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Marketing Fail: Three Big Business Web Design Disasters

Posted on Apr 29, 2013 by

The world of web design can seem pretty intimidating at times. After all, the success of your business rises and falls on whether your website successfully engages your site visitors and conveniences them to take the next step. We know you’re kickin’ it with awesome web page design, but just in case you need some inspiration, take a look at these big business web design disasters and take some notes on what NOT to do:

Zulily

Plenty of “deal-of-the-day” websites require you to register before you can see the actual deals, but Zulily’s home page gives you next to no information about what the site does. Here are the biggest design problems:

  • You can find a bit of information about how the site works, but it’s buried at the bottom of the page under a banner that looks like advertising, making the viewer ignore everything below it.
  • Links to “How Zulily Works,” “Brands We Love,” and “FAQ” appear in tiny type that doesn’t stand out from surrounding content.
  • No secondary call to action if the visitor isn’t ready to register.

Bottom Line:  It’s too hard for non-registered users to learn about the site.

Carol House Furniture

Carol House makes visitors jump through multiple hoops in order to view their website—a surefire way to send customers scrambling for the back button. For starters:

  • Gray type on white background = hard to read.
  • After reaching the home page, you have to click an additional button to see any actual content.
  • The home page has a long list of obsolete requirements you must meet before you can see their content (high speed internet, Flash player, disable pop-up blocker). Really? Who has to remind people they need high speed internet these days?

After clicking the Enter button, a new page opens where all browser controls have been disabled, a cheesy Flash video plays, music automatically starts, and the talking heads at the top of the page point out interesting links we might want to click (wait, I thought we were here to look at furniture…).

We also see lots of wasted space on either side with no clear call to action anywhere on the page.

Bottom Line: After making your visitors enter an alternate universe in order to see your site, don’t handcuff them in a desperate attempt to make them stick around.

Pure Ecommerce

I’ll keep this one short and sweet (which is opposite of Pure Ecommerce’s site).

We have to read through lengthy blocks of copy just to find out what the company offers. Once we click on the call to action, we’re directed to more copy. Not exactly a one-click, ready-to-go experience as promised.

Bottom Line: Too much copy and weak call to actions.

So, what’s the point?

Big business web design disasters keep us all humble.  If they can experience huge marketing fails, so can we.  Keep testing, keep tweaking, and keep converting!  Would you consider your online web presence a “disaster”?   If so, we’d love to chat with you… after all we’re only a phone call away.

James Trumbly

Managing Partner of HMG Creative, father of two, runner, ping pong master, P90X extremist, now living in Austin Texas after 11 years in sunny San Diego, CA. Follow him on twitter @HMGCreative

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