Web design is a crucial aspect of any online business. It can make or break your website’s performance, user experience, and conversion rate. However, web design is not easy to master. There are many factors to consider, such as accessibility, responsiveness, aesthetics, functionality, and content.
Unfortunately, many websites still make common web design mistakes that can hurt their online presence and reputation. These mistakes can range from minor issues to major blunders that can cost you potential customers and revenue.
In this blog post, we’ll cover six common web design mistakes that you need to avoid in 2023 and beyond. We’ll also provide some tips and best practices on how to fix or prevent these errors from happening on your website.
1. Not prioritizing accessibility
Accessibility is the practice of making your website usable and understandable for everyone, regardless of their abilities or disabilities. It’s not only a moral obligation but also a legal requirement in many countries.
According to the World Health Organization, more than one billion people worldwide have some form of disability. That’s about 15% of the global population. If your website is not accessible, you’re excluding a large segment of potential customers and users.
Some of the most common accessibility errors include:
- Insufficient color contrast: This makes it hard for people with visual impairments or color blindness to read your text and icons. You should use tools like WebAIM Color Contrast Checker to ensure that your color combinations meet the minimum contrast ratio of 4.5:1 for normal text and 3:1 for large text1.
- Missing or inappropriate alt text: This is the text that describes the content or function of an image or graphic for screen readers and other assistive technologies. If your images don’t have alt text or have irrelevant alt text, you’re depriving users who rely on these technologies of important information. You should write descriptive and meaningful alt text for every image on your website2.
- Inadequate or missing visual focus indicators: These are the outlines or highlights that show which element on your website has keyboard focus. They help users who navigate your website using a keyboard or other input devices to know where they are and what they can do. You should ensure that every interactive element on your website has a clear and consistent focus indicator3.
- Overlooking accessible names or labels: These are the text that identifies the purpose or function of an element on your website for screen readers and other assistive technologies. For example, a button should have a label that tells users what it does, such as “Submit” or “Download”. If your elements don’t have accessible names or labels, you’re making it difficult for users who rely on these technologies to interact with your website4.
To avoid these and other accessibility mistakes, you should follow the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) as the best practice for web design. You should also use tools like WAVE Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool or Lighthouse to check your website for accessibility issues and fix them accordingly.
2. Forgetting the importance of responsive design
Responsive design is the practice of making your website adapt to different screen sizes and devices. It ensures that your website looks good and works well on desktops, laptops, tablets, smartphones, and any other device that your users may use.
Responsive design is not only a matter of aesthetics but also a matter of user experience and SEO. According to Statista, more than half of the global web traffic comes from mobile devices as of 2021. If your website is not responsive, you’re alienating a huge portion of your audience and losing out on potential conversions.
Moreover, Google uses mobile-friendliness as a ranking factor for its search results. This means that if your website is not responsive, you’re also hurting your SEO performance and visibility.
Some of the most common responsive design mistakes include:
- Using fixed widths or heights: This makes your website elements look distorted or cropped on different screen sizes and resolutions. You should use relative units like percentages or ems instead of absolute units like pixels or points to make your website elements flexible and scalable5.
- Not testing your website on different devices: This makes you unaware of how your website actually looks and functions on various devices and browsers. You should use tools like LambdaTest or BrowserStack to test your website on different devices and browsers and fix any issues that you find.
- Not optimizing your images and videos: This makes your website load slowly and consume more data on mobile devices. You should use tools like TinyPNG or HandBrake to compress your images and videos and reduce their file sizes. You should also use responsive images and videos that adjust to the screen size and resolution of the device.
To avoid these and other responsive design mistakes, you should follow the Responsive Web Design Basics as the best practice for web design. You should also use frameworks like Bootstrap or Foundation to make your website responsive with ease.
3. Compromising user experience for aesthetics
User experience (UX) is the overall impression and satisfaction that users have when interacting with your website. It encompasses aspects such as usability, functionality, accessibility, and content.
Aesthetics is the visual appeal and attractiveness of your website. It encompasses aspects such as layout, color, typography, and imagery.
Both UX and aesthetics are important for web design, but they should not be at odds with each other. A website that looks good but works poorly is as bad as a website that works well but looks ugly.
Some of the most common UX and aesthetics mistakes include:
- Using too many fonts or colors: This makes your website look cluttered and inconsistent. You should use a limited and harmonious color palette and font family that match your brand identity and message. You should also use contrast, hierarchy, and alignment to create visual order and clarity.
- Using too much animation or interaction: This makes your website look flashy and distracting. You should use animation and interaction sparingly and purposefully to enhance your website’s functionality and engagement. You should also avoid using auto-playing media, pop-ups, or other elements that can annoy or interrupt your users.
- Using low-quality or irrelevant images or graphics: This makes your website look unprofessional and untrustworthy. You should use high-quality and relevant images or graphics that support your website’s content and purpose. You should also use original or licensed images or graphics that reflect your brand personality and voice.
To avoid these and other UX and aesthetics mistakes, you should follow the User Interface Design Guidelines as the best practice for web design. You should also use tools like Canva or Figma to create stunning graphics for your website.
4. Not investing in customization
Customization is the practice of making your website unique and tailored to your specific needs and goals. It allows you to showcase your brand identity, personality, and voice, as well as to differentiate yourself from your competitors.
Many websites make the mistake of using generic templates or themes that don’t reflect their brand or purpose. While templates or themes can be useful for saving time and money, they can also make your website look bland and boring.
Some of the most common customization mistakes include:
- Not changing the default settings or options: This makes your website look like every other website that uses the same template or theme. You should change the default settings or options such as colors, fonts, logos, icons, etc., to match your brand identity and message.
- Not adding custom features or functionality: This makes your website lack the features or functionality that you need or want for your specific purpose. You should add custom features or functionality such as forms, widgets, plugins, etc., to enhance your website’s performance and user experience.
- Not updating or maintaining your website: This makes your website look outdated and insecure. You should update or maintain your website regularly to keep it fresh and relevant. You should also backup your website frequently to prevent data loss or corruption.
To avoid these and other customization mistakes, you should follow the Website Customization Best Practices as the best practice for web design. You should also use platforms like WordPress or Wix to create custom websites with ease.
5. Using features that don’t convert
Conversion is the action that you want your users to take on your website, such as signing up for a newsletter, downloading an ebook, buying a product, etc.
6. Having a lack of hierarchy
Hierarchy is the principle of organizing your website elements according to their importance and relevance. It helps users scan and understand your website content quickly and easily.
Without a clear hierarchy, your website can look chaotic and confusing. Users may not know where to look or what to do on your website.
Some of the most common hierarchy mistakes include:
- Using too many headings or subheadings: This makes your website look cluttered and overwhelming. You should use headings and subheadings sparingly and strategically to break up your content into logical sections and subsections. You should also use different font sizes, weights, and colors to create contrast and emphasis.
- Using too many or too few images or graphics: This makes your website look unbalanced and boring. You should use images or graphics to support your content and enhance your message. You should also use different sizes, shapes, and positions to create variety and interest.
- Using too many or too few white spaces: This makes your website look cramped or empty. You should use white spaces to create breathing room and separation between your website elements. You should also use different margins, paddings, and alignments to create alignment and harmony.
To avoid these and other hierarchy mistakes, you should follow the Visual Hierarchy Principles as the best practice for web design. You should also use tools like Coolors or Google Fonts to create stunning color schemes and typography for your website.
Web design is not a one-time project but an ongoing process. You should always keep an eye on your website’s performance, user feedback, and industry trends to improve your web design and boost your conversions.
By avoiding these six common web design mistakes, you can create a website that is accessible, responsive, aesthetic, customized, and conversion-focused. A website that will help you achieve your online goals and grow your business.
If you need help with creating a stunning website that converts, you can contact us today. We are a team of web design experts who can help you with everything from web design strategy, development, optimization, and maintenance. We’ll make sure that your website is not only beautiful but also effective.
Get in touch with us today and let us know how we can help you with your web design needs.