When building a website under pressure to meet clients expectations or while designing a site for impatient users, we tend to make stupid mistakes that can cost us big bucks. In fact, under some circumstances, we even see errors go live on sites. There isn’t just one to call out as the top mistake – but here’s a list of ordinary mistakes that web designers often commit, resulting in unexpected outcomes – usually loss of money for companies with less than professional-looking websites.
In this post, I’ve outlined some of the common web designing blunders that need to be avoided at all cost.
1. Not Knowing Your Target Audience
The biggest challenge in creating a site is making it usable. But, an unfortunate reality is that many, if not all, designers focus more on creativity than usability. In simple words, web designers create a website based on their preferences (in terms of visual appearance and functionality), but they forget to adjust their site to meet users’ specific needs.
Needless to say, you need to identify your target audience to design a site as per your clients expectations. However, designers often avoid conducting thorough research to understand the exact requirements of their target audience, as they find this task quite hectic and exhausting.
Bottom Line: Bear in mind, knowing your target audience is crucial to strategize how you can design a killer website. Do user testing, and A/B testing to find out what user’s need and test your hypotheses if at all possible, even at a basic level.
2. Not paying close attention to font choices
The fonts you use on your site is a vital element of web design that helps serve two purposes. First of all, it helps in communicating your visual information clearly to viewers. Secondly, it helps in creating a unique look for your website. The problem is that a lot of designers favor using commonly used serif or sans-serif fonts combinations – (Open Sans anyone?.) However, using ubiquitous typefaces does not help address the particular needs of brands. For instance, a typeface fails to strike a visitor as high-end and professional – Check out the best fonts for web design here.
In order to freshen up the website design, it’s imperative that the fonts must be chosen fresh as per the needs of the company – also in terms of language support, functionality, etc. What’s better? Custom-designed font offers more control – that you otherwise can’t get with off-the-shelf fonts (other than open-source fonts).
Bottom Line: Customizing fonts have several advantages, which includes eliciting trust with a high-end look, unique brand identity, and appearing more professional.
3. Not Using Colors With Care
Apart from typefaces, the colors you’re using for your web design can influence viewers actions, and how they perceive your design. Although, choosing color combinations may seem simple to you, but in reality, a lot can go wrong when picking out a color. Mixing colors from more than one palette, for instance, can create confusion in your user’s eyes. Or choosing only vibrant (or dull) color schemes can irritate viewers. Keep in mind, the colors used on your website can create brand loyalty, and can even help boost conversion rates.
One great example that will make you realize the significance of color is the Quick Sprout website. The site features a red colored “Hellobar” at the top of its homepage that accounts for 11 percent of different leads.
But, some designers don’t pay much heed to use the right color schemes for their web designs, which at times make reading difficult and painful.
Bottom Line: Understanding the psychology of colors, i.e. knowing the right color scheme can provoke readers to take your desired actions.
4. Not Using a Responsive Design – or barely using it.
“It is not the strongest of the species that survive nor the most intelligent but the one most responsive to change.”
This quote from Charles Darwin is also applicable for designers, who need to adapt their design to make it accessible to a variety of display screens. With hundreds of mobile devices being released on the market, it is important that designers have the ability to create sites that look great irrespective of the device used. And, creating a responsive design is the best way to build a site that can be viewed on multiple devices. Also, Google recommends using the RWD (aka Responsive Web Design) approach.
Despite responsive design becoming all the rage today, some designers are still neglecting to use it. Rather they concentrate on creating a separate mobile site in a bid to deliver best mobile user experience. Of course, a dedicated mobile website can help provide an optimal user experience to mobile users, but building such a site requires plenty of time and money. However, with a responsive design you can make your existing web design flexible enough to adjust to any screen size or resolution in no time.
People also make the mistake of barely paying attention to responsive design and instead paying 95% attention to the desktop site – this won’t cut it as mobile usage is now rising to about half of all web traffic in 2016 – View responsive web design trends for 2016 here.
Bottom Line: Opting for a responsive design can give you much needed flexibility to make your site adapt to fit any device size. Barely paying attention to this will require alot more effort than if you just do it right the first time.
Some Other Web Design Blunders You Must Avoid
• Not paying attention to the call to action buttons can result in loss of your business. However, correct placement of an obvious call to action buttons can help visitors take an action (such as purchasing an item or others) quickly.
• Not having a search box makes it difficult for visitors to find anything hidden within your website.
• Ineffective navigation menu increases user confusion, which might compel them to abandon the site. So, make sure to implement an efficient and clear navigation structure.
• As designers, we often get tempted to design each page within a website differently. However, inconsistency in design makes it hard for users to relate to your design. But, a consistent look and feel are necessary to reassure visitors that they’re still on your site.
Whether you’re an experienced web designer or just a novice, often you may end up making any one of the above-discussed mistakes when working on a web design project. So, make sure to stay clear of all the web design blunders discussed in this post to improve the value of your design.
Author Signature: Addison Cohen is a mobile app developer working with Appsted Ltd, the leading mobile applications development services provider which delivers most comprehensive mobile application