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Web design mistakes to avoid - top tips from our Creative Director

Web design mistakes to avoid

Wix is a great tool to build your own website quickly for your event, new product or startup business. But it can also be overwhelming to know where to begin, especially if you've never designed a site by yourself before. We often have clients come to us asking for help designing their site or redesigning their site, after they felt lost and overwhelmed designing it themselves.

To help you get started, I thought I’d outline some design mistakes to avoid when designing your own site. These will help ensure your site looks beautiful, sticks to your branding and is easy to use and navigate around.

6 web design mistakes to avoid:

1. Complicated cluttered homepages

There is nothing worse than a homepage that is overly complicated, cluttered and has no structure or order. Think about when you are looking online and you come across a site like that, you quickly click away and use a competitor's site - not what you want your site visitors to do!

I originally trained as a journalist and during my journalism training, my lecturers always pressed the acronym KISS on us - "Keep It Simple Stupid". Writing in a simple style that anyone can understand is the best way to get your news story across and the same can be said for website design.

Now I’m not certainly not calling anyone stupid, but keeping homepage designs simple and clutter free means your site visitors can quickly and easily find the information they want and then easily explore the rest of your site. This is the best way of converting site visitors into paying customers, by making sure they can quickly and easily find what they want.

2. No navigation menu

When you are designing your website, you always need to make sure it is easy to navigate for your visitors. If you make it too hard to explore beyond your homepage, how will they find the rest of your content, purchase your products or get in touch with you? You have to make it easy for them and guide them through your site.

Every site needs some kind of navigation menu - whether this is the traditional menu that appears at the top of every page, a side menu or a more minimalistic burger menu that then opens the full menu in a lightbox pop-up. Even if you are going for a super simplistic minimalist style, you MUST have some kind of navigation on your site (I would recommend some kind of burger style menu for minimalist sites).

3. Too many colours

Colours should be used that reflect your branding, but this doesn't mean you should use every colour in the rainbow. Not every colour goes well with other colours and you certainly don't want to turn off site visitors and potential customers by a poorly thought out colour scheme.

Instead, you should think carefully about your colour usage and create a colour scheme for your site (check out colour scheme generator sites such as Coolor). Different colours have different meanings and can create different reactions from your site visitors - check out articles on colour theory when deciding on the best colours you want to use on your site and branding so you create the right message.

Think about how you will use the colours you choose for best effect and impact. Yellow for example is not always the best colour to use for body text as it can be hard to read depending on what hue you use and the background colour it is placed against.

4. Too many different fonts

Wix has a huge range of fonts you can use as well as the ability to upload your own fonts for use on your website. BUT this doesn’t mean you should or need to use them all (yes I have actually had a client in the past who wanted to use all of them). Using too many fonts actually makes your branding less powerful and impactful and can make your site look messy and unprofessional.

Instead, I always recommend our clients to stick to around three fonts (you can have less if you prefer). Three fonts is plenty - one for your main headings, a different one for your sub-headings and a third more basic one for your body text that is easy to read.

If you are using Script style fonts in your main branding such as your logo, it is fine to use these also in your main headings, but we wouldn't recommend using them in the smaller body text. This is because more fancy script style fonts can be hard to read when they are in a smaller font size and you always want your body text to be easy to read for anyone.

5. Too much animation

A bit of movement and interest on your site can make your site engaging, but too much can leave visitors feeling like they've either just got off a rollercoaster or that they don't know where to look next.

Instead, I would recommend using animation and parallax scroll effects sparingly for effect or to highlight key things on your site. When I design sites for clients, I like to use the parallax scroll effect for images as it gives great 3D effect and depth to sites, but I always make sure they aren't over used and also are surrounded by white space and non-moving text, headings and buttons. This also makes sure the images with the parallax scroll effect really make an impact.

6. Animation that is too fast

If you are using animation on your site to make text appear as a viewer scrolls down the site or to highlight a CTA, make sure you set the animation speed so that it isn't too fast. Slower animation speeds work better and also create less confusion for site visitors.

7. Forgetting to set up the mobile version

Once you have designed your Wix website desktop version, Wix will automatically brings over all your design elements to your mobile site. But, this doesn't mean you have an automatic mobile site version.

Instead, you will often have to move things around and put them back into place. Don't forget to do this, otherwise your mobile site visitors will be presented with quite frankly a messy mobile site version of your new website, which will be a BIG turn off!

8. Forgetting to update the mobile version

Every time you change something on your desktop version of your site or add something new or create a new page, you will need to also make sure it is set up correctly on your mobile site. Wix will automatically add the new content to your mobile site but it won't necessarily keep it in the correct order or display it how you would like it to. So make sure you always double check!

Have fun! Website design should be fun and if you get stuck, we are only a message away!

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