The internet is filled with examples of great web design principles. From outstanding typography to vivid colour pallets, there are some great examples of what you should try to include when you design your site. However, there are also some great examples of what you definitely shouldn’t do when designing your website. They can be hard to find, but these websites are important to understanding why some things are just a big no in web design. Let’s take a look.
Your website’s layout is extremely important in ensuring your customers know where to find appropriate information. Web design professionals always try to find simple and intuitive ways to layout information, usually involving some sort of grid system. Most humans read from left to right and top to bottom, so grid systems are always be designed with that in mind.
Let’s take a look at an example of bad web design, or more specifically, bad layout. ‘The 20 most important inventions of all time’ does use a grid system. However, the grid design is extremely irregular. This means we struggle to get into a rhythm whilst reading the information. We’re never quite sure where to look next and we feel like we’re being overloaded with information. Web design should always be easy on the eye and this site it just a little too complicated.
Similarly to the layout, your website’s navigation menu is also important in ensuring your customers know how to get to each page. Navigation menus should always be designed with ease-of-use in mind. Start with the top-level pages by categorising the most important information. Then work your way down with the information you think less of your customers will need.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at why ‘Gates N Fences’ is an example of how not to lay out a navigation menu. Ignoring the fact that this website looks like it was designed in the early 2000s, you should immediately be able to see the problem with the navigation menu design. There is just too much information and the poor design means that some of the top-level pages are right at the bottom of the menu. If you were looking for Safety Equipment, for example, you have to scroll down until you realise that there is a page there. We could probably take an educated guess that they don’t sell many of those products. When designing menus, try to put yourself in your customer’s shoes. How would they use the menu? What information would they like to see first?
Bad colour scheme
In web design, colour schemes are extremely important. Colour psychology tells us that different colours can provoke various emotional reactions in your customers. McDonald’s didn’t choose red for no reason, in the same way that DELL didn’t randomly choose blue. When designing your website, you should think about what you are trying to get your customer to do. Are you trying to get them to purchase a product, or are you just giving them information?
Anyway, here is one example of how a colour scheme has been poorly designed. ‘KDnuggets’ has chosen yellow to be their main colour. Bad choice. Yellow is often associated with caution, meaning their customers may not be as keen to take a look around. Not to mention that yellow is a very vivid colour and therefore should not be used too much. It can be very harsh on the eyes of customers. Websites designed like ‘KDnuggets’ can often have a high bounce rate simply because the colours are too vivid.
No mobile responsiveness
The year is 2020, and yet some web designers find it appropriate not to make sites mobile responsive. In the last couple of years, the amount of people using mobile devices to browse the web has risen to 52.5%. This is up from just 0.7% in 2009. That’s a year-on-year growth of 123.7% over the last decade or so. So to not design a website to be mobile responsive is quite simply ludicrous.
Let’s take a look at ‘Pikdo’. If you view the site on a mobile device, you will immediately realise the problem. The adverts take up 90% of the screen space. This means that the user cannot see their content. At all. And before you ask, no, there is no way to close the adverts. What’s even worse is that this site is dedicated to showing Instagram content, so it’s likely most of their users will be using mobile devices. No thought has been given to mobile users here.