Avoid These Common Web Design Pitfalls

Swing Over These Web Design Pitfalls

We’ve all been there. You find yourself on a site that just isn’t working for you, and although it may represent some quality content, service or product, that one aspect is just so glaringly bad that the message gets buried.

Unfortunately, your website may be committing one of these common mistakes and you might not even know it. Here are a few things to watch out for and ways you can avoid or correct them.

Bad Navigation

There’s really nothing more critical to your site’s usability than enabling viewers to quickly find what they are looking for. It’s pretty common to see sites that have pages that are not even accessible from the homepage. Another error that happens a lot when a site has an identical horizontal menu and vertical menu on the same page. There’s simply no need for a side menu that redundantly states the same links over again rather than helping visitors drill deeper into your site’s content.

What you can do

Work out at least the majority of the content areas you want your site to feature before it moves into preliminary design phases. Remember, content is king (clichéd but true!), and a good designer will create a well-organized navigation structure that revolves around it.  

Poor Legibility and Lack of White Space

A good design needs a little room to breathe so the viewer can focus on one thing at a time. If site design elements are all clumped together it can feel overwhelming and claustrophobic, which is bad for bounce rates.

Likewise, visitors will simply leave a site on which it is difficult to read text, or there is too much of it without breaks in between, especially on a mobile device.

What you can do

The text legibility is a pretty simple fix; dark colors against light or vice versa for a good level of contrast does the trick. It’s a pretty simple principle that is ignored surprisingly often.  As for breathability, the best thing to do is get a designer with a good sense of spatial relations.

Inconsistent Design

It’s commonly accepted that the landing page will have a different layout than interior pages, however there are cases in which the design scheme seems to completely shift from one to the other. This can leave viewers feeling confused and a little lost.

What you can do

Your site should have a consistent template for the interior pages that matches the “feel” (subjective term, I know) of the homepage. It’s important to maintain your brand and remember that aesthetically simple designs are always more pleasing to the eye than needlessly complicated ones.  

Gratuitous Flash

This is something that is likely a holdover if you had a site developed about five years ago. These days, flash is generally considered not to be best practice as it does not translate well to mobile web devices.  Flash can also be really distracting when taken to extremes, and any moving text it may convey provides no SEO value.

What you can do

At this point, there are better alternatives like HTML5 and Jquery that are greatly preferred to Flash. CSS3 animation is also a file-size friendly viable alternative, although not every property is cross browser compatible just yet.

At Got2Web, we’ve been creating fresh Vermont website designs for over a decade. If you’re interested in more information or a consultation, feel free to contact us