Common Web Design Mistakes

Website design is no easy task. Designing for your audience requires strategy, research, and some trial and error.

There is no perfect science on how to design the perfect website. However there are plenty of mistakes that people have made in the past, which means you can learn from the mistakes of others. Here are the most common mistakes in web design:

Poor Navigation

Your audience has one overall objective when it comes to your website: the ability to find what they’re looking for. Whether it’s reading your blog, purchasing a product or service, or finding a specific piece of information, they don’t want to have to jump through hoops to get to it.

Navigation design has some fluidity when it comes to the intent of the website. If the website is a personal site or a blog, more creativity is more accepted and appreciated. However if it’s business website or something with a more serious tone, people generally want to get to the point and find what they’re looking for more quickly.

Too Many Images

When there are too many images on a website, it can appear cluttered and disorganized. This especially becomes a problem with the images are overlapped or squeezed next to each other. Images are a great visual tool, but remember too much of a good thing can quickly turn bad. 

Whitespace is a great thing to utilize on websites. it can break images up and give a more organized appearance to the website. However it’s important to remember the beauty of balance here. Too much whitespace can also have a negative impact on your website design by making it look empty.

Fonts

As an overall rule of thumb, don’t mix fonts too much. Consistency is key with fonts throughout your website. This doesn’t mean that you need to make every word on your website exactly the same, but try to keep the same general aesthetic

Automatic Music (no)

There is a whole list of things that can go wrong when you have music automatically play on a website, but I’ll just get into a few of them.

  • It can surprise and embarrass someone in a quiet coffee shop, library, or classroom (in this case you can almost always assume that it’s easier to quickly exit out of the page instead of searching for the “pause” button).
  • It can overlap music that is already playing on someone’s ear phones
  • It can bring people back to the musical MySpace days; and you can trust that most people do not want to relive that.

There’s more, but I think you get the picture. Unless you’re an aspiring musician or work in the music industry, steer clear from adding automatically playing music to your website.

In-your-face advertisements

If you’re trying to sell something, don’t be too pushy about it. The flashing gaudy signs screaming “buy this now” are intimidating and tend to push people away from the products or services that your site is offering. 

Again, there’s no science to it, but look at examples from successful websites to use for reference.

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