When you’re first starting out in anything, absolutely anything, you’re not going to be able to hit the ground running. With all the modern standards you have to compete with, this is especially true when it comes to web design.
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Web Design Mistakes You Should Avoid
Sure, experimentation and making mistakes is a part of the learning process, but I’m sure you don’t want to make a total mess of your first web design job! Here are some common newbie’s mistakes to be aware of…
Lack of an Overarching Vision
Every single web page exists for a reason, whether that’s communicating information, providing entertainment, selling something or allowing the user to perform a certain task. Whatever the purpose of a given page is, every little element of it needs to help along this purpose.
All good web designers know the importance of having an overarching vision, and it’s something you need to be aware of if you want the end result to be functional and visually appealing.
Take a look at your current design. The function of every little element needs to be crystal clear, and anything that doesn’t help with the page’s purpose should be removed. Clickable things should look clickable, whether it’s been styled as a button, underlined, or manipulated with some other visual tweak. Just make sure it’s nice and consistent.
Running with the Pack
When you’re inexperienced in web design, and have a shortage of truly creative ideas, the logical next step is to simply find out what the dominant trends are, and go along with them. This is understandable, but can easily end up blowing up in your face!
A lot of the Olympic Games posters from the past 100 years still look attractive and distinctive today, whereas a lot of websites from the early noughties look absolutely terrible, despite having stuck with contemporary trends. Instead of cramming in something cool you saw on a graphic design blog, take your time to establish some base principles of typography, layout and overall tone, and come up with ideas that coincide with these.
The best examples of web design are tasteful, but certainly not generic.
Poor Use of Images
The most common mistake when it comes to using images in web design is sizing them too small for the page, causing them to deflate and lose their potential impact. One way to ensure that all your images deliver their full effect is applying them in a full browser-width format.
This will give a much more impactful and glossy feeling to the page, making it feel more like a printed magazine than an arrangement of code. It’s also important to use images that help to communicate whatever you’re trying to convey with the site, and that you have a legal right to use it on your site.
Stock photography sites are a good place to find free ones. Just remember that a lot of the best shots will have been over-used by businesses like yours.
As you take your first steps into web design, try your best to avoid these newbie mistakes! 🙂