The Biggest Web Design Mistakes to Avoid in 2016

by Keval Padia on January 19, 2016

The modern web is always changing, and this article is more than two years old.

Web Design Mistakes to Avoid in 2016

As mentioned during UX Design Trends 2015 as well as 2016, major trends have taken over in the field of web design. Responsive web design has become the recommended approach for all websites. But there are varied mistakes made by designers who do not get how to make it right.

Irrespective of the fact of your workplace or the nature of the site being made, here are some mistakes that all website designers should avoid while working on the next web design project:

1) Focusing on Devices instead of Screen Size and Resolution

According to OpenSignal data, there are more than 24000 Android devices in the market that is more than 1/3 of the market last year. Hence designers cannot actually design sites to target individual devices but instead focus on screens. If one focuses on screen size rather than type of gadget like wearables, tablets or phones, one avoids the problem of attending to too many devices.

One should instead design for micro-screens, small screens, mid-range screens, large and extra-large screens. Using screen classification for responsive design helps in more ways than one since one cannot lump all phones in just one category. The sizes of tablets, desktops and mobiles vary in multiple ways any way.

One cannot develop responsive breakpoints for gadgets in terms of display size. Focus on screen size instead of the varied device size for developing effective responsive breakpoints.

2) Thinking Small about Space

The importance of small screens cannot be compromised but responsive design is also about the design working for both big and small screens and layouts.

Mobile internet usage has increased but still a large part of the web usage is derived from desktop visitors. A designer who thinks small with responsive websites is actually not taking the entire market into context.

Treat all screens with equal importance and do not change or scale design to adjust to the large screens. Take maximum benefit from extra space that is available. A content hierarchy will make sure that you have the widest screen layout.

Images should not lose quality when scaled and the line lengths should be considered when they are expanded. Do not scale font sizes too beyond a measure, since they might take up significant horizontal space thus slowing down users. Run usability tests for assessing the best readability size.

3) Designing Without a Grid

Sketching or designing elements on paper would result in no plan for organization or scale. Although the concept might work, the lack of a grid is bound to affect the result since it is only a skeleton.

Visual consistency is highly important for users to navigate from top to bottom of the site. Try to make small adjustments and get the elements on a grid without having to make a complete redesign. The grid impacts all spaces and hence should be followed for the right design.

If you work with visible grids, you get varied design tools that can help you create good patterns over the images and even allow you to create the right pixel-perfect alignment of the site.

4) Using a Theme without Customization

One can use any theme you get but with pre-made website elements, your website is sure to get lost in similar sites. There are umpteen premium themes along with free user interface kits for better rendering of websites. But do not use templates that will make your site similar to hundred other sites on the web.

For a small price, one can get a premium website design template along with a set of tools that can help you to deliver a custom website design. Manipulate the set of building blocks along with typography and colours to suit your brand and company image. With the features, one can even make changes to the site on a continual basis and make the site look fresh.

5) No Search Box

Whatever be the purpose of your website, a search box is a must since it offers users an option to navigate when they are lost within the pages. A search engine should have the capability to handle plurals, typos and errors, along with punctuation marks. A simple search box is important although if you have the resources, you can go with advanced search options too, especially if the website is large enough.

6) No Color Change for Links that have been Visited

Links hold the key to navigation of and highlighting all the links that have already been visited is crucial. It makes it easier for users to understand that the user has visited the page and can traverse to other sections of the website. Visitors can exclude links they have visited and hence are not confused about the pages.

7) Excess Flash

The use of flash can actually make a website attractive and even add life to the routine pages. With the help of advertisement banners, and trendy animations, one can jazz up the site. Although it provides functionality that can only be replicated using some AJAX, it should not be used in excess since that will make the website heavy and it will not render accurately on low-bandwidth devices.

Keval Padia is a Founder & CEO of Nimblechapps, a fast-growing iPhone mobile app development company. The current innovation and updates of the field lures him to express his views and thoughts on certain topics.

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