There are a number of ways to kill your website, and a poor design is one of them. When starting out as a designer it’s easy to make mistakes, however, chances are they are just as easy to rectify.
Here are some of the most common mistakes made by designers, and how to avoid them.
Use of Colour
Colour is one of the most important parts of any design or art work. It has a huge impact on the mood and is used to emphasise key information. We need colour to bring clarity and help lead the eye through the design.
Using colours that are too similar will cause extra strain and make the brain work harder. If the colours clash then the user will be distracted trying to order what they are seeing, instead of focusing on the task you are trying to get them to do. Colour balance isn’t easy to achieve. Familiarise yourself with the colour theory and start building up your colour palette on Adobe Colour.
Treatment of Text
A problem that a lot of designers have is making the text too small. This comes from a time when desk-top monitors had a resolution of 800×600, however, with mobile devices text can afford to be a little bigger.
Test what your text would look like in a variety of browsers and adapt your CSS media queries if required. As a general rule, headings should be bigger than paragraph text and give enough spacing in the vertical lines between the texts. Avoid using images as texts and limit yourself to using two or three fonts.
Designers must be clear with their layouts. Going for a simple layout instead of a complicated one will help keep the readers interested. If you clutter the page with colours, images and shapes then your user will leave due to feeling confused.
Keep in mind the phrase ‘less is more’. Whitespace can create an elegant look and most importantly it improves the readability and website performance. Users can focus their attention on more important elements of the page such as the navigation or in Google’s case, the search box.
When a user wants to carry out an action, a clear icon navigating them to the place they want to be will do the job better than text. For example, place a shopping bag icon next to the ‘checkout’ text and the user will know exactly what the next action needs to be.
Master the pen tool in Photoshop to make your logos stand out and eliminate any fuzzy or jagged edges.
Falling for Fads and Trends
Some design trends will stand the test of time, such as the Olympic Games posters from the mid-20th century. There is nothing wrong with taking inspiration from a campaign, but neglect key design principals and the design that looked good a couple of years ago will look dated and amateur. Think about the longevity of the campaign and stick to the key principals in layout, typography and image.