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4 Common Web Design Mistakes Part 1.

0 July 01, 2013 in Tips For Web Designers by advanced

1. Where’s the Search box?

The web is like an archive of information. Whether it’s a corporate website or merely a blog, a search box is essential. The visitor might be looking for something that is hidden within the website, with the search box, chances are, visitors will get what they want.

Suggestions:Google Custom Search is a neat, simple and effective way to get started. It enables visitors to search your site in an efficient manner. Just copy the HTML code from the control panel and paste it on your website and voilà, you’ve got a search function right on your website.

Here’s a simple form code to display Google’s search engine on your site too. All you have to do is change the site name to your website’s name. Plus, you can modify the submit value to anything you like.

< form action="" method="get">
< fieldset>
< input type="hidden" name="sitesearch" value="" />
< input type="text" name="q" size="25" maxlength="255" value="" />
< input type="submit" value="Search Hongkiat" />
< / fieldset>
< / form >

2. Poor Readability & Legibility.

This is a crucial element of web design. Of course, a good interface design will grab the users’ attention but users have to read text to be able grasp the information they desire. Some websites use the most bizarre font styles and sizes that make reading a pain.


Fortunately, there are simple ways that you can do to improve the users’ reading experience on your website.

  • Compare color schemes of most major sites and notice how the colors improve readability.A good place to try out different color schemes is Adobe Kuler.
  • Use a Sans serif typeface as it allows for easy reading on the web.

3. Unorganized Content Layout.

A website’s content is what drives traffic to it. How the content is structured is what will make it a success or a failure. Users do not read unless absolutely necessary but scan through information and pick out points of interest on a web page. Some designers just put a block of text on the web page and totally neglect headings, sub-headings, bullets, keywords, paragraphs, etc.

Use an appropriate page title for each web page so users know exactly where they are. Some designers even forget to name the web page.

Overall, the worst in this category will be putting inaccurate, inaccessible, insignificant or out-of-date content on your website. The content must coincide with the overall theme of the website and be useful. If a page is under construction, why bother putting it up? If a designer really must, then it is only temporary and 3 weeks will no longer be deemed temporary.


Organize content on your website using HTML and CSS should be used when creating the design of your pages.

  • Create enough whitespace between your text and images by using margins.
  • Update and be consistent. The purpose of updating is not just to add new content but to spot and correct past mistakes. Jakob Nielsen suggests you hire a web "gardener”.

4. Bad Navigation.

Navigation within a website should be seamless. Users should be able to find their way around easily. While there is no standard for navigation within a website, especially now as more new web development technologies emerge, it is imperative to understand that navigation must be intuitive and consistent.

If text is used as navigation, it should be concise. Visual metaphors should not be re-invented. If hyperlinks are used, then they should stand out from the body of the text. Dead links should have no place on any web page whatsoever. This increases user confusion and wastes time. And one that is even just as worse is having a link on the homepage that links to the homepage.


  • Make navigation smooth by using textual descriptions for all links. Provide alt text for images. Use alternative text description techniques for Flash or Javascript links.
  • Organize and structure your navigation in tandem with the theme of the website. Personal websites can afford to be more creative yet accessible but a business website requires more efficiency and clarity.

Remember, if users can’t find what they want in less than 3 clicks, most will leave immediately.

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