The start of a new year is an opportunity to make up for the past’s mistakes, and lord knows that the world of web design has many mistakes to make up for. Web design is a creative and fast-changing field, yet overused trends and hypes sometimes stick around much longer than they should.
As we welcome 2013 with a bang, we want to mention some of these unfortunate web design fails in the hope that they no longer be part of our web browsing experience. Have a beautiful 2013 everyone!
Unless the purpose of a website is to cause pain and sight deficiencies, using multiple fonts on the same page is not a great idea. It’s very confusing for website visitors and ruins the natural flow that a good site should have. Fonts do a lot more than present your site text neatly. They create a hierarchy and an atmosphere, and are a crucial part of the website’s user experience. The rule of thumb is not to use more than two different fonts on the same page, but frankly, one font is enough in most cases.
In web design, gradients are mostly used to create smooth blending of shades on a site’s background. Recently, gradients have become so popular that heavy internet users actually start seeing the world in gradients.
We don’t have anything against gradients per se, but they are definitely one of the most overused elements in web design. Moreover, some websites don’t simply use gradients, they ABUSE them with a color spectrum that starts with red, goes through mustard yellow and ends with dark green – all on one screen! Let’s put an end to this negligence. Either you use gradients moderately or not at all.
It’s a common problem – you go overboard trying to get quality images for your beautiful website, and when you upload them they still look bad. Why? Because the image background is either white, or black or any other color accept transparent, that’s why!
A transparent background makes your photo appear as an organic, natural part of the website. A color background, on the other hand, detaches the image from what actually goes on in the site. It may sound like a task that only a professional designer with expensive software can do, but you can actually find many online photo editing tools that can make your image background transparent with just a few clicks.
Textures are fun and can really brighten up a website. However, some textures are just so common that they become cliches. How many sites can use a texture of a wrinkled notebook paper? Or a red brick wall? Haven’t we seen enough rain drops falling on website backgrounds? When you consider the options for your website’s backgrounds, try to see that you’re not simply repeating something that you saw elsewhere without any justification. Together we can fight the texture-overdose!
About 80% of the websites that use intro pages do so not out of necessity, but just for fun. Well, it’s no great fun. Unless your intro page includes valuable information for the browsing experience – like choosing the site language or location, or highlighting something your visitors shouldn’t miss – an intro page is just another wasted click.
Websites – especially eCommerce websites – should minimize the number of clicks a visitor makes on the site. If you have an intro page, a click on the Enter button means less chances users will click on something else. Is the intro page really worth it?