10 Web Design Mistakes to Avoid

Regardless if you are just starting out as a web designer or you have more than a few hundred designs under your belt, you could ...

Regardless if you are just starting out as a web designer or you have more than a few hundred designs under your belt, you could easily make mistakes that can affect yours or your client’s web site usability. Listed below are the biggest mistakes in web design:

Using Busy or Overloaded Designs

This is a mistake that most novices make as they can easily get carried away by adding dozens of whistles and bells to their designs, which would inevitably make the web site far more difficult to navigate and less user-friendly.

Incorrect Image Usage

Using very large images or scaling down images with the use of the width and height HTML image attributes. Despite the fact that the majority of the surfers might have fast Internet connections, if your website takes longer than average to load, the user could easily click away. A picture is worth a thousand words, but using too many or very large images could hurt your on-site SEO and increase the site loading time.

Poor Navigation

You need to make a website as user-friendly as possible and letting your users navigate it easily should be one of your top priorities. In most cases, keeping the navigation links on the left hand side and across the top works very well, and these links should be highly visible as well.

Overusing Flash, Shockwave, and Java

Although they have their functionality, Flash, Shockwave, and Java should be used only when and if clearly needed since they could cause slower loading times, they are not good for search engine optimization, and they could not be displayed by many mobile devices. If you have designed a Flash intro, placing a clearly visible link to the HTML version of the site is highly recommended.

Using Background Music

Do not “force” any form of audio on your visitors and when you have to use audio in your web pages, provide the user with options of stopping or muting it.

Splitting Content into Many Pages

This is trend that has existed for quite a few years, and although it seems to be dying down, many designers are still using dozens of splash pages to deliver content that could easily fit on a single page. The advantage of displaying more ads to the viewers is greatly outweighed by the chance of chasing them away for good!

Failure to Account for Multiple Screen Resolutions

While most experienced designer use using responsive web design, others ignore lower display resolutions completely. If users have to scroll a web site horizontally, they are likely to click the back button on their browser, and move on to another web site.

Font Selection

As a designer, you are likely to have hundreds of fonts installed on your computer, but most users will have only the ones that came by default with their operating systems. Stick to using the default fonts and use small sizes only on short snippets of text.

Pop-up Windows

The pop-up windows, along with the background music are the two main reasons for users to leave your site and never come back.

Failure to Provide a Search Option

This might be perfectly acceptable for a single page web site, but for large sites with plenty of content and dozens or hundreds of web pages, a search option is a must-have.

This is just a small list of the biggest mistakes in web design, but even before getting to the drawing board, you need to put yourself in the shoes of the site’s visitors. A web surfer, who has stumbled upon your web site, should be able to load it in less than four seconds, figure out its purpose in less than four seconds, and easily find their way around!

 

 
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Comments (5)

  1. Cheshire Web Designer Warren Tuesday - 17 / 05 / 2011 Reply
    Yeah I totally agree, I avoid flash as much as possible these days and definitely don't use background music. There are some great examples of crazy design above, thanks for sharing and a great post :) Cheers Warren
  2. Van Shumake Tuesday - 17 / 05 / 2011 Reply
    I couldn't agree with your article more! I am new to web design and currently in school for graphic design. We are learning the "bad" things to steer clear of. I enjoy your articles as they've helped me recently. Thanks!
  3. imageart Wednesday - 18 / 05 / 2011 Reply
    No reason to limit yourself with font selection now - font serving applications like TypeKit have opened the door on that. http://imgsm.it/jTgkTO
  4. Web Technology News Thursday - 26 / 05 / 2011 Reply
    Regarding fonts, imageart is right. But use standard fonts for paragraphs of text otherwise there is a lot that has to gone on behind the scenes. Busy and overloaded sites do work in some "sectors". Personally I hate them.
  5. Carole Saturday - 18 / 06 / 2011 Reply
    All I have to say is I wanted to see if what you wrote about what not to do would be the same things I have observed and do not want to do with my site. And they were all there I agree 100% with you. Music is the worst!!!! The minute I get to a site and music is playing in 1 second I leave no matter what!

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