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10 Common Web Design Mistakes to Avoid

Creating a unique and compelling website is a given in today’s digitally savvy world. Having a non engaging site causes many businesses to lose customers. And you would be surprised that this occurs quite often.

Many small business owners may want to DIY their own websites – as they may not have enough budget and also may want to have total control over their design process. Fortunately, there are enough website design softwares that let you create your own website as a non designer and also be successful in doing so. The issue is, as an amateur designer you can soon become overwhelmed and may not truly, understand the layout, terminology and hierarchy of a web design leading to a website that’s less than ideal or average.

Web design is combination of aesthetic and functional elements, web design looks to give its viewers a website that is enjoyable, navigable, interesting and usable. To give your website visitors, an attractive website there are certain definitive “rules” that must be followed.

Let us explore what helps create a good web design, and the 10 of the most common web design mistakes that you should avoid during the process.

1. Too Much Clutter :

There is so much on offer in the web design world today that we tend to use too many elements thinking it will make our website better and attractive. But we sometimes forgot the actual goal / objective of the website.

Don’t get carried away by different creative design elements and overload your visitors with unwanted pop-up ads, tons of images, text, auto-playing videos, a crowded navigation bar etc that will take a while to load, and / or will confuse your visitors.

You need to keep your business and website objective in the centre and stay focused on building a simple structure which is easy to navigate and understand to give the visitors a positive, consistent experience.

2. Confused design :

Without a solid foundation and brand strategy, any output however well intentioned is likely to fail or create a “confused brand” website. A confused site uses variety of fonts, images, colour palettes which may not resonate with the actual message.
This usually happens for variety of reasons
a) Lack of clarity in understanding your brand image.
b) Combining too many elements from various design templates / themes without keeping the goal of the website intact.

When designing a website, you need to stick with one theme / template, one logo, and one typeface, and your brand colours across all other aspects of your site to create a holistic and cohesive experience.

3. Poor Navigation:

It is important to to create a website that should be easy to maneuverer and any visitor should be able to find the content / services / products (what is the websites objective) they’re looking for without having to delve too much through it.

It can be very frustrating if you have to browse a website with meaningless navigation. Maybe the navigation bar is placed in an odd position, or organised in a haphazard manner or includes broken links. This can lead to higher bounce rate, as visitors can’t find what they are looking for easily and so less possibility of returning.

So its worth checking if you are following the right formula
a) Your navigation menu should be easy to access. So avoid using ‘hidden’ or ‘pop-out ‘ menus unless really required or for mobile version.
b) Visitors should be able to make sense of the links and where they lead them to and what information they are likely to discover.

4. Contrast, Typography & Alignment:

Your website content communicates with the visitors and readers about your business and the products or services you offer. It is crucial to carefully choose the fonts, colours and how it is presented so that it can convey your brand image in a true sense.

Contrast: If it’s impossible to read your text with a poor or grim contrast then you are highly likely to experience higher bounce rate from your website which leads to poor conversions.
Typography: If you are using fonts which are difficult to read it may lead to frustration and again resulting in visitors just moving to a competitors site. i.e: If you are using script font in your branding & website keep it to bare minimum and never use it as your main paragraphs or in CAP’s
Alignment: Try to avoid using center and justify alignment on your website. Try and stick to left alignment where possible.

5. Poor use of whitespace:

Whitespace (also known as negative space) is the empty space around the content, images and elements on a web page. It allows your copy and design to breath and improves the overall visual experience for the user.

Incorporating too much text or images into their websites is a big mistake many people make. Break text up where you can, and use visual elements to represent concepts where possible.

Entering a website is a lot like entering someone’s home. Within the few seconds of stepping in you can get a sense of how you feel. Exactly, in the similar fashion with allowing the right amount of white space, you can create the right balance and contrast between content and space. 

6. Use of too many images

High quality images and animations are integral part of your web design and helps to channel complex ideas in seconds without having to actually read text. 

But do not be overwhelmed and include either too many images or images with poor / low quality. This will spoil the look of your website making it cluttered plus put the visitors off. Also relying too much on either of these media (images, videos, animations) may also impact its loading speeds and there is nothing more frustrating than a slow website.

7. Visual Hierarchy

Visual hierarchy refers to the structuring of the design elements on the page so that the eye is guided to consume each design element in the order of relevance.

When it comes to visual hierarchy, it’s important to differentiate, if every element appears important, then nothing will seem important. You need to be able to rank the information you are presenting so that it can be consumed appropriately.

Visual hierarchy affects what you look at and focus on in a design. Here are some of the key elements to consider when following visual hierarchy:

  • Size – large elements / text attract attention.
  • Colour – bright colours attract attention.
  • Contrast – contrasting colours will catch the eye easily.
  • Alignment – space between elements / paragraphs makes reading more efficient and enjoyable

8. Not a thought-out CTA

Call To Actions are the key gateways to your business. It should make your users / visitors think and command to do something (take an action).

  • Click Here!
  • Grab It Now!
  • Learn more about this product!

CTA should give enough information but also create a sense of curiosity that tempt users in taking action.

But do not be annoying as there is a fine line between being helpful and informative and being a pushover. Your CTA should be concise and tell users exactly what to do.

9. Missing your target audience

Understanding your audience and catering to them is key to any business, marketing, branding strategy. Creating customer profiles and figuring out how to attract consumer attention is the formula to build a successful business. And this is just as significant in web design. The way your site should look, communicate and what goal it is set to achieve – is naturally keeping a certain type of consumer in mind.

Some websites are highly professional, some are trendy and hip, while others are fun and bubbly. But the key is whom are you trying to reach?
If you try to attract everyone without focussing on your target audience, you’ll end up with a confused website. So identify and shape your target audience and cater for it.

10. Lack of Mobile Optimisation

In today’s digitally savvy world, the majority of internet users access websites using their mobile devices. (smart phones, tablets). You probably are reading this blog on your mobile. Stats say mobile devices are accounting for over 60% of website traffic and they have surpassed desktops as the most popular way to access the internet.

Mobile optimisation refers to making sure your site reformats itself for mobile devices. It not only displays properly on smaller screens, but also makes navigation equally simple and smoother as on the desktop.

Making your website mobile responsive will ensures a broader audience accesses to your website, and will enhance user experience. If your website is not responsive to mobile devices, and it makes user experience difficult, then you could be losing out on potential customers and sales.


A website could be your business’s most important asset, so you must make it flawless to create a great first impression. But if you are making these common web design mistakes do not get all flustered as they can be fixed. The hardest step is to identify them. But now that you know these mistakes, you can easily avoid or fix them going forward and create a user-friendly, aesthetically pleasing, and functional website. But always think and prioritise functionality and usability over aesthetics, and keep your target audience and website goals in mind.



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