Web Design Mistakes You Need to Avoid at All Costs

February 6, 2018
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The Internet in general is in a constant state of flux – it always has been, and it likely always will be. Even the way that we make use of the Internet each day is evolving. It is now less “something you do to kill time when you get home from work” as it was in decades past and is now more of an invaluable part of our days that we really can’t function without.

The principles behind web design and visual communication on the Internet have gone through similar transformations over the last few years. But every time trends and best practices shift in a new direction, they unfortunately tend to bring along a series of potential pitfalls for you and your team to stumble across at the same time.

But by keeping just a few key things in mind, you an both learn as much as you can about the web design mistakes that are common in the modern era and do what you can to avoid them at all costs.

Now Is Not the Time to Ignore Mobility

Though it should really go without saying at this point, this is important enough that it demands being repeated: if you are not designing every last piece of collateral with mobile devices in mind, you need to start immediately. Not tomorrow, not next week – today. Right now.

Consider the fact that according to one recent study, mobile digital media time in the United States now represents over half of the time that people spend interacting with electronics every day, at 51%. This is greater than desktop media time, which only came in at 42%.

But the key thing to understand is that this goes beyond just the design of your website. If you’ve got a stunning, perfect mobile website but it’s filled with content like Infographics that are practically illegible on a smartphone or tablet, you’ve wasted a lot of money by focusing your attention in the wrong areas.

Instead, you can use online tools such as Visme (which in transparency, I’m the founder of) to make sure that not just your site but the content itself is optimized for the mobile landscape.

This is something that you’re going to have to start thinking about before you begin work on that next Infographic. It’s a factor that will affect every decision you make – from font sizes to graphic placement to layout, structure and more.

Presentations need to be created from the exact same perspective. Stop designing presentations that look best when they’re projected on a 30 foot screen in your office. Think about the design choices you have to make to guarantee that the presentation isn’t just readable on a mobile device, but that it actually offers an enjoyable and informative experience as well.

But again, it’s a step that is more than worth taking – especially when you consider the fact that smartphone ownership is still on an upward trend that shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

Nothing Can Exist in a Silo

Another one of the most important web design mistakes that you need to avoid at all costs involves forgetting the fact that just because you’re publishing something to your website doesn’t mean that this will be its final resting place.

Gone are the days where you created a piece of content, uploaded it to your site and it simply lived within the bowels of that domain for all time. These days, content can and should exist across multiple channels for increased exposure – which means that you have to keep this in mind while creating that content, too.

Take the videos that you’re creating, for example. When you create a piece of video collateral, don’t just think about optimizing it for where it is going to end up tomorrow. Think about where it may live five or even ten years from now. That video may look great on your website or on YouTube, but is it in a format that is easily shareable and digestible on social media?

What about if you wanted to break up a longer video into a series of smaller ones and monetize it using a service like Uscreen? If you’ve thought about the construction and execution of your video from the start, doing this is an incredibly simple process. If you were still married to the idea of “this video will exist solely on my website forever,” trying to reformat it retroactively is a bit like trying to cram a square peg into a round hole.

You need to not just think about where you want your content to live but all the possible places where it could live when conceptualizing, designing and executing on that vision. Only then will you be able to pivot and avoid one of the major pitfalls of the modern era.

In the End

One of the major challenges of modern day web design has to do with the malleability of the concept itself. The Internet is changing all around us, all the time.

Think about what made a great website in 1995 and think about a sleek, sophisticated, minimalist website from today. They almost look like two totally different concepts, but at their core they really are the same thing.

The key is not to be afraid of this. Instead, you need to embrace it. You need to think about not just creating content that checks the important boxes of today but that is also versatile enough to be ready to embrace the trends of tomorrow as well. Something we have integrated as part of our DNA at Hindsite Interactive

By working with a partner that specializes in custom websites, you’re in an easier position to identify the important factors that allow you to design and distribute content that is as evergreen as humanly possible.

Payman Taei is the founder of Visme, an easy-to-use online tool to create engaging presentations, infographics, and other forms of visual content. He is also the founder of HindSite Interactive, an award-winning Maryland digital agency specializing in website design, user experience and web app development.