Articles, General

When Web Design Goes Too Far

October 20, 2010 • By

Just as there are fantastic web designs launched every year, there are even more websites launched that are atrocious and go too far with design. What are the parameters for an artist or web design creator on knowing when to step on the brakes with their design?

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The most common mistakes made in designing a website are:

Too Much, Too Soon

Ever opened a website and felt dizzy seeing too much content, color, intricate borders and graphics? The top web layouts always have just one or two focal points, nothing more. In the first place, you don’t have to limit the website to just one page. However, you should also not bombard your main home page with too many directional guides and links to the other pages. If a web design has too much going for it, it will be its own worst enemy. Remember that a visitor to the website has a million other site choices, and so your window of opportunity to keep him interested is so small and be just a matter of seconds. The general idea is that a person should be able to tell within 4 seconds after opening a site what it’s all about.

Using The Wrong Design Elements

You may know a lot about web design, but you do not have to use them all at once. Neither should you be random about which design elements to use.  For instance, if the website has products to sell, then do not let design detract from the product so much so that the person looks at the design rather than the product. Neither should you have elements that stop a person from buying by using “come on,” “wait,” or “there’s more” kind of tactics.

Getting Drunk on Contrasts

The use of contrast is a great design technique, but it can get in the way, especially if you try too hard to create a visual smorgasbord battling for attention. On the other hand, many designers tend to disregard the use of contrast because they know the content by heart, and fail to look at the design from the angle of a visitor.  Thus, they look at the overall effect, and end up using too light text color that affects visibility and readability.

Inconsistency From Top To Bottom, Side to Side

Often a web design gets attention because it has no focus, which means it’s not a compliment. Think of it as a room – you cannot have gothic mixed with country because they do not work together at all. It’s wrong to have a different theme for every page in your website, just as it can get to be too much if you keep changing the color scheme.

Creating a Navigational Maze

Web navigation refers to links to different parts of your website. An inconsistent web design uses different kinds of navigational designs in one page, or even in the entire website. Again, you need to maintain consistency. At the same time, the navigational keys should be concise and simple. This is the wrong aspect of the web design to “decorate.” It should be as easy for a 10 year old as it is for a 70 year old to figure out how to get to the Home Page or About Us page.

Making Web Design More Important Than the Content

Unless you are creating a design or artsy website, then content should reign supreme. The web design should not be the main selling point. It should be whatever the main focus of the site is. If anything at all, design should enhance content, and by doing so, get its due recognition.

Using Flash Techniques Improperly

A web design that incorporates a video that automatically pops up when a person goes to the Home Page should always have a Skip option. Making visitors go through the same Flash animation every time is abusive and inconsiderate. It will also cause a drop in interest. The same applies with music, especially in game sites. Not everyone wants to listen to the same tune again and again. There should be the option to lower the volume or put it in mute mode.

Playing Around With Text

Adding design to the fonts is generally a bad idea. People just want to read the content, not be impressed with its font, size, or color. It will also cause a problem with optimization. Thus, it is important to choose a font that is easy to read, and not be too small or too big.

Web design can easily go overboard, so the best way to avoid this problem is to have an objective independent person give you his or her point of view. If you get several opinions, you can come up with a consensus. Just choose your critics well.

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