We know that design is important for all websites. However, simply knowing this is not enough to make it good. This could be especially challenging if you are a beginner web designer, determined to make good designs, but not always knowing how to make them.
Good thing here is that you are able to learn from others’ experience. Learning about others’ mistakes can help you to avoid making your own. Moreover, this can help you understand whether there’s something wrong with the websites you create. This could be useful for clients too: for example, if you’ve invested a lot into a nice web design, but it doesn’t work like you wanted it to, maybe you’ll be able to understand what is the problem.
That’s why today I want to offer you a list of 10 most common web design mistakes people make.
1. Poor fonts
When you’re designing a website, you should stick to a very limited number of fonts (2-3 are the best) and choose the ones that are easy to read, not the ones that are very creative. However, some designers seem to completely forget about it, choosing too many fonts for a website or choosing too complex ones. This makes a website hard to read and so people leave it quickly.
2. Poor colors
We all have our own tastes and sometimes they don’t match the tastes of the others. However, when it comes to web design, you should think more mainstream instead of trying to choose an unusual color palette that could strain the eyes.
3. Web design is too unusual
Speaking about mainstream, some designers want to demonstrate their creativeness to the world and so they try to come up with some original features, for example, they place the navigation panel in an unusual place, or choose a different symbol for a burger menu, or do something similarly unconventional. Sometimes this can work, but often such designs confuse people and make them leave a website quicker.
4. Web design is too trendy
Trends are good as they adapt people to changes (for example, a burger menu, that I already mentioned, was used mostly in mobile designs before it became a trend) and offer some guidelines to the beginner designers who want to create something modern. However, you have to be careful with trends as using too many of them can make a website more complex. Moreover, some trends make a poor combination that complicates everything (for example, a combination of big hovers and vertical scrolling).
5. Unclear structure
No matter how good and modern your design is, users won’t appreciate it if it has an unclear structure (for example, when a search form looks differently or is placed not in the top part of a website but somewhere else). There are so many things users got used to and you have to remember about these things while designing your website.
6. Poor navigation
When navigation is good, a user understands what they need to do right away. However, some designers try to re-invent navigational tools instead of making it as clear and convenient as possible. Provide text descriptions, make hyperlinks easily seen and do your best to simplify the whole navigation process.
7. Complex registration forms
While forms themselves might seem quite easy to design, they are actually very tricky. By making too complex forms or using unclear tips you can scare users away. That’s why it’s so important to give users tips and examples of how they should fill the forms, as well as to try and simplify them and ask users to put in only the details that are really necessary.
8. Too cluttered websites
You’ve probably seen one of these: a website is filled with banner ads or a lot of tiles with content, etc. While tiles are good for online shops, for example, they still shouldn’t be too cluttered. Try to leave some free space when you’re designing a website or at least try to come up with a solution that will make it less cluttered (for example, Bloomberg website has a lot of content, but its navigation menu simplifies its view).
9. Too much negative space
That’s the opposite of the previous mistake: when a designer uses negative space poorly, it makes a website look empty and cheap, not modern. Remember that negative space is used to attract attention to some specific feature of a website – be it a banner, a logo, a slogan or the main product. It is good for websites of some brands or products but usually looks poorly on informational websites.
10. Bad mobile adaptation
It’s always important to remember about the mobile adaptation of a website as today most people surf the web from their mobile devices. However, while some designers put many efforts into designing a PC version, they still completely forget about a mobile one or think that they could simply resize a PC one to a mobile size. Most of the times such decision turns out to be very bad. That’s why you should take your time and try to adapt your web design both for tablets and for mobile phones, reducing the number of tiles, simplifying the icons, and so on.
While it might seem like there are too many no’s in the web design, it isn’t actually as complicated as it looks. The main goal here is to stop thinking about the design only, and focus on usability and users too. Think about websites that you like and try to make a list of things you like about them the most. Are they easy to navigate? Is the design minimalistic or does it have some interesting elements? How does the structure look? Answering these questions could help you understand which elements you should implement into your design (of course, in order to do that right, you have to evaluate other websites from the position of an ordinary user, not a designer).
I hope that these tips will help you to avoid many common mistakes and create stunning designs!
About the Author
Richard Nolan is a blogger and a private tutor, sharing his experience in spheres of blogging, self-growth, and psychology. Richard writes for numerous blogs and gives useful tips for bloggers, students, and teachers. Learn more about Richard on Facebook and Google+