There are few things that can put you off a business more than a poorly designed website. Consumers have come to expect a seamless browsing experience, so when it doesn't happen it's nothing less than jarring.
As the old adage goes, "website design – it's not rocket science", but some travel brands have real trouble in finding a design team that do their vision justice. While mistakes are inevitable in almost every discipline, there are few excuses for getting website design wrong. Especially when you consider that 88% of web users say they're less likely to return if they had a bad experience with a website.
Here are five of the most common mistakes we see travel firms make with their website:
1. Creating an overcrowded website
Ever since Bill Gates declared that "Content is king" ten years ago, firms have taken the view that no amount of content is too much. While that might help you get on the right side of Google, your customers – the people actually using your website – probably won't be best pleased.
That's not us saying that you shouldn't create plenty of content, but you've got to make sure that it doesn't start to take over your website to the point whereby visitors can't find what they're looking for quickly and easily. Time to declutter accordingly.
2. Favouring trends over readability
It's fine to follow the trends when it comes to web design. They can actually make for pretty good design inspiration and make your business appear 'on point', which is rarely a bad thing. The trend that we're seeing a lot of recently in the travel industry is animations and videos acting as the backdrop to a website.
However, you shouldn't just adopt trends for the sake of it. If you go overboard with the animations, for example, it can be very distracting for the user and even make them grimace. Readability should never be forgotten.
3. Forgetting the obvious
Quite often your website's visitors will not be blessed with a tonne of time to leisurely look around to locate the relevant information. They might be on a lunch break – many a disillusioned worker has started to build their travel trip in the 30 minutes they have for lunch. Therefore you've got to make the important bits easy to find.
All it might take is a search box, allowing visitors to search directly for the information they need. Get the obvious bits sorted first.
4. Not optimising for mobile
We're in danger of sounding like a scratched record, but it's unforgivable to design a website today without thinking about how it's going to look and perform on a mobile. Conservative estimates suggest that 80% of internet users own a smartphone.
Speed is just as important as design when it comes to optimising your website for mobile – people want to get stuff down so they can get back to socialising and watching content on their phones. Don't underestimate the power of the smaller device.
To avoid making these business-fatal mistakes, see how Digital Trip can help you with your travel website.