The Biggest (and Most Dangerous) Web Design Trap

February 24, 2017
Zach Jones

Since our humble beginnings in 2002, we’ve designed over 500 websites. We could map out a website production outline in our sleep, as we use our same trusted process for every new project. However, we have to be flexible, as no two businesses are alike. Our ultimate goal isn’t to design a “great looking” website for you, but rather a website that helps you achieve your business’s goals.

There is an old joke that all men look for women with the “three S’s:” sexy, smart, and sophisticated. Just as common as these tendencies are for us to hear our Clients say they want a web design that is the following: clean, simple, and modern. These are oftentimes the first remarks we hear from a prospective Client. Is this a bad thing? Certainly not! We agree that websites should be designed to be clean and simple, with a modern feel so they last as long as possible before appearing as dated. However, without realizing it, many people have already fallen into a simple yet dangerous trap: they’re worrying more about how their website looks, instead of how it is going to perform.

I’ve seen many beautiful websites that were visually very pleasing, but were useless as there was no clear call to action (CTA) for visitors. Here is a dirty secret of web design: the best websites are those that the design of which isn’t even initially noticed, as the user is able to so easily and quickly find what they’re looking for. Once they are engaged, then the details and theming “hit them” and reinforce your brand and message.

It is important to remember that people aren’t visiting your website to look at a website or to be blown away by your designer’s prowess. They are visiting to solve a problem that, hopefully, your business can solve for them. Solving this problem should be the primary focus of the site, and all design/theming elements should simply reinforce this purpose.

Over the years we’ve seen some businesses be so obsessed with the most tedious minutiae of their site’s design that the finished product was an elaborate mess. Again, please don’t misunderstand–I’m not saying details and creativity aren’t important. But looking a certain way “just because” is not going to accomplish anything.

A wise person once said it is better to learn from the mistakes of others. I hope this is a valuable lesson for you the next time you undertake designing your business’s website!

Until next time, keep Ascending!



Zach Jones

Zach has been with Ascend since founding the company in 2002. Currently, Zach serves as president & CEO, and focuses on business development and managing department leaders.



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