A lot of people are getting into web design these days. Why not? It’s a formidable line of work, and if you’re really good enough, you might be able to transform it into something of a career. The pay is good, too. And the process of designing websites gives some people with artistic minds that much needed a release.
But sad to say most web designers don’t make it to the career part and for a good reason. Many amateur web designers commit the same mistakes again and again, and again. If you want to make a name for yourself as a professional–and highly competent–web designer, you need to stay away from these common mistakes. Remember, professional web design is a science as much as it is an art.
If you want to develop a high-quality website, avoid making these common web design mistakes…
1. The majority of pages on a website doesn’t have anything valuable to offer
Most amateur web designers think the only page that matters in an entire website is the homepage. Everything is just filler. If the homepage is good enough, the quality of the rest of the pages doesn’t matter. Period.
Every page in your website should have something valuable to offer your visitors. Don’t fill them with ads so you could make more money. As a general rule, a single page should consist of 25% advertising and 75% editorial content.
2. Too many clicking to get to the desired information
This sounds like it’s a trivial thing, but it isn’t. If you’ve got something useful and valuable to share your visitors, you want them to get to that information as soon as possible. Don’t burden them by directing them towards too many irrelevant pages and having them click on several more links before they get to that information they need.
3. Using image backgrounds
Image backgrounds are a sign of amateur work. There’s a reason why some of the biggest and most popular websites use a plain white background and not an image of the Solar System and the Milky Way behind it, and that’s because image backgrounds take much longer to load than your average white wall.
For example, look at the Amazon, eBay, Epinions, Yahoo and Google websites. People were even outraged when Google implemented a background image on its search engine’s homepage.
4. Not adding borders on both sides of your webpages
Newspapers and magazine articles are written in short columns, so it’s easier for readers to follow each line and find the next. The same applies to websites. Set a border on both sides of your webpages, and then align the text to the middle of the screen, so your website design doesn’t clutter when viewed on different resolutions.
There are a few other common web design mistakes not mentioned here, but these should be enough to put the amateur web designer in the right direction. Web design is both science and art. While creativity gets you far in this line of work, there are fundamental rules and mechanics that must be observed if you want to be able to create something that can be considered high quality. Avoid making these common mistakes right off the bat.