Why Outdated Design Leads to Lost Sales & How to Fix It

It takes only a few years for a site to become outdated. Update your web design regularly to engage users, boost credibility, and drive more revenue.

Still debating whether to invest in your websites design? Consider this: visitors take just up to 50 milliseconds to be swayed by your site’s visual appeal. If it doesn't captivate immediately, you're already scrambling to recover, watching potential revenue slip away.

With web designs becoming outdated every 1.5 to 2.5 years, businesses don’t have to wait long to fall behind. According to 2021 data from GoodFirms, 38.5% of web designers pinpoint outdated design as a leading reason visitors abandon a site. Why trust web designers? Research from Stanford shows that 75% of users judge a company’s credibility based on its website design.

What’s Wrong with Outdated Design? It's Failing to Convert

Each website competes for attention. And this competition is huge regardless of industry. Among competitors, the one with an outdated design — characterized by mismatched colors, ruined visual hierarchy, and inconsistent brand elements — risks staying on the outskirts of visitors' gaze or prompting potential customers to look elsewhere.

Lack of brand identity cohesion may not affect businesses at the beginning of their capitalist endeavors but will place obstacles in their path later on when the time for scaling is ripe. Visuals and designs, considered relics of the past, clash with contemporary brand standards, raising brows and questions over the website's credibility.

If visual cohesion is lacking, you'll certainly find inconsistent visual elements. At times, we switch from one page to another within the same website and can't figure it out: Are we still dealing with the same company or not? That’s a red flag. On further exploration, we can even find out the same brand has a jarringly different look on each platform—from its website to social media.

And what price do businesses pay? Lost sales due to difficult (at best!) message conveyance. The cluttered layout (usually an indicator of overdesigning) and old-fashioned graphics muddle the brand’s core messages — who would click, in this case, on that shiny CTA? Most likely, some random birds that will soon be disqualified leads.

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How to Fix It: Brand Visual Audit and Design Concept Development

Brand Visual Audit

There’s no better place to start than embarking on a thorough exploration of the brand's current identity. Like intrepid explorers, you have to delve into every corner, putting the spotlight on the logo, colors, fonts, and other branding elements (that express a brand graphically) and examining all this with a keen eye. Through this, you’ll uncover lots of insight and revelation, inconsistencies and areas ripe for transformation.

Each visual brand element should be isolated and organized into a side-by-side comparison within the competitive set: logo, color, typography, graphic elements, and imagery. Patterns and similarities within these elements will start to emerge, pointing the way to differentiated space.

Gathering Visual References

With newfound knowledge in hand and before jumping into defining the direction for the design concept, designers gather a pool of trendy visual references, seeking to understand dreams and aspirations for their brand. This stage may seem particularly draining and time-consuming as much of the work will go in vain in further selection. Even though frustrating, through sharing visual references and examples, designers and marketers paint a vivid picture of the brand's future identity, aligning their compasses towards the desired brand image.

Design Concept Development

Concept development can follow one of two paths, depending on your existing branding materials:

If you have a brand style guide: Designers will tailor the concept to align with your established guidelines. This includes choosing a color palette, typography, icons, and illustrations that fit within those parameters.
If you do not have a brand style guide: Designers will craft a visual style informed by initial research findings, such as user preferences and competitive analysis.

Armed with inspiration and clarity, we set sail into the vast sea of creativity. Like artists with a blank canvas, we sketch, mold, and shape multiple design concepts, each a unique expression of the brand's essence. With each stroke of the brush, we weave together elements from the branding audit and the business vision, crafting designs that speak volumes:

Step 1

Crafting a Mood Board

Step 2

Selecting Colors

Step 3

Selecting Fonts

Step 4

Pulling It All Together


of consumers

care about website color more than any other visual elements.

The importance of keeping your web design up-to-date cannot be overstated. 88% of users are less likely to return to your website if their first encounter wasn’t memorable. While first impressions are paramount, users' interactions thereafter guide them down the funnel right to the closed-won stage. For that matter, a clear, well-thought-out design strategy is one of the pillars of business success.

See Darwin at Work

Schedule a free 30-minute call with Darwin's Head of Design to brainstorm and fire off questions or ideas about the project you're racking your brain about. In this session, you'll gain a design concept idea developed on the spot, providing a solid starting point for your design journey.

We’ll help you with
  • → Aligning design goals with business objectives.

  • → Setting impactful on-page design targets.

  • → Reviewing current design trends and best practices.

  • → Conducting on-the-go design brainstorming and ideation.

  • → Hosting a Q&A for design alignment.

Develop Design Ideas Further Your Way

You’ll receive a recording swiftly after the call to expand on our Design Lead's ideas. From there, you can share it with your design teams or begin crafting your own design strategy and concept — it’s entirely up to you how you benefit from the 30-minute session!

Schedule a Design Concept Idea Call
Get ready for a productive session:

Use a page (URL) or template as a reference.
Prepare questions to ask.
Define your page objectives (e.g., conversion, leads, sales).

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