of website design making the fonts readable and features more presentable and clear. Wrong color combination is a complete turn-off. Have you been to a website that has black background on white letters? (Fonts). What would naturally come to mind are shady deals that lack trust except if its code tutorial or XXX-rated websites. White/light background on black font is generally acceptable for clear readability. Though you can change background color, but it should complement the color coming on it in such a way that it enhances clarity in presentation.

In the same vein, choose color codes that flow with your niche or industry. For instance, website on human health might consider white background on black with a touch of blue and a little of red designs.

2. Pop upspopup
Often times, we see sign up forms pop-up on websites. Most of them contain a free item that ranges from eBooks to software depending on the website niche. As much as the intention is right, they are however presented at the wrong time. Why is it wrong? You may want to ask.

The visitor came with a specific intention only to be technically lured into another option that may not be in consonance with what he or she wanted. Funny still, some might not be web savvy to know they have the option of closing the form without necessarily sign up and still have access to the content of the site. I’ve read peoples’ comment never to return to website with pop-up form.

I would like to suggest that if there must be pop-up form, let there be time delay or at the point where visitor is trying to exist from the site. So that it would look as if you appreciated their visit with a gift you feel would be of help to them and the need to join your email list so as not to miss subsequent updates.

This still fall within the original intention but presented at the right time. Let visitors have uninterrupted access to your content. It is the content that will build engagement and the synergy for other intended actions.

3. Website load time
How long does it take your server to load the web page your customer or audience requested? It has been proven that visitors migrate away from website that loads longer than 3seconds.

Load time is a function of so many factors that include the weight of your design elements, hosting package, etc. For example, the images on website, where they optimized for web before uploading? Where your web pages cached properly with say W3 Total Cache plugin if your website is on WordPress? These are issues that can hamper your website load time. Check this post on how to speed up your website for details.

4. Too many flash designs
The web has long metamorphosed from the ‘blink-blink’ design to simple but elegant design that speaks the language people understand at a glance. Flash design is not bad if used appropriately especially for banner advertisement. But, when you have them on three to four different locations on a web page, it becomes something else.

It’s no longer considered to draw audience rather they would get irritated. Majorly, flash is used to create awareness. It should not be too much hence repels the same target audience. Keep your website simple, cool but elegant with smooth functionality that is user-friendly.

5. Auto-play media/videos
It can be really confusing and disturbing to open a web page and begin to hear sound you’re not familiar with or have not initiated play at the background automatically. Audio and video files are very good for creating positive and much stronger user experience if you allow audience to determine when to play it and also give them full functionality control.

For us, we have embedded slideshare files that contain music like our brochure, but we give our audience the leverage of full control and even pre-inform them of installed audio capability.

6. Website header
How attractive and compelling is your website header? That is the first thing visitors are most likely going to see as page load progresses. It is important and almost uncompromising to design your logo and header professionally. That is part of the necessary ingredients that will pull visitors to your content and then the possibility of building trust around your business.

If you cannot create the design yourself, you can get graphic designers to help you out. Just ensure the design is centered on the brand you’ve developed or envisioned.

7. Responsive template
How does your website resolve on mobile devices especially smartphones? Does it fit on the screen with readable fonts and intelligently display across multiple mobile devices? The rate at which people access the internet through mobile phone is increasing exponentially by the day.

People don’t want to zoom and then move left and right mobile screen to access products, services or content when your competitors are giving them better mobile experience and comfort.

The best way to mobilize your desktop website is to simply get a responsive theme and you’re done. You also have the option of getting mobile specific theme, installed as secondary theme and then use Any theme switcher plugin (For WordPress Websites) to direct mobile visitors to it. Here, you have greater customization possibilities that will greatly enhance your brand capabilities.

It is important to make your website design mobile compliant.

Image credit: Alphacoders

Francis 'Toke
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