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Top Ten Lessons Learned From Poor Web Design

Editor’s Note: This is a guest post written by Adrian who is a passionate blogger and chief of the team behind DesignModo website. This blog is a great resource where you can find tons of tutorials, high quality articles and amazing freebies. If you want to stay updated with the latest web design news, follow us on Twitter.

An old wise man once said that the best way to learn is by acknowledging our own mistakes and trying to correct ourselves in the future. While this may be true to some extent, it is even more important to see the mistakes other people have made and try to learn from them. If your chosen line of work is web design and you are just starting out with this career, you might want to see what poor web design is all about. Following in the next paragraphs, you will find the top ten lessons to be learned from poor web design. Pay attention to them and you will only have but to gain as a professional web designer.

Crowded does not mean complex

For someone who has not so many years of experience in the field of web design, it might be tempting to pick elements of web design from various places. The result will not be a perfect blend of fine-tuned elements but rather a poor mixture, sending people away rather than drawing them to your design. If you want your design to receive the best feedback, then you will learn to keep things simple. Remember, simple can be complex but crowded will always seem tiring to the eye.

Base your creations on the knowledge that you do have

When creating a new design, professional web designers can incorporate last-minute strategies and innovations. However, there are those who do not have so much knowledge and, being in a hurry to reach fame, they will base their creations on strategies they are not so familiar with. Once again, if you do not possess a fair amount of knowledge about a certain web design strategy, technique or layout, this will be noticeable in the final version of your design. Do you really want that?

Think about the needs of your viewers

Number three might sound like something absurd but the truth is one of the biggest mistakes rookies make is to design a website taking their own needs into consideration. Everyone knows that a website is designed taking into consideration the needs of a particular segment of the targeted market; if you fail to notice this important point, you will find yourself in the situation of people failing to purchase from your website but rather go to the competition for something similar.

Confused viewers are lost consumers

Always keep thinking about the purpose of a website – selling various products or presenting a wide array of services. If you are not clear designing the platform for the said business, then people arriving to your website will surely be confused. And for someone who is looking to purchase something, confusion is not a good thing. If it takes more than four seconds to figure out your sector, then that viewer is a lost consumer.

Good and bad contrast

When designing a website, you cannot fail to take into consideration the importance of contrast. However, this is a discussion that can go a long way and if you do not have some basic knowledge about how to properly choose the contrast for a website, you won’t understand how important it actually is. Just remember that there are a lot of web designers who tend to take the contrast at the highest possible level, considering their creation will stick out. Reduce the level and you will reach the one of good contrast.

Easy, comfortable surfing or is it more like river rafting?

This is one of the most essential lessons that you are going to be learning from other people mistakes. While a complex navigational menu might be a good thing for someone who has experience in working as a web designers, designing a lot of browsing choices, with all sorts of clicks and returns might be tiring. As a matter of fact, most people prefer a website that guarantees an easy and comfortable surfing process. Wouldn’t you?

Too much or too little text

When browsing the web in search of poor website design, you will certainly come across two types of websites: first, the one that has too much text and very little white space or images, and second the one that has reduced content. None of these situations is desirable, especially if you want your website to be browsed by an increased number of people. Think about choosing the right amount of text and you will be on the right path with designing the actual website.

Flash, from annoying to functional usage

Flash technology is one of the biggest advantages that have been given to web designers and, unfortunately, some of them are trying to abuse it. While flash can be a great addition to a website, this doesn’t necessarily mean it isn’t annoying. Instead of choosing flash over flash, spend some time and think how much flash is functional. Otherwise, your visitors will be easily overwhelmed at the level of interactivity provided and leave the website instantly.

Background failure

You might not consider the background of a website to be too important, but the truth is that it actually matters a lot. While many web designers would choose a background that sticks out a lot, the recommendation is that you choose one suitable to the actual theme of your website. Background failure is one of the main reasons why people leave a website and choose another one, with similar products or services, simply because the other background soothes or keeps them active (depending on the mood).

Type, not typo

We have talked about all sorts of mistakes that can affect the quality of web design but the truth is we haven’t mentioned number one. Typos are often encountered in the content presented on a website and such things should not be happening. Why? The answer is simple and quite obvious. If you want your readers to stay loyal and visit your website on a regular basis, then you will refrain from making any mistakes. And what mistakes are more obvious other than typos?

In conclusion, go against the mistakes that were mentioned in this article and your work as a web designer will only continue to improve. Other than that, feel free to search the web for other mistakes and try to learn from them, as much as you possibly can.

Meet Evan Varsamis


Evan Varsamis is driven by his passion for technology, innovation and vision of an ever improving and informative web. The company he founded, Cloudie Co. is a testament of that. Evan is constantly seeking to invest in new startup projects that support his vision.