9 UI design mistakes that are killing your conversion rates

Written By
January 11, 2024

In the world of online business, conversion is the name of the game. You're not just looking for visitors - you're looking for visitors who take action. Whether that action is making a purchase, signing up for a newsletter, or contacting your company, it all starts with your website's user interface (UI) design. However, there are common UI design mistakes that could be tanking your conversion rates without you even realizing it. In this guide, we'll be examining nine such blunders and how to avoid them.

1. Lack of a Clear Call-to-Action (CTA)

A call-to-action (CTA) is a nudge, a virtual elbow jab that prompts visitors to take a specific action on your site. From "Buy Now" to "Subscribe Today," a powerful CTA is a bridge between a casual visitor and a converted customer. A common mistake many businesses make is not creating clear, compelling CTAs. Sometimes, they're too subtle or vague, or worst still; they might be missing altogether!

A good CTA stands out. It's like the lighthouse guiding ships home, impossible to miss. The design needs to be visually appealing – use colors that contrast with the rest of your page, making the CTA pop. The copy needs to be action-oriented and inspire urgency. 'Join us,' 'Start your free trial,' or 'Get yours today' are all good examples. And lastly, the placement of your CTA is vital. Whether it's at the end of an engaging blog post or on a product page, your CTA should be where it logically makes sense for a user to take the next step.

2. Overcomplicating the Navigation

Think of your website's navigation as the roadmap for your online premise. If your users can't figure out how to get from Point A to Point B, their frustration could lead them to exit your site, reducing your conversions. Some websites try to be creative with their navigation, leading to a maze-like structure that leaves users confused and lost.

To ensure seamless navigation, adopt a 'less is more' approach. A simple, intuitive menu is always more effective than an overcomplicated one. Have a clear hierarchy and use descriptive labels for your navigation options. Make it easy for users to find the most important pages – about us, products/services, contact info – directly from your homepage. Remember, if users can't find it, they can't buy it.

3. Failing to Optimize for Mobile

As of my last update in 2021, over half of the worldwide web traffic comes from mobile devices. That's a huge chunk of potential customers you might be ignoring if your website isn't optimized for mobile. A non-responsive website on a small screen is a recipe for quick bounces and lost conversions.

Ensure your website design is responsive, meaning it adapts to the screen size of the device it's viewed on. Everything from the layout to the text size and images should adjust seamlessly to provide an excellent user experience on any device. With Google's mobile-first indexing, having a mobile-optimized website also helps improve your search engine rankings, leading to higher visibility and, potentially, more conversions.

4. Using Poor-Quality Images

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. On your website, images play a crucial role in forming first impressions and influencing user behavior. Poor-quality, generic, or irrelevant images can harm your brand's credibility and user trust.

Ensure all images used on your site are of high quality. If possible, invest in professional photography to truly capture your products or services. If you're using stock photos, choose those that align with your brand and feel authentic. Remember, visuals communicate your brand story, complement your text, and can significantly enhance the overall user experience, leading to better conversion rates.

5. Ignoring Load Speed

Have you ever clicked on a website, waited, and waited for the content to load, and finally clicked away out of frustration? You're not alone. Slow load times are a major cause of bounce rates. Users today expect websites to load in two seconds or less. Anything more, and you're likely losing potential customers.

Optimize your website's load speed to prevent this. Compress images before uploading them, as large image files can slow down your site. Minimize your code by removing unnecessary characters, spaces, or lines. Use browser caching, which saves a version of your site on users' devices, helping it load faster the next time they visit. Tools like Google's PageSpeed Insights can help you identify issues impacting your site's speed and suggest fixes.

6. Poor Use of Color and Contrast

Ever landed on a website and found yourself squinting at the screen, trying to read the text? Poor color choices and low contrast can significantly harm readability, leading to a poor user experience and reduced conversion rates.

Choose a color palette that reflects your brand identity and enhances the overall visual appeal of your site. But, more importantly, ensure there's adequate contrast between your text and its background. The goal is to make your content as easy to read as possible. Tools like the WebAIM Contrast Checker can help you evaluate your color and contrast choices.

7. Too Much Text

Content is king, sure, but too much of it can quickly turn into a monarchy of mess. Big, unbroken blocks of text are intimidating and unappealing to users. They can lead to higher bounce rates as users are likely to leave if they can't quickly find the information they need.

Break up your content into digestible chunks. Use headers and subheaders to guide readers through your content. Lists, bullet points, and infographics can help convey information more concisely and engagingly. Remember, the aim is not to cut information but to present it in a way that's easy to scan and understand.

8. Not Making Your Website Accessible

Imagine going to a store but finding you can't get in because there's no ramp, just a steep flight of stairs. That's what an inaccessible website feels like to users with disabilities. An estimated 15% of the world's population live with some form of disability. By not making your website accessible, you're potentially excluding a large number of users.

Ensure your site complies with web accessibility guidelines. This includes providing text alternatives for non-text content, making all functionalities available via a keyboard for people who can't use a mouse, and designing your site so it can be easily navigated by screen readers. Not only is this ethically right, but it also widens your potential customer base, increasing your chances of conversions.

9. Neglecting Social Proof

In the online world, trust is currency. Incorporating social proof, like testimonials or customer reviews, can increase trust and boost your conversion rates.


In conclusion, it's clear that UI design plays a vital role in your website's conversion rates. By avoiding these common mistakes and focusing on creating a user-friendly, appealing, and intuitive interface, you can significantly improve your chances of turning visitors into customers. Remember, the key to a successful UI design is understanding your user's needs and designing your website to meet those needs effectively and efficiently.