5 Ways Boring Web Design is Killing Your Conversion Rate


You have 10 seconds to entice me with your landing page. Go!

Not enough time? That’s too bad. I was even being generous by giving you 10 seconds — some researchers suggest that it may be closer to 5, especially when you account for load times.

Now, if you’ve done your job, I’m currently interested in your site. And if you haven’t done your job, you’re wondering why you fell flat.

I can almost guarantee the difference between these two results. If I’m not interested, it means that your landing page is boring.

Before we get too far along, I want to make one point clear. There is a big difference between being open and being boring. Don’t make the mistake of assuming that having more “stuff” on your landing page will make it more interesting. Often, making a site cluttered or difficult to navigate will actually make the site more boring since viewers struggle to make sense of the information.

When you design your page, every decision should have a purpose. Each color, line, video, image and block of text should have a function to help the reader progress through the page.

Like a blind date or a candidate at a job interview, you want to present a professional, sophisticated presence without coming across too generic or dull.

What Does Boring Look Like?

Welcome to the world’s most boring website. While this site is actually poking fun at the idea of uninteresting design, the satire gives a perfect example of how not to create a web page.


Okay, so you see how boring it is. But how do you actually go about creating an interesting landing page? How do you get people to pay attention to what you’re saying?

Here are the top five killers of interesting website design.

1. Too Much Text

Sure, you have a lot of information to impart to your visitors. But the odds that they’re reading through blocks of text on your landing pages are slim. Use short, quick phrases that lead your readers to take action, and leave the larger blocks of text for your “About Us” page.

One good question to ask yourself about any text on your landing page is, “Could this be somewhere else?” By removing the clutter and giving your readers an objective, you’re providing an engaging experience rather than a mess of semi-relevant information.


Take a look at Cameo’s landing page. You can learn what it is about in less than 30 words. If you’d have asked me after my first viewing what they had said, I would have told you, “It’s tool for making videos with iPhones.” That’s all the weight your text carries. Choose your words wisely.

2. Too Many Fields to Fill Out

It’s understandable you’ll want to know a little bit about the people who are using your products. But people aren’t visiting your website to fill out forms. Aside from the rise in consumers’ awareness of data collection, it’s important to remember that filling in information simply isn’t fun. With each entry field, you are moving potential customers one step further from your products.

For each field, ask yourself, “Is this information really necessary?” Or even just, “Do I need to get this information right now?” Remember, the fewer the entry fields, the happier the visitors.


How about this landing page from FluidSurveys? Three fields, and only two are required. After entering an email and password, both required for obvious reasons, I was in. In fact, I decided when testing this site I wouldn’t sign up if the telephone number was mandatory. Guess who now has a FluidSurveys account?

3. Lack of Interactive Design

A little bit of motion may be just what your page needs. Think of delightful menu animations, microinteractions, scrolling and layering effects that can help strengthen your message and enhance the UX. Videos can also be a great way to interactively share information and connect with viewers.


Check out the website for Panic. It has your attention from the very first second. The screaming colors compliment the nature of these graphics, tying everything together well without being too overwhelming. The moving graphics also change, intriguing and keeping you on the page longer.

4. Too Hard to Navigate

Don’t sacrifice usability to beauty. You might have a super-creative, sci-fi inspired navigation idea, but your site visitors won’t appreciate if if they just get lost. Some landing pages, like directories or gift guides, tend to be quite long. While most internet users are accustomed to endless scrolling, they can still grow impatient if they are unable to find what they are looking for quickly. Make sure your category structure is intuitive, add buttons and anchors where necessary. Organize them with the accessibility of the visitors in mind so they can easily get to where they want to go and find what they want to find.


Bose does this with a colorful product page containing links to their five major categories of headphones. This breaks down the search process into simple steps and takes visitors directly to the various types of headphones on the website. This type of organization and navigability makes the search process quick, simple and far from boring.

5. You Never Break the Mold

While the latest online trends may be yielding incredible results, keep in mind that, like most fad diets, online trends do not stick around forever. While you should note the trends and apply them when they make sense, you also want to make sure your website looks unique in its own right, avoiding the exact same cookie-cutter design every other website on the internet seems to have.

Keeping your visitors in mind, create a website that is easily navigable and well-organized within the confines of a unique design that positively reflects your company—be your own innovator.

6 stays on trend to promote their services, but their design is really unique and consistent. Almost every content piece is introduced with a subtle vintage video background. This helps create an environment that looks beautiful and also stands out.

Tackle Your Site’s Boringness Issues

Overall, reader interest isn’t about how much stuff you put on the page. Rather, it’s the way you create an experience for the viewer. If your site is suffering from a low conversion rate, you can likely boil it down to the notion that you’re simply not engaging enough to your readers.

Perhaps you recognize some of these traits in your own landing pages. The good news is most of these are easy fixes. Consider how to streamline your page and make a more interactive experience for readers. Then run an A/B test to see if your attention to detail provided the result you expected.

A few hours, or perhaps even a few minutes, reconsidering how readers interact with your site could lead to large leaps in conversion rates, sales and readership. The next time a user gives you 10 seconds, make sure your site is up to the challenge.


About the Author: Adrienne Erin is a freelance writer and designer obsessed with social media, Thai food, and good design. You can see more of her work by following @adrienneerin on Twitter, or visit her blog, Design Roast.

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