In 1997, the internet became mainstream. Thirteen years later, in 2010, significant technologies such as the iPad and HTML5 were released. So 2010 was approximately half of the world wide web’s lifetime ago.
In that time, a wealth of data and trend information has been collected to better inform our design decisions for luxury brands.
However, many luxury brands still make the same mistakes from the Web 2.0 revolution. Errors that we’ve known for years impact not only website usability but impact overall brand performance.
Why? There is a wealth of knowledge out there now, which means luxury web design is no longer a guessing game. It’s no longer based on the opinions of a boardroom. Instead, it’s scientific, factual and – almost always – objectively correct.
If you’re a luxury brand looking to refresh your website in 2023, these are the top mistakes you should avoid.
Lack of attention to detail - Luxury brands must have a high level of attention to detail in their products and every touchpoint with the brand; this includes your web design. Neglecting small details like considered typography, hierarchical layouts, and high-quality images can undermine the brand significantly.
Poor user experience - Poor user experience - A luxury website should be easy to navigate with a seamless user experience. Small details like hamburger menus used when there is space to present a full menu (50% reduction in navigation), and centralised logos (6x Harder to navigate) are still far too common.
Not prioritising mobile design - With more and more people accessing the web on their smartphones, it is essential to prioritise mobile design. Your luxury brand's website should look and function just as well on a mobile device as on a desktop, but too often, we get the desktop looking great (well, there's more room to show off) and compromise on mobile. Using low-quality images - Luxury brands should use high-quality, professional photos to showcase their products and services.
Using low-quality or stock images - Undermines the luxury appeal of the brand.
Looking too templated - Too many 'new' luxury websites look templated, following the same generic formulas and producing websites that look like every other website.
Put bluntly; your site could be more memorable, unique, and exciting. If your website needs to improve in these areas, then your brand, product, and business probably do too. But, unfortunately, you’re just another brand competing in an increasingly crowded market.
That’s the problem – these things were ok in 2010, as no one knew better. There needed to be more research to understand what did and didn’t work. But 13 years later, why would you make a mistake that we now know can damage both your brand and your online conversion?
You need to dive deeper to understand the impact. Attention to detail, for example, could be some sloppy alignment, but it could also be poor loading. This can cause your layout to shift as the page loads – just as a user gets ready to ‘click’, the links are just 100 pixels lower.
There’s also a paradox here. A luxury website should be unique and stand above its competitors. But we also need to follow the principle of Jakobs Law. That is, people spend more time on other websites than on yours, so people expect your website to work the same as everyone else’s.