Search around the web and you’ll find a lot of non-functional, ineffective websites. You don’t want to put a site out there that will do more harm than good. Avoid common pitfalls of web design by understanding the most basic mistakes a designer can make.
1. Too much flash
2. Text is hard to read
If you’re still relying on fonts like Times New Roman or Tahoma, your web design won’t stand out. Customized typography is abundantly available. There are many specialized fonts that will help your design pop and make content easier for visitors to read. There’s a fine line though. Choosing a font that’s too bizarre could make reading difficult. Use a sans-serif font. This font type is often best for readability. Text should be scannable. Utilize subheads, highlighted keywords and short paragraphs. Also, give users the option to resize the text if they need to.
3. Too much clutter
Everything is best in moderation. Including too much content can drive traffic away from a site and increase the bounce rate. Readers will tire of excessive information and probably stop reading. Keep content concise and relevant. Avoid including large chunks of information. Bulleted lists can help you break up information. Also, too many links congested in one area are ineffective.
4. Unattractive screen resolution and contrast
If a site’s overall color scheme hurts a user’s eyes, the content will be ineffective. What looks best from a design perspective isn’t always the most functional. There has to be an adequate amount of contrast for text to be readable. The optimized layout for websites is 1024 x 768 pixels. In modern design, users should never have to scroll horizontally to view a page. It’s difficult to design around every resolution and device people will access your site on, but use analytics tool to determine what people are using most often to view the site when planning an update.
5. Site doesn’t function on mobile.
Mobile functionality is necessary for every site. Is your site responsive and adjusts to a mobile screen? A complicated website design won’t translate well onto mobile. The existence of mobile shouldn’t deter you from designing cool things for computer users, but you need to have a mobile site. It’s an easy fix and will allow mobile users to access a simpler, more concise site viewable on smaller devices.
6. No clear direction
An effective website is easy to use. Common website navigation issues can be avoided with some effort. Provide your visitors direction. Assume your visitor is going to make mistakes and won’t understand jargon. Put yourself in the user’s shoes and look at how the site functions objectively. Organize content in a subtle way that provides a roadmap for visitors to easily discover what they’re looking for. Links shouldn’t be too small and should change color once they’re clicked on for easier user navigation.
7. Changing archived page URLs
Some change URLs of outdated pages when they are moved off the main page into archives. This can make it difficult to maximize good search engine placement because page links to your site become broken. When a site’s created, it should allow content to be moved into archives without having to change the URL. If URLs change every few days, promoting your content will be nearly impossible.
8. Image overload
Many of the mistakes designers make revolve around excessiveness. Finding the right balance between imagery and type can be difficult, but it’s crucial. Talented designers often want to overload users with cool imagery, but in most cases simple designs are more effective. Don’t give the reasonable user a chance to be confused or annoyed by elements on the site. Animations can be cool, but often slow page loading. Use animations sparingly and tastefully. Never underestimate the power of whitespace in web design.