14 Worst Website Design Mistakes to Avoid in 2014
One does not have to search very far to find bad judgments in website design. As a web designer, it is a very good idea to know what to avoid, so you do not make the same web design mistakes which have plagued the internet for so long.
Such things as auto-playing music and over-use of typography are complete no no’s (and very annoying), but we still find inexperienced designers employing these design errors on their websites. Avoid the mistakes, so that visitors will not leave unhappy and annoyed.
I have listed below the worst website design mistakes to avoid in 2014.
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Websites filled with flash are slow loading, causing many visitors to become annoyed and leave because of the extensive load time. Support for flash is dwindling, and in some browsers flash cannot even be viewed. The emphasis for 2014 will be HTML5, as this allows many of the visual functions of flash, such as rich content, video and dynamic navigation. Many websites have already made the shift from flash to HTML5 in 2013, and this trend will undoubtedly continue in 2014.
Not making a website compatible with other browsers and mobile devices
A website’s audience is often diverse, and people visit using different browsers and mobile devices. Check your website using the main browsers – Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Firefox and others. Make sure your design looks great in all of these. Also make your website responsive so that mobile users can easily read it.
Too slow to load
Over-use of typography – too many fonts
Using too many fonts makes a website design look chaotic and poorly designed. It’s best to choose one or two fonts which look good together, and use them throughout your design to give a cohesive feel.
Too much clutter
Filling pages with widgets and animated gifs is a bad idea. Visitors may get confused, and not know exactly what they should be focusing on. In website design, less is more. Figure out what you mostly want visitors to see, and leave everything else as secondary.
Poor use of navigation
Have you ever been on a website where the only way out was to click the back button on your web browser? Visitors should always be able to easily navigate around a website. Navigation links should be easy to see, and included in the same place on every single page.
Text should be easy to read, so avoid using tiny fonts, and fonts which are difficult to read. Typography is becoming increasingly important, so use it wisely!
Avoid things which distract the user experience
Stay away from things like mandatory registrations and pop-ups with signup forms. Every time I enter a site which has one, I click the X in the corner. I’m sure many others would also exit the website right away. But, I never share anything from such sites. Why would I want to annoy my own followers as well?
Internet users want information fast, and if they are distracted by a popup form, they may become annoyed with your website, not share anything or subscribe, and never return.
Do not auto-play music
Even if you have a music website, do not have auto playing music. Most just end up turning down their speakers anyway. Give visitors the choice of whether they want to listen to music or not.
No contact page
A website without a contact page just doesn’t look professional. Visitors may get the impression that you are anonymous. Contact pages add a layer of trust, and also are great for receiving feedback.
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No search features
Users should be able to find what they are looking for, and fast. If your website or blog is fairly large, a search box is essential.
Using icons or images for navigation
Some users may not understand what certain icons mean, unless you include popup text. Image navigation is faster to load. Since some people have images turned off in their web browsers, they may not see your navigation if you use images.
Bad color scheme
Avoid using too many colors, and stick with two or three complimentary colors. Colors tend to have a psychological effect on viewers. Blue is a soothing color, and tends to keep people reading longer. Red, on the other hand, is known to raise blood pressure. It symbolizes danger, and is often used in calls to action. Studying color psychology is a recommendation for all web designers.
Too many social icons
It’s a good idea to have them on your website, but having them in too many places can be just as bad as not having them. They will add to the clutter and confusion, and pages will load slower.
Include a set of 3 or 4 of your main social networks at the top of your website or below. Keep the content as the main focus of your website design.
Thank-you for reading this list of website design mistakes. Please leave your thoughts below. Do you have anything to add?
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