If there’s one thing you need to remember when building a website, it’s to never take good design for granted.

As we’ve mentioned in a previous article, a site visitor’s first impression on your website can make or break you in just a matter of seconds.

In other words, if they don’t like what they see within that timeframe, chances are they’re going to close their browser windows and direct their attention elsewhere.

Fortunately, there are a lot of ways to prevent this from happening; one of them is to familiarize yourself with good web design practices. And the good news is you don’t need to be a professional web designer in order to do so.

Because while it’s true that not everyone has a good eye for design, preventing bad design becomes easier once you know what to avoid.

That said, make sure you keep these 4 common web design mistakes in mind. This way, you’ll have one less thing to worry about when you finally start building your website.

Mistake #1: Using More Than 3 Fonts

A rule of thumb when designing websites? Try not to have too much visual elements going on within your space. Having more than 3 fonts on your site design is a surefire way to break this one rule. It’ll also overwhelm your site visitors.

Keeping your website fonts to a minimum of 3 is a general design practice observed by professionals. Plus, it increases your site’s level of readability and consistency, which are key to your site traffic’s success.

DON’T DO THIS:

Don’t use more than 3 fonts and try to avoid “fancy fonts” as much as possible. These tend to make your site look unprofessional and outdated.

DO THIS:

Use only 2 fonts, or a maximum of 3 if you have to. Notice how the page below looks clean and sleek, all while keeping readability and consistency all throughout the design.

Try comparing the differences between this example and the previous one. The example below with only two fonts is a website that your visitors will likely take seriously.  This previous one above with the overwhelming amount of fonts isn’t.

Mistake #2: Failing to Use White Space

White space is one of the most important aspects of web design. But what is it?

Put simply, white space is literally the empty space between elements in a composition.

In other words, it’s negative space. This pertains to anything on your website that isn’t filled with text, photos, or other design elements.

Now, the problem arises when website owners want to fill all of the white space in, which is an absolute no-no.

White space matters because it gives your site visitors and readers some breathing space when going through your site. Just how it was mentioned in the first design mistake to avoid, overwhelming your website with too much design elements is more than enough reason for your site visitors to leave and for your traffic to decrease significantly. It also makes for poorly executed design.

DON’T DO THIS:

In the example below, take a look at how the text is nearing the edges of the purple section’s margin. Notice as well how all elements leave almost zero room for white space.

DO THIS INSTEAD:

Give your site readers some room to breathe. If adding in long paragraphs is unavoidable, just remember to always take the rules of spacing into account—they’re pretty easy to remember anyway 😊.  It will leave your page looking cool, crisp, and professional.

Mistake #3: Designing Websites With Zero Flow in Your Site’s Content

It’s important to pay attention as to how  information on your website is presented. Moreover, site content should generally follow a logical flow, taking the site viewer’s intuition into consideration.

Check out the two examples below to see what we mean.

DON’T DO THIS:

Unless you’re a graphic designer by profession, it’s probably not a good idea to experiment with the standard flow of your website’s sections.

Below, you can see that the site’s design lacks both visual and logical flow; everything is all over the place. You don’t want your audience having a hard time navigating through your site, either. This is another surefire way to do it.

DO THIS INSTEAD:

Notice how the sections of the website flow depending on what actions the visitor is most likely to take.

The design is intuitive and has a logical flow: First, the organization introduces itself and fills the audience in on the basics; like what it’s about and what it does. Second, it adds in reliable figures to establish credibility. Lastly, the website gives the audience its contact numbers and a list of events, prompting them to take action.

Mistake #4: Trying to Fit in Every Bit of Information Onto Your Website

Adding in walls of uncessary text where white space should can drive your audience away. Remember to only keep important details.

Studies find that readers only visit 20% of your webpage; everyone else outside that percentage will probably just scroll through your site.

DON’T DO THIS.

Don’t overwhelm your visitors with inconsistent, giant walls of text, especially if it means having to sacrifice your website design’s cohesiveness and structure.

DO THIS INSTEAD:

Keep your copy short and concise, and take out chunks of unecessary text if you can help it. Only keep vital information that your site visitors absolutely need to know.

Conclusion

Website design is important, and can be a huge deciding factor in whether or not you gain site traffic.

Remember not take it for granted. Always alot time to research, and look up design articles to guide you along the way. Before you know it, you’ll be seeing your site traffic moving upwards. 🙂 Good luck!

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This week’s useful resource:

CANVA has hundreds of resources that you can access on their website. Apart from useful and easy-to-follow design tips, they also have photo editing tools, graphs, and a wide range of useful resources you can use for your creative projects.

Check out this cool Color Guide from Canva for your next design venture.

Canva Design Wiki

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