In this article I want to share with you some of the most common and worst website design mistakes I see being made by people designing web pages, articles and things like powerpoint slides or flyers.
You could use these as a useful reminder list to make sure your designs and business pages don’t suffer a design disaster.
Now one of the great things about apps, online widgets, software and the array of Plugins available today are the variety of easy to use cool tools, colors and other gizmos that an amateur can make use of very quickly with little or no tuition.
But then that’s also the biggest problem – as amateurs we don’t know the classic concepts for good design, proportion and color. We get carried away with all the new powers we have and then use them and abuse them and think our design is new, unique and different when it actually just looks awful.
Now there’s a reason why certain design principles are classics – they’ve stood the test of time!
Here are five of the greatest design sins you need to avoid in your own productions:
Have a look at some of the web’s most visited sites (use www.alexa.com top 100 sites) to see what they do in terms of design. You’ll see that aside from any header and banner artwork the colors most often used are a combination of a few core colors and that’s it. Just because you have a million colors available to you there’s no need to use them – just use the ones that you need and the ones that work. And make sure the colors you use complement your logo.
When highlighting a link the convention is that this is blue; while for headers and sub heads you can use either italics or bold but not both. Oh, and try to avoid underlining words as this is the convention for a link and you don’t want to annoy your visitors with links that don’t work (perception is in THEIR eyes after all).
When you use any word processor you can play around at using a selection of fonts as the people who get your document will either see a printed version or will have a word processor themsleves where all the fonts will work.
Online, things are different; you have to work on the basis that not everyone will be on the same web browser or even the same version as you. You also want text that is readable on screen. So, it will pay you to use more conservative font types on your site like Arial, Verdana or Times Roman.
And don’t try and use too many font styles across your site otherwise the YUK!! factor on your site will be in serious overdrive.
Alongside other controlled and consistent elements a structured approach to font sizes across your site pages will ensure your site looks professional.
For headlines and main headings a size of between 24 and 36 point will be ok.
Sub headings should be between 14 and 24 point.
For body text a size of 10 or 12 point should be used.
So you want to be unique, different and unusual? Well do it somewhere else away from your site links!
You must use blue underlined text for links – as that’s what the web does and visitors need to understand where your links are and that if they click on the link something will happen to take them to the link destination.
You can be creative, different and unusual elsewhere on your site.
By applying these design tips you can make sure your site looks professional, easy to use and up there with the best.
Leave the quirky, wacky stuff to sites that are trying to be different and not fussed about sales.
And remember, if you have any questions or problems with your design or layout just post a question