Categories / Trends

8 Web Design Mistakes to Avoid

Teddy Hunt March 31, 2021 · 4 min read

A website’s presentation is the first thing a visitor sees, and if it’s confusing, painful to look at, or unappealing, it may be the last. A clean, easily navigated, and readable website will keep visitors clicking through content and returning for more. Though designing an effective and attractive site has many subtleties, avoiding these web design mistakes is an easy step in the process.

Unclear Content

A visitor to your site should understand the site’s purpose within seconds of arriving. If the homepage is misleading or too confusing, visitors will navigate away to find something else that fits their needs. Clean, simple text on the homepage in a visible, central area will tell visitors what they need to know and how to use the site.

Advertising

Ads irritate visitors, and they make your site look less professional. Plus, depending on who you use for the ads, competitor ads might be placed on your site. The extra cash isn’t worth losing customers because of annoyance or to a competitor.

Complicated Graphics

It might be tempting to have flashing animations or an army of cute gifs on your page, but avoid the draw. Cluttered design takes away from the content and might annoy visitors enough that they navigate away from your site. The cleaner the website, the easier for a visitor to understand its purpose. Plus, if the page contains too many gigabytes of design content, it will take time to load and might not work at all for people with slow internet connections or who are visiting via their phones or tablets.

Unreadable Text

Avoid fancy fonts, lots of bolding and underlining, and bad color choices. A traditional font in a dark color on a light background may seem simple, but it works because it’s readable. Remember, many of your visitors already have spent hours staring at the computer screen; you don’t want green text on an orange background to give them a headache. Also avoid using text that’s too small or too large, or text that changes sizes too often or too severely.

Spelling and Grammar Errors

You should proofread everything posted to your site. That means no spelling, grammatical, or punctuation errors. Simple errors can make you look very unprofessional. With smartphones and tablets, posting on the go is easy. But updating too quickly or from a tiny screen may mean autocorrect errors or typographical mistakes sneak their way in. If you need an effective way to update away from home, check out T-Mobile 4g phones so you have the right device for the job.

Pop Ups

Pop-ups are annoying, unnecessary, and force visitors to juggle multiple windows and pages rather than simply hitting the back button to return to where they were. Many people keep the pop up blocker feature turned on in their browsers, which means they either have to approve each pop up a site throws at them, or they miss content. Plus, we tend to associate advertisements and dangerous spam with pop ups. Avoid using them at all costs.

Irrelevant content

Producing new content is important for SEO and to drive traffic, but make sure your content is always relevant to your site. Otherwise, the purpose of your website will become less clear, and you may lose traffic, or attract people who aren’t interested in your site’s actual purpose.

Complicated Navigation

Whether it’s menus within menus, drop down menus, or absolutely no menus at all, avoid making your visitors work to find the content they’re looking for. Navigating your site should be easy and intuitive. You need a single, simple menu with all navigation options obvious. Similarly, don’t shove everything onto the homepage and forego navigation all together. Huge blocks of text and long pages that aren’t scannable will send site visitors running to hit the back button.
Steering clear of these web design mistakes will create a clean, user-friendly experience for your website’s visitors. Making the content obvious, readable, and accessible gives visitors an incentive to return. Plus, they’ll focus on the purpose of your website and not on any design flaws.

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About the Author
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Teddy Hunt
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11 Comments
  • Another thing is those banners that sit at the top of websites... can't stand... always having to close out of them after you clear your cookies... it's the biggest annoyance in my opinion. 9 years ago
  • Great tips! Thanks! 9 years ago
  • Grammar errors! I'm so guilty of this. Even after going through three people for proofing stuff still gets through. Nothing can destroy credibility quicker than grammar. Thanks for this great post. 9 years ago
  • Also Flash, period. 9 years ago
  • @Franz Schneider I agree with the Flash thing, although I saw some jaw-dropping Flash websites over the years. Seems nowadays Flash isn't finding its place in modern websites anymore. 9 years ago
  • One of the biggest navigation trends that I notice is to use the 3 lines icon to click and expand the menu. It was originally developed for mobile devices but it's moving to desktop designs as well. How do you guys feel about that? 9 years ago
  • @Samantha Curry the 3 bars navigation toggle is okay to me. Actually it's very interesting and intuitive. Everyone knows that 3 bars icon means "menu". And when it's clicked, many websites will show either a overlay popup navigation, or shift the whole document then the navigation appears on the side. I think if you use the right transition / animation / effect it would make your site more attractive. How about you, do you feel it's good to put that kind of navigation into desktop design? 8 years ago
  • Nice article. These main points should be always considered while designing a website. The color combination is also very important. Suitable colors should be used which represents the theme of the website. And the use of heavy media should be there only when it is necessary. http://www.agencyfish.com/ 8 years ago
  • great post! thk's 8 years ago
  • Anonymous
    Well said. 8 years ago
  • Great list. I feel like Modals don’t get enough criticism. They might have a proper use 5% of the time they’re actually used. Good point about “Pop ups” too. When I started off designing I treated my site as an art project. That’s not a good approach, especially for beginners. Your goal should be to pass the test. For business purposes if it has a good design who cares that you used a template that 200 other sites have. Its makes zero difference to your customers and the bottom line. Priyanka - http://www.foduu.com 7 years ago