The thing with web design is it’s really quite easy to create a poor web page. You know. The one that’s nice and clean and professional-looking and very, very boring. And the other thing about web design is it’s very easy to revamp the poorly-designed page by simply eliminating the features that make it bad. It’s not only done for aesthetics, but also to allow the web page to communicate more effectively with its audience.
What makes a web design look like an amateur made it? Here are some of them:
When you create a background, you want one that doesn’t clash badly with the text. To the contrary, it has to highlight the text and make it easier to read. Also, it must not be so busy and distracting but that shouldn’t mean that the default gray color is enough.
When it comes to the text on the page, you need to steer clear of the following:
- text that is too small
- text crowding on the left edge
- text that stretch all the way across the page
- centered text over flush left body copy
- paragraphs in all caps
- all bold paragraphs
- all italic paragraphs
- all caps, all bold, all italic all at once
- underlined text (that is not a link)
The default link is blue colored. That ain’t really pretty to look at. There are also things like blue link borders around graphics, links that do not add value to the content, links that don’t really make a lot of sense and dead links or those that don’t work.
And if you’re including links, make sure they’re underlined, otherwise no one will really know it’s supposed to be one.
Graphics that take forever and a day to load are no fun. But so are graphics that do not add any meaning or value to the content. A few other graphics-related stuff to avoid:
- very large thumbnails
- graphics with no alt labels
- missing graphics
- missing graphics with no alt labels
- graphics that take up the whole screen, or worse, bigger than the screen
- slow web hosting to avoid loading times
Extra large tables with borders turned on do not look nice or professional.
Anything that blinks distracts from your content. Anything rainbow colored also does the same. And God forbid you actually have both going on in your site.
Nobody but you cares about the counters on the page. Everybody and his uncle hate advertisements and too many pictures of awards.
If the site is too difficult to navigate, with many unnecessary scroll bars and stuff, you’d find people going to leave your site in droves.
Now it’s probably easier to just tell you to ditch all the above to get good web design. But it’s also beneficial to just keep the following in mind:
- Make sure the background does not interrupt text and the text is easy to read with clear information hierarchy.
- Navigation buttons must be easy to understand and use and remain consistent throughout the site.
- Coordinate link colors with page colors but ensure they’re underlined so visitors know them for what they are.
- Label graphics and have animated ones turn off by themselves.
- Invest in technology to make pages load quickly.