4 common website design myths
Lightning never strikes the same place twice. Cracking your knuckles will give you arthritis. Mac computers are immune to viruses. All of these statements have one thing in common: most people believe them, but they’re simply not true. When it comes to creating a website, it can be just as easy to succumb to common website design myths. With this week’s post, we aim to reroute you back on the path to stellar investor website design and point out common mistakes along the way.
MYTH NO. 1: All of your website’s important information should appear ‘above the fold.’ That is, you should be able to see it all without having to scroll.
FACT: The fold does not exist.
‘Above the fold’ used to refer to the upper half of the front page of a newspaper. Literally the part that appeared above the fold. Apply this to the internet and we’re talking about anything on a webpage that is visible without having to scroll. In the early days of the internet, users weren’t used to scrolling, so website designers adhered to the trends to make sure viewers didn’t miss important info. It’s intuitive: what’s at the top of the page is what gets the most focus. People won’t think there’s anything below the fold, so they won’t know to scroll. Right?
Not so much. The fold died long ago, particularly when mobile was born. Websites crossed over to mobile, and smartphone apps were introduced, so we came to rely on the constant swipe of the index to bring a constant stream of new information to our fingertips. We became conditioned to scroll, so now we’re used to it. This has translated back to desktop—Apple even dropped the scroll bar from the side of your browser. Why? Because the fold does not exist.
In reality, we spend most of our attention below the fictitious fold (a whopping two-thirds), because we now intuitively scroll on websites, regardless of the device we are using. As long as your investor website design invites your viewer down-screen, you can trust that’s exactly where they’ll go.
MYTH NO. 2: All content should be on my homepage.
FACT: Packing your homepage with a barrage of information will make most users bolt. With a homepage, think welcome mat as opposed to full-blown surprise party. This is your first impression. Your storefront window. Your launch pad into another dimension. Your gateway to the next frontier…
Okay, you get it. Don’t load your homepage with text-heavy paragraphs and long-winded explanations of what you’re all about. Do show this through eye-catching images and punchy headlines. Straightforward statements that sum up your vision and your industry chops are more likely to entice viewers to scroll and click their way through your site.
A homepage is like the cover page of a third-grade poetry booklet: a collage of snapshots of the stunning work held within its pages, not a down-to-the-syllable summary of each poem. Investors will seek out the information they need; all you have to do is guide them there. These are the companies we think do this best.
MYTH NO. 3: As long as it works on desktop, the website is good to go.
FACT: The majority of investor website traffic comes from mobile sources, making this one of the most damaging website design myths of all. Whether on a tablet or a smartphone, more and more people are using their mobile devices as their primary access point to the internet. With the ever-changing release of new screen sizes, transferability and adaptability are the keys to accessibility when thinking about investor website design.
Being optimized for mobile covers more than just being easy to read. The layout needs to function, downloadable content should be easy to access, features have to load quickly, and e-newsletters need to adapt. The majority of consumers will move on from your website if it doesn’t operate well on mobile. Let’s make this a priority.
For more hard stats on the importance of mobile optimization, see this post on our blog. For tips on creating the best investor mobile experience, click here.
MYTH NO. 4: A great design is all people want.
FACT: Bells and whistles do more to distract than attract. In other words, less is more. Highlighting your company’s strengths through simple, compelling images will get your story across more effectively than a visual overload of design elements.
Content is actually more important than design elements. Think of it this way: at a restaurant, outstanding service goes a long way to make up for bad food, but bad service can almost always kill a good meal. Same goes for your website: killer content will hold up a not-so-solid design, but an overactive design won’t make up for poor content. When content comes first, you will attract investors to the points you want to emphasize without over-doing it with design.
Want to know more about how to channel your content on your website to make yourself a major player in your industry? Download How to establish yourself as an industry thought leader though your website.
Conclusion: Be simple, be accessible, be successful.
It doesn’t take much to create a website that will draw investors in and keep them there, as long as you do it right. Here are the key takeaways from what we’ve discussed to avoid succumbing to website design myths.
- Stay up to date with user trends and how they interact with websites and access content
- Increase the reach of your site through mobile optimization
- Resist the urge to plaster your site with over-the-top visuals and bright fonts
How your information is delivered is just as important as what you’re delivering and falling victim to website design myths can derail you from reaching your final vision for your site. By following these points, you can bring what counts to the forefront: what you stand for, what you can accomplish, and why you’re worth the investment.