What should I avoid when designing a website?
It’s a great question to ask yourself when thinking about website design. You want to learn from other designers’ mistakes and not cause yourself headaches later trying to fix problems later on.
Websites should refresh their design every 3-4 years as a rule of thumb, but they’re often left much longer. So you want to make sure you get it right!
Here are five common web design mistakes to avoid when creating a user-friendly and beautiful website.
1. Too Many Distracting Features
The French author Antoine de Saint-Exupery once said, “Perfection is achieved, not when there’s nothing more to add, but when there’s nothing left to take away.”
This is 100% true of website design.
If you have lots of ads, multiple call-to-actions, and pop-ups, then you will give your user decision fatigue. Instead of doing one of these options, they’re probably going to do nothing!
Instead, harness the power of white space. When you visit Google’s homepage, what’s on it? Usually, a simple search bar surrounded by white space because that’s all it needs to fulfill user intent.
Keep your web design simple and clean.
2. Bad Navigation
No one needs the wheel reinventing and no one wants to have to relearn how to navigate a website. There are certain do’s and don’ts in web design and one of them is to not scare off the user, so you should follow accepted design norms.
Users should always be able to get back to the homepage with a link on the left-hand side of the menu. The menus should be clearly and correctly labeled and should “stick” AKA stay on the page even when the user has scrolled down.
A poor search function is also a form of bad navigation. Your users should be able to easily get the information they want when they search. Usability is more important than creativity and originality in website design.
3. Slow Page Speed
One of the most obvious signs of poor web design is slow page speed, and it’s completely unacceptable! Over 70% of websites are too slow and all websites should be aiming for a page speed of under three seconds for mobile.
Not only is a slow page speed bad for usability, but it’s also a negative SEO ranking factor.
Make sure you’re not adding any superfluous design additions and scale down any images. Test your web speed using tools like GTmetrix and PageSpeed Insights.
4. Inaccessible Design
You should make your content as accessible as possible for your users. One of the most common mistakes in website design is bad graphic design.
Firstly, use as few fonts as possible to stay on brand and not create a fussy aesthetic. Make sure the fonts are large enough for most people to read easily. Use colors that contrast so the text isn’t difficult to see.
Break up your content and organize it in a way that’s easy to scan. Using images to break up huge chunks of text is a good idea.
Use your branding in the best way for users to easily consume your content. You can always look for more info and resources on building your brand.
5. No Attention to Detail
And finally, you want to avoid not paying enough attention to the small details that a lot of website designers forget about.
Avoid These Common Website Design Mistakes
All of these website design mistakes can be easily avoided by paying attention to how your ideal customer navigates your website. If you build a website with them in mind you are sure to create a beautiful and accessible site that will be enjoyed for years to come.
Check out our other tech articles for tips and advice!