As a web designer, you have to create magic. On numerous occasions, you’re required to take a staggeringly complex process and make it simple, easy and wonderful.
Building a site can overwhelm you yet the genuine test lies in making it usable. One of the common issues that most website designers have is they are building for themselves and not for users. They prefer creativity over usability.
Web designers tend to be perfectionists by nature. Sometimes we are our own worst critic. We take our mistakes personally.
But the moments of discouragement can become amazing opportunities for learning and growth if you accept them. Here’s a secret: most of the mistakes you make aren’t your fault. Here’s the terrible part: you’ll be punished for them anyway.
What we’re missing is a knowledge of people. Web designers aren’t taught to study people. We know our craft and we understand aesthetics, but we’re never really given in-depth training on people.
Our lack of understanding creates a knowledge gap. This gap affects our web design, leading us to make some incredibly common but unexpected web design mistakes.
1st Web Design Mistake
The internet promises speed. If surfers can’t figure out where to go next quickly and get there easily, they’ll simply surf on to the next website! It’s frustrating to be forced to go back two or three pages to get to other areas of a site. It’s also a waste of time. There should be a navigation bar on every page that guides visitors to other areas of the site. Position the bar along the top of the page or along the left side so it will always be visible regardless of screen resolution. Add an easy-to-find site map in your main navigation bar and/or footer to provide visitors with an at-a-glance view of every page on your site.
2nd Web Design Mistake
Too many font styles and colors. Too much of everything.
Pages ought to present a unified, consistent look, but novice site builders–entranced by having hundreds of fonts at their fingertips, plus dozens of colors–frequently turn their pages into a garish mishmash. Use two or three fonts and colors per page, maximum. The idea is to reassure viewers of your stability, not to convince them you’re wildly artistic. Also remember to make sure your font and colors look good on all possible devices from desktops to tablets to iPhones, etc.
3rd Web Design Mistake
Unfriendly Screen Resolution
I’m sure you’ve visited websites where you have to scroll horizontally. This is an absolute no-no in modern web design. A good designer will develop websites that fit on most screen sizes. The current optimized layout for websites is 1024 x 768 pixels.
It’s hard and almost impossible to cater the design to fit every resolution especially when visitors are now surfing from mobile phones and tablets. But we can get a rough idea what are the generally used screen resolutions this way:
- Check your stats – Analytic services like Google Analytics provides you information about what monitor resolution they are using. These are useful information you should know before initiating your next revamp.
- W3 Schools Browser Stats – W3 Schools gives a clear list of the most popular browser used by people and sorts them according to popularity.
4th Web Design Mistake
This cannot be overemphasized. How many times have we been to web pages that can only be viewed on a certain browser? Web developers have to have a checklist of sorts when testing websites.
- Can the website be viewed in different environments?
- Is the design layout consistent in all browsers?
5th Web Design Mistake
Thinking that Web Design will solve everything.
Many think that by changing the “look and feel” of their website, it will all of a suddenly start attracting tons of visitors and generating tons of leads. Yes, the web design needs to be functional and pleasing on the eye, but aesthetics doesn’t make any difference in the ROI of your website in terms of its marketing strategy. If you’re redesigning your website for the sake of needing something new, then it’s not worth the endeavor.
When designing/redesigning a website, keep it simple, and keep the web visitor in mind. Web design is all about the aesthetics of not only your site but your company and brand. It’s not a place to get experimental or to impress by being flashy. And remember, your job is to make the a complex process easy, simple, and beautiful.