Common Website Design and Web Development Mistakes
Mistakes are a part of life. They say “nothing or no one is perfect”, which implies for websites too. No website is a perfect website because there are mistakes in every one of them. Mistakes can be of any type starting from the use of incorrect fonts to the website not being responsive. Even the best professional designers and developers are guilty of the mistakes that they make while designing a website. But the good part is how can we cover up those mistakes by providing the right amount of functionalities which would provide value to the users so that they overlook those mistakes. That is why while creating a website the main focus is to provide value to the users which would ensure great user experience and ultimately provide enough popularity to ensure new visitors and the revisiting of the old users.
Now, it would be great if we, as designers could go back in time and change some of the mistakes that we have made in the course of designing certain websites. But since we are yet to discover and use a time machine and do that, all we can do is learn and make sure that it does not happen in the future. Here are some common mistakes that as designers, we all have made and wouldn’t want to make again.
Mistakes as designers:-
Use of the wrong colors and Typography: This is probably the most important thing after good quality images while designing a website. When designing a website, the designer needs to pay deep attention to the font that he uses along with the color that he fills the font with. This is because it is extremely important to make sure that the color and the font actually correlate and they match each other. For example, if you use a big, blocky and muscular looking font because of its large size and add a very soft toned color like light pink, a lighter shade of sky blue or lemon yellow or if you use numerous different fonts on the same website, let alone on the same page with different colors it wouldn’t get the job done. So, it is very important to be aware of these kinds of mistakes because when you are relying upon texts to communicate with the viewers then the texts need to possess some personality and they should be able to speak to the viewer about the website. So following a style guide and sticking to a minimum amount of fonts and colors would be a good idea and that would enable your website to showcase its aesthetic appeal to the viewers.
Use of the right images: Just like mentioned in #1, images are undoubtedly the most important object of a website. They tell a lot about the website and the company that possesses it. A website without images or without the correct images seems like a fish out of water. Now, when I say “images”, the mistakes that’s the most common is the use of images in excessive numbers that don’t even introduce the website properly. Not only that, sometimes designers end up using poor quality images that fail to impress the visitors and the first thing they do after visiting the website is they scroll through it really fast and then they use the magical “back” button to get out of there. So, designers should be aware of using the right images which would be ideal in terms of quality and which provide valuable information to the visitors by speaking for the company which owns the website. Another thing which the designer should keep in mind is that using high-quality media files means they are larger in size which would ultimately result in slow loading of the website. So, just using high-quality media files isn’t the solution. They should be less in terms of size so that the website can load faster and it can be free of loading issues. The question which arises is where would you get the correct images? To solve this issue there are various platforms that offer marvelous quality images that can be purchased to be used in websites. The other option which you can consider is hiring a professional photographer to gather images as per your needs.
Imbalances in the use of design elements: When designing a website, the use of elements is absolutely necessary. However, it is important to understand the correct way to use those elements. Balancing out their use is something that a lot of designers miss out on. Elements such as banners, videos, texts, icons, and other graphics tell us a lot about the particular website and the company. So, it is absolutely necessary to balance out the number of images, videos, and texts that a designer should put in the design. It should not seem like there are an ample amount of media files but there’s a lack of text which actually fails to tell the visitors about the company. Since the ultimate goal is to make the visitor follow the website or apply to the company or be a part of the company in some form, there needs to be a balanced amount of information that persuades the visitor or customer to do so.
Not using grids: Since our golden days, we all have been learning that organizing a task properly is the first step to successfully execute it. Things are not much different when it comes to designing. A grid is a framework that helps to make sure that every part of the website is actually organized and aligned properly. It is just like the feeling we get when we see the players standing in a formation in a soccer field. Each of them stands in line, perfectly where they are supposed to and are ready to play the game. While designing a website each of the sections, the header then the body and then footer should be separated from each other while looking like one entity at the same time. It should not look like each one of them was designed separately. When the viewers are having their first glance they should be able to properly differentiate the header with the body and the footer but also notice the consistency that has been out to it. So, while designing the respective distinct parts of the website it is absolutely important to follow a grid or a wireframe to make sure that everything is organized and consistent.
Mistakes as Developers:
Failing to make the website responsive: In 2019, more than 80% of the world own a smartphone and at least 50 to 60% own a tablet and other devices where you can browse through the internet. Now, back in the days, it was hard to find a computer to use let alone browse the internet and that is why developers didn’t have to care about making the website responsive. But since in today’s world everyone opens a website at least once or twice through a smartphone or other compact device before opening it from the computer, it has become absolutely necessary to pay attention to how the website would look in the mobile screen or in any other device. Putting every little inch of effort in designing the website and then doing all the development tasks would become absolutely meaningless if it doesn’t open in mobiles properly. Over 60% of internet users have preferred websites to be responsive. So, failing to make a website responsive would be the same as not designing one.
Using Old school HTML techniques: Today we have a new world around us that was not around 20 years ago. So, just like the world has seen numerous improvements in different fields the world of HTML has marked some noticeable changes. So, still using tags like <table> for elements of layout and <center> for spacing elements are known to be some of the old school HTML techniques that can be used. Now, there are various new browsers that are used in the market which weren’t there a while ago and the problem lies in the fact that these new browsers may not support these HTML commands. So, sarcastically speaking that would make users have a memorable experience.
Providing too many links that open in new browser windows: When scrolling through a website, if you come across clickable links that open a new window whenever you click them it becomes irritating and undemanding. Opening multiple browser windows at a time may make it difficult and hectic to manage. More than half of the users will propose a problem in such functionality. So, to ensure a good user experience the number of links that open new windows should be minimized and when doing the development for a website the approach should be that everything should be in the fingertips of the user while it can be easy to use and navigate.
Providing loads of code: It is no secret that aligning a perfect code structure is the ultimate objective of a developer. But in doing this sometimes what happens is they end up providing sacks of code which results in a lot of uncertainty. The code files become hectic stuff to manage as they become too crowded and bulky. Do not forget that the website will be updated with time, so adding codes is something you will probably have to do a lot in the coming times. So, at the time of creation, you can implement feature detection in the codes which would stop this kind of problem and make the code structure really compact as well as useful.
These were some of the common mistakes that the majority of the designers and developers come across. Apart from this, there are a lot of other minor mistakes that are suffered by the designers in the industry. With proper testing and trials, you can identify and rectify these kinds of faults in the design. Proper testing helps to pick out these kinds of errors and you can utilize your time by working smart along with working hard to create something more productive and useful.
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