A Bad Website Is Like A Bad Joke

It’s no secret that website design plays a major role in user experience, with even the smallest elements contributing to whether or not a customer will stay engaged and convert on your site. Investing in an attractive, intuitive website design pays off for businesses – it’s been observed that 46% of users form an opinion about your business within the first few seconds after landing on a page; far before they spend time consuming your content. 

But what happens when you cut corners with web design? We’re going to explore this question today; diving into examples of poor website design impacting user experience, plus strategies you can use to level up and create engaging digital experiences.


  1. You Don’t Set The Scene Well

Your website is often the first impression a potential customer has of your brand. In this competitive online market, you need to make a great first impression really matters. It takes about 50 milliseconds (that’s 0.05 seconds) for users to form an opinion about your website that determines whether they like your site or not, whether they’ll stay or leave1.

Unfortunately, a cluttered or outdated website design can quickly create a negative perception of your company. With an abundance of high-quality websites, the public’s patience for poorly designed ones has all but vanished. In other words – no mercy is shown in today’s fast-paced digital world.

75% of consumers admit to making judgements on a company’s credibility based on the company’s website design2. A cluttered website design can result in a frustrating user experience, and an outdated website design can make your brand appear behind the times. As a result, visitors may be hesitant to continue exploring your website or opt to do business with your brand altogether. 

Understanding a joke requires your audience to be receptive and open to listening. An awkward introduction can quickly dampen their desire to listen, let alone laugh. The same effect occurs with a bad website design. Your message will not be met with the energy you hope for.

Top Tip

It’s crucial to invest in a clean, uncluttered and user-friendly website design to create a positive perception of your brand. 


2. The Timing Is Off

As the saying goes, time is money. And in the digital world, slow loading times can mean a loss of both. A potential customer could easily become frustrated and bounce off your website if they have to wait too long for it to load. 47% of Users expect a maximum of 2 seconds loading time for an average website3.

As a business owner, you want your website to be as effortless and intuitive as possible to encourage visitors to continue scrolling, interacting and connecting with your business.

A comedian wants users to stick around long enough to hear the punchline. You want your website visitors to stay long enough to hear you out.

Top Tip

Take the time to optimize your website’s loading speed and user-friendliness. Your bottom line will thank you.


3. Loose Construction

In a world where attention spans are shorter than ever, it’s crucial to grab your audience’s attention with punchy, concise headlines and copy. Gone are the days of lengthy paragraphs filled with irrelevant information. In fact, users spend an average of only 5.59 seconds looking at a website’s written content4. With just six seconds to snag your website visitor’s attention, it’s essential your copy packs a punch and engages them. Make sure the value props of your business are crystal clear. In the words of design agency, The X/Over Agency, “Great content isn’t a luxury, it’s essential.”

Not only will this approach make your content easier to digest, but it will also foster a deeper connection with your audience. After all, who doesn’t appreciate a bit of humour and personality in their daily reading?

Top Tip

20+ years of eye tracking research confirms that most internet users only skim and skip around a webpage for relevant info5. So, next time you sit down to write, remember: less is more, and a little bit of wit can go a long way.


4. There is No Dramatization

A website is not just a place for information, but an experience for its users. Animations, parallax effects, micro-animations and micro-interactions are the key ingredients that bring life to a website.

Without them, a website is like a dish without seasoning; it may contain all the necessary components, but lack the intrigue and delight that makes it memorable. Smooth navigation, attention-grabbing features and responsive design are all essential elements to enhance the user experience.

Comedians often rely on physicality to captivate their audience; from a wry smile, a coy wink or an impassioned gesture towards the heart – these small flourishes can drastically improve our reception to the joke. The same applies for your website experience.

Top Tip

Make sure your website doesn’t fall flat and be forgotten by adding those additional, lively features. It’ll be sure to leave a lasting impression on every visitor who comes your way.


5. Are Others Laughing?

In today’s world, where we are bombarded with advertising and endless options for products and services, it can be hard to distinguish the trustworthy businesses from the rest. That’s where the power of social proof comes in. 

87% of consumers check out reviews of local businesses online6

Perry Henderson, Director of Missing Link Social Media shared with us, “As human beings, we are wired to seek out the opinions and experiences of others before making decisions. By providing social proof not only via social media, but also on your website, you’re tapping into that instinct and giving your future customers the confidence they need to choose you.”

When telling a joke, shy, hesitant audience members are less likely to be the first to laugh. However, if some chuckle, the bashful are more likely to open up and be more receptive to hearing your joke.

Top Tip

Testimonials, case studies, and portfolio of previous work all serve as evidence that your business can deliver on its promises. This kind of proof is invaluable when it comes to convincing potential customers to choose your business over your competitors. 


Your Reminder

There are a few factors that all need to be executed well for your website to be received well, and to hold the interest of your visitors.

Think about these points carefully when creating or revamping your site for maximum impact, just like comedians rely on physical gestures and tone changes for an entertaining performance – think of those same principles in providing an enviable web experience.

Your website is the opportunity to make a good first impression online, a chance you cannot take lightly these days. Intuitive design, fast site speed, personable copy and an abundance of social proof will provide you the advantageous edge in providing a great user experience.

With all this in mind, we’re sure you’ll have more success impressing your potential customers. For your competitors who have not read this article…the joke’s on them!



1 : Attention web designers: You have 50 milliseconds to make a good first impression! – Taylor & Francis Online

2 : The Truth About B2B Web Design and Why You Should Invest in It –  Kinesis

3 : 10 Essential Web Design Usability Statistics  Curatti

4 : 10 Useful Findings About How People View Websites – CXL

5 : How People Read Online: New and Old Findings – Nielsen Norman Group

6 : 60 Social Proof Statistics You Must Read: 2023 Data Analysis & Market Share – Finances Online

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