Often, marketers come to our B2B web design agency to update or refresh their websites. Many of them simply say, “Our website looks outdated.” Most of the time, they are 100% right.
But what objectively makes a B2B website design look dated?
In this post, we take a close look at 5 things that make any website design look outdated.
It’s not mobile friendly
The first thing you can do when evaluating whether your website looks current is by pulling it up on your phone or tablet. Does the website render well on mobile devices? Are you able to easily navigate the website on the smaller screen, click through the navigation menu, view images, and read the copy?
A major red flag is when the desktop version of your website displays exactly the same as on your phone or tablet. Not only are the screens often much smaller than a desktop (an average desktop screen is 19 inches, while a mobile phone screen is often about 6 inches), users often navigate the websites differently depending on what type of device they are on. Recent research shows that mobile users tend to convert less than users on desktop devices. It’s important to take this into account when designing how your website will display on mobile. There can be a variety of reasons, but common conversion points – like larger buttons, pop-ups, and overlays don’t always work as well on mobile devices, especially when a user is doing research or reading a longer page.
2. Use of outdated fonts or icons
B2B website design is less at the whims of consumers than B2C websites are, but trends should still be considered when crafting a new website. Why? Because the use of an outdated font or icon will make your company and branding look “old-school” in a negative way or out of touch. Looking out of touch for a cutting-edge SaaS firm or FinTech could be the kiss of death when it comes to attracting new clients.
What is considered an outdated font? An experienced website designer can share a full list with you, but it’s best to avoid Comic Sans, Papyrus, Arial, and Times New Roman on your B2B website design. All of these fonts are dated or used for very specific purposes – like personal invitations.
So, what are outdated icons? While nostalgia is having a resurgence in design, it doesn’t apply to icons. Current icons are often simple with clean lines and a less is more approach to the visual.
3. Limited space between blocks of copy or imagery
Have you ever ridden a crowded subway or bus where everyone has no option but to be in contact with each other throughout the ride? How uncomfortable is that? Just like you need a little space to breathe on public transit, the content on your B2B website needs space to breathe.
Professional, polished websites include space in between copy and visuals to allow the visitor’s brain to rest before moving on to the next section or module. If your existing website has copy and visuals that look crowded together or the overall layout is cluttered, it’s outdated and likely causing visitors to bounce off your website.
It’s important to understand the function of all the elements in your B2B website design, including the “empty” or “white” spaces. Inexperienced designers or marketers often try to stuff as much information into a website as possible without leaving any room to breathe or letting the visitor’s eyes rest. Website visitors today are comfortable with scrolling on websites, so trying to shoehorn (what an outdated word!) everything above the ”fold” isn’t necessary for your firm’s B2B website design.
4. Use of too many colors
The use of color in web design is something that requires an experienced designer’s touch. The use of too little color, and it’s boring or flat; the use of too much color and it quite literally ends up looking like clown hair (no offense to clowns). If your existing website is drenched in too many colors, the eyes don’t know where to look – which can cause the visitor to become overwhelmed.
A polished, professional website design should integrate the palette of your branding guidelines but in a way that is visually appealing and not overwhelming. Skilled web designers and art directors draw on color fundamentals to make certain CTAs and critical elements of our website stand out, while also leveraging other brand colors to engender emotions and desired responses.
5. Dates on the website are in the past
This last one may seem like common sense because, for many, it is. If your website is referencing dates and times from 5+ years ago, website visitors will notice. Even things like the copyright on your website should be current to this year. Take a look through your website and check any dates listed on your website. While you want to have longevity for credibility building (like when your company was founded), you also need to have current dates that show your website is regularly updated and maintained.
Things to look out for when considering if your site is outdated are timelines that haven’t been updated recently or that have milestones that are a few years past – this will make your company look stagnant. Also, check to be sure dates and timeframes match up – if you say your company has been in business since 2010 and you also mention 10 years of business, it will look like you’ve been out of business for 3 years.
What to Do If Your Website Is Outdated
If you’ve walked through these five things and have determined that your B2B website design is indeed outdated, what’s next? The first step in revamping your website is determining what you like and don’t like about your site. Next, decide what the main objectives/goals you want to achieve with a new website design. Lastly, find a B2B web design agency with a team of experienced professionals to help you redesign your site.
Also, check out this B2B website buyer’s guide to help you prep for your website revamp.