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5 Lazy Design Decisions That Will Make Your Website Generic

Are you cutting corners with your website’s design? Don’t. Lazy design decisions output a dull, under-performing & generic website. Avoid these 5.

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by Eric Sharp

There’s certainly a time and place for lazy decisions.

My wife and I periodically make lazy dinner decisions after a long day. Aside from a lack of proper nutrition, there’s little collateral damage with a quick and sloppy meal at 8:30pm to avoid hangriness.

Generic Website Lazy Design Decisions

Is your website lazy?

With websites, however, lazy is much more damaging. Snap design decisions — motivated by avoiding brainstorming or not finding the necessary time — output a dull, underperforming and generic website.

Here are 5 lackadaisical design decisions you should never make with your website.

#1 - “Let’s make the Logo REALLY big.”

The king of all design spoofs: “Make the logo bigger!” (see this and especially this)

Laboring over the size of your logo is wasted energy. This guy ran a test on 100+ popular websites and found the average logo to be 168x64 pixels. Stick with a size no wider or taller, provide some whitespace around it, and make it link to your homepage. Then...move on.

There are other elements in your header (e.g. navigation, primary call-to-action) that demand more attention.

Bigger is not better in this case. And logo size is not as important as you think.

When your logo gets bigger, it makes other more important elements smaller

When your logo gets bigger, it makes other more important elements smaller

#2 - “We’ll just use Arial for all our fonts.”

This is like saying, “I’ll always eat a PB&J for lunch for the next 3 years.”

Will you starve? Of course not. Is it a lazy decision? Absolutely. (You’re not in First Grade anymore!)

Your website will function if you use just Arial, Verdana or Times New Roman. But, it will have lost its soul along the way.

Websites that are enjoyable to use perform better. If your competition’s website is more enjoyable to use than yours, guess who’s probably getting the sale or lead. They will.

Making website typography choices isn’t overly difficult, but it does take some planning. Work with a designer to choose a font pairing that adheres to your branding guideline and matches your company’s personality.

Your website’s soul depends on it.

#3 - “Stock Photography everywhere!”

If I see another stock photo of a CSR on a website’s contact page, I may just lose it...

generic-csr-rep-stock-photos

Don’t get me wrong, stock photography is great when your content needs a visual boost. Visual content drives engagement. Sometimes, it’s just easier (and cheaper) than coordinating a grandiose photo shoot.

However, an overuse and improper use of stock photography will make your website feel cold, unnatural, outdated and of course generic.

If you must use stock photography, never use these 7 types of images:

#4 - “The More Color the Better.”

Don’t let your website resemble a bowl of Fruity Pebbles

It may seem like you’re designing a stunning website by getting crafty with your color choices, but all you’re really doing is avoiding a harmonious palette.

Not using color correctly spawns usability issues, accessibility issues, and has an impact on conversion rate.

“But, Eric, we have a very colorful palette!”

That’s OK. Some brands have vibrant branding (like our client Carefree Communities). But, more is not better in how you use the color on a website. Rely on web design moodboards to establish hierarchy and contrast.

#5 - “We only need 5 Sections in the Menu.”

Products & Services? Check.
About? Check.
Blog? Check.
Contact? Check.

Congratulations! Your website just won the ‘Generic Website of the Year’ award. Yes, “simple” websites are scientifically better, but this doesn’t mean a generic architecture works for every business.

Awesome or just plain jane?

Awesome? Rather boring, predictable & unmemorable.

Your website has a unique story to tell, right? You want to inspire people to click more than one page, right? You want your architecture to allow for growth, right? Defining your top level menu/navigation speaks volumes to your visitors.

Always be concise and use common language, but don’t oversimplify this for the sake of being simple.

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Save Lazy for 8:30 pm dinner decisions, not your Website

Charles Eames, a famous American designer, believed in details.

The details are not the details. They make the design.

And so should you.

Cutting design corners to launch your website by a certain deadline may seem more important in the short-term, but that decision will come with chronic and long-term headaches.

At some point, you’ll need to correct your lazy design decisions. So, why not get the details right on the first go-round? Don't own a website that looks plucked straight from a catalog. Roll up your sleeves and put in the work.

We believe a conversion-focused website — paired with the proper traffic, content, automation, and end-to-end ROI measurement — equips B2B technology companies with a real asset to scale their business.

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200+

Websites we've created, supported, or consulted over the last decade

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