When it comes to website design, many things can go wrong. Websites can be difficult to navigate, they can be hard to read, and they can look unattractive.
Many designers or web design services, especially those who are just starting out, tend to make some common mistakes that can harm the functionality and aesthetic appeal of a website.
Let’s discuss some of the most common web design mistakes that you should avoid to ensure your website is attractive, user-friendly, and effective.
12 Common Web Design Beginners’ Mistakes to Avoid
For newbies who may not be familiar with the dos and don’ts of website design, web design can be a challenging task. Although there are plenty of helpful tips and tricks on the internet, it’s essential to understand what errors to avoid to build a website that looks functional and professional.
Overcomplicating the Design
One typical mistake in web design that many beginners make is overcomplicating it. They add excessive images, fonts, and colours to their website to make it stand out, but this can overload visitors and negatively affect the user experience.
For example, if you have too many menus on your website, people will find it challenging to navigate through your website. Also, suppose your website has too many images or videos playing simultaneously. In that case, it may cause a slow loading time for users accessing your site via mobile devices or computers with low processing speeds.
Using Too Many Colours and Fonts
When a website has too many colours and fonts, it can become overwhelming and distracting for the user, making it difficult to focus on the content and message the website is trying to convey.
If you want a site to be read by all ages, you will want to avoid using font sizes that are too small or too big. You should also avoid using multiple colours at once as this can make it difficult for users with colour blindness.
Not Optimising for Mobile Devices
Most internet users browse using their smartphones, so you risk losing potential customers by not optimising your website for mobile devices. Mobile optimisation involves designing a website to display correctly on smaller screens, ensuring the content is easily readable and the site’s functionality is not compromised.
Forms on your website should be easy to fill out and submit with just one tap or click. You should ensure that your users can navigate your site easily without having to scroll horizontally or vertically for an extended period of time.
Ignoring User Experience (UX) Principles
The user experience is about creating a website that is easy and enjoyable for visitors. When a website is difficult to use or navigate, visitors are more likely to leave the site quickly, leading to poor engagement and less traffic.
Some of the UX principles that web designers should consider include:
- Consistency in design and layout
- Use of readable typography
- Fast page load speeds
- Mobile responsiveness
- Accessibility for all users, including those with disabilities
- Use of clear calls-to-action (CTAs)
- Use of images and videos that enhance the user experience
- Proper use of white space
- Clear and intuitive navigation
- Minimisation of pop-ups and interstitials
Using Stock Images That Are Overused
Stock photos are a simple and cheap method to provide a website’s visual flair, but it’s important to choose ones that are distinctive and relevant to the website’s content and goals. Using images that are frequently used on other websites may give the website a sloppy, unremarkable appearance. Visitors may also think that you’re a photo grabber.
Using original photos or hiring a professional photographer or illustrator to generate unique images for the website is one strategy to avoid using overused stock images. Other options include using stock photos from less well-known sources or altering stock photos to match the look and brand of the website.
Using Too Much Animation or Motion Graphics
When it comes to web design, there’s always a temptation to make things more complicated than they need to be. We want our websites to look cool and have a lot of bells and whistles, but sometimes this can backfire.
For example, animation or motion graphics can make it difficult for users to focus on the website’s main content. Web designers should aim for a balance between visual interest and simplicity in their designs, avoiding the temptation to overuse animation or motion graphics at the expense of a clear and easy-to-use website.
Neglecting the Importance of White Space
White space or negative space is the area between design elements on a webpage. Beginner web designers may mistakenly believe that filling up all available space with text, images, or other design elements will make a website more appealing or informative.
In reality, white space is what makes a website attractive and easy to use by giving the user’s eyes places to rest when reading content. This can be achieved by using large margins between paragraphs and sections of content so the reader doesn’t have to scroll continuously down the page.
Disregarding User Feedback and Insights
With user testing and surveys, designers can give the utmost priority to user feedback and insights. This enables designers to discover potential areas for development and receive insightful knowledge about how customers engage with their website.
Not Updating the Website Regularly
Frequent updates may involve changing the website’s functionality or style, adding new information, updating graphics, and repairing broken links. Visitors will be more encouraged to return and engage with the platform if it is regularly updated.
Unclear Purpose or Goal for the Website
An unclear website’s purpose can result in an unappealing and confusing design that is difficult to use. A website’s purpose and goal should be reflected in its design, content, and functionality.
For example, a website that aims to sell products should have a clear and easy-to-use e-commerce platform, while a website that provides information should have well-organised and informative content. The website’s design should be tailored to the target audience, with appropriate colours, fonts, and imagery.
Ignoring the Principles of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
Web designers who ignore SEO principles may create websites with poor site structure, insufficient content, or incorrect metadata. They may also use techniques that are considered unethical or spammy, such as keyword stuffing or hidden text, which can lead to penalties from search engines.
Not Optimising Images and Videos
One of the most frequent web design errors is failing to optimise images and videos for web consumption. Large image files can cause a website to load slowly, while large video files can make it difficult to watch videos on slower internet connections.
Optimising images and videos for the web involve compressing them to decrease their file size without affecting their quality. Many free tools will do this for you.
Don’t Let Mistakes Discourage You
Web design is ongoing; even the most experienced designers can make mistakes. But don’t let that discourage you! Remember that no one is born with web design knowledge—you must learn it over time. And when you do, you will be able to create a site that looks exactly how you want and perfectly tells the story of your business.