Five Common Web Design Mistakes

Any website can be nit-picked, but there are common mistakes that we see most often. Doing a quick audit of these five mistakes will make the web a better place™. (Not really ™).

Too Much Text

There’s a case for having enough text for SEO purposes. Beyond that though, many websites have too much. Yes, it’s tempting to wax poetic about company vision, but that fact is most people don’t care. Website copy should be engaging, concise, and align with your goals.

A good rule of thumb is to ask yourself, would you read this?

No Clear Call to Action

A visitor should immediately know what you want them to do. Your main call to action should be clear, focused, and in an obvious place. Common mistakes are too many calls to action, calls to action is strange places, or lack of contrast.

Ask yourself, is it obvious what action I should take?

Bad Bells & Whistles

Everyone wants a slick website. Animation, effects, and Javascript can help impress visitors. But used incorrectly they do more harm than good. A slow site with animation is worse than a fast one with none. Too much animation detracts focus. A Javascript control that only works some of the time is worse than less-slick control that works all of the time. And please, never hijack the scroll!

Ask yourself, does this effect add to the site more than detract? Could it frustrate or annoy?

Too Much Hidden Content

Sliders, drawers, and modal windows have their place. But like animation, when over-used they detract focus and add extra work for your visitors. Consecutive sliders should be avoided, especially when set to auto-scroll. Don’t make users dig if they don’t have too. When using sliders, keep in mind many users won’t look past the first slide. When using drawers, make sure your label is engaging enough to incentivise opening. Consider whether longer content could be reduced or always revealed.

Ask yourself, what value does hiding this information add? Are you okay if the user ignores it completely?

Too Many Type Styles

Websites need multiple typography styles. They add contrast and heirarchy. Large, bold text draws attention, bright text indicates links and actions, and small subtle text shows less importance. But many sites overdo it. When there are too many sizes, colors, and styles a site is more cluttered and less focused. And you shouldn’t have a reason to use bold, underlined, and all caps together. :)

Start with 3–5 basic type styles. Then before adding a new style, ask yourself if you could use one of your basic type styles instead.

If you avoid these simple mistakes, your website will be more focused, clean, and usable.✨