11 Web Design Fails You Shouldn’t Ignore
Creating a visually pleasing and high-converting web design is not an easy task. Designers often find themselves making very simple mistakes and decide to ignore them, forgetting that those errors have a huge impact on the efficiency of their websites. Here are 10 most persistent design fails you should be aware of when creating your website.
1. The problem of readability
The text itself is an important and often missed part of the design – the lettering, font size, backgrounds and alignment are all crucial for ensuring legibility. What’s the point of designing a beautiful website where users cannot easily access its
content? To improve readability, try out different color schemes and use a Sans
serif typeface, which is perfect for the web.
2. Cluttered layout
Your website’s content needs a clear structure – headings, sub-headings, bullet points and paragraphs are there to help you organize your text. Some designers forget about it, but every page should have its title. Avoid producing a cluttered look by always using margins to create enough whitespace between your text and images.
3. Missing or hard to locate search box
In content heavy websites, a search box is a must. Yet, most designers don’t care about its design and offer input fields that are too short, the text typed in is illegible or the submit button doesn’t look like one at all. An efficient search box must be visible, easy to use and offer enough space for typing search queries.
4. Bad screen resolution
A website that operates in a strange screen resolution and obliges users to scroll it horizontally is a huge design mistake. Your design must fit most screen sizes – most importantly, the current optimized layout for websites: 1024 x 768 pixels. Just check what monitor resolutions are used to view your website and act accordingly.
5. Poor navigation
In web design, navigation should be intuitive and consistent – you’re building it for users to help them make sense of the website. Using different visual metaphors, links that don’t stand out and dead links that lead nowhere are all cardinal mistakes. Point to remember: if users cannot find what they’re looking for in three
clicks, they’re likely to simply abandon your website.
6. Poor type kerning and line spacing
There are tools in all your graphic programs to control the space in between the letters in your type. This space is called “kerning”. Ditto for the space inbetween lines of type… this space is called line spacing, or line height in CSS. Kerning is mostly a process for those creating bitmapped type in images. But it’s critically important, and once you train your eye to understand it and see it, you will never look at another sign, billboard, webpage, magazine or line of type the same again… ever. Learn to kern!
7. Complex registration
Registration forms are a tricky question and there’s just one rule to go by – the less, the better. Unfortunately, some designers make most fields mandatory and validate each field to the point where it becomes annoying to users. Never make the mistake of asking for too much information – otherwise you risk low conversion rates of your form.
8. Too many images
Images are perfect for catching the eye, but some designers go overboard with visuals and produce websites that are cluttered, illegible and ultimately not attractive. The same goes for animations – a little bit might work, but a full-page animation might be too much. Finally, there’s Flash – if you’re not well-versed in its current use, better steer clear of it.
9. Background music
If a user is visiting your website, they’re looking for something specific, not for a great atmosphere. Music will only serve to annoy them – especially if designers
decide to adorn every page with a different musical composition.
10. Invisible call-to-action buttons
Some designers are so set on creating a coherent visual look that their call-to-action buttons end up so well-fitted within the design that they stop to perform their role. Call-to-action buttons aren’t there to be aesthetically pleasing, but to
attract attention and inspire users to click on them. The most efficient ones
use colors like orange and yellow to achieve their ends.
11. Multiple frames
This design idea is simply obsolete. It’s confusing, slows down the page and guarantees a terrible user experience – table and layers work much better.
Today web design is all about usability and user experience – and that’s something that should always be at the back of your mind when designing a new website.
Tess Pajaron is a Community Manager at Open Colleges, an online learning provider based in Sydney, Australia. She has a background in Business Administration and Management.