Okay, so there are some designers that believe designing a website is about personal preferences and making do with pre-built badges. They believe themselves to be great designers just because they were able to create some web pages and they like it.
The truth is that perception is quite wrong. You may love to play football, you may even find yourself a little bit good at it, but that doesn’t make you a professional player now, does it? The same goes for web design, not just because you can use Photoshop or Dreamweaver makes you a professional web designer. Web development and design takes a lot of work, a lot of knowledge and a daily attempt to master the art through learning, studying and putting in a lot of effort, passion and everything in between.
Design Conventions: A Necessary Evil For A Great Design
Whether its good or bad, everyone has their own personal design or style but if this will be your only consideration and design conventions are forgotten you will more likely end up with a subpar design. This is exactly what happens when clients persist on implementing their own personal style to web designs without consideration for design conventions.
Here are some of the things that can make your website suck
1. Imbalance In Your Design
One of the most basic principle in design is Balance. It is important in every aspect of the design and allows you to control your design flow. Two important concepts you should consider are the symmetrical and asymmetrical concepts. Symmetrical being equal in intensity for any element on both sides, owed to by conventional websites while asymmetrical denotes elements varying on either sides that leads to a completely unique and different design and layout.
An incorrectly balanced layout can mean disaster for the whole design. So no matter how much effort you place in typography, graphics and other elements, if you fail to bring some semblance of balance, you might find yourself with a ruined design.
2. Problematic Layering Style
Particularly bevel and emboss effects. Yes, beveling and embossing are nice effects but it shouldn’t be the be all and end all of your design simply because it doesn’t work that way. These effects should be used sparingly in any design. These two presets can be a very powerful tool in creating stunning visuals but if you don’t know how to use it, then don’t! You’ll be plenty thankful in the end.
3. Background Choices
You have to realize that a busy background distracts from what your visitor needs to focus on. Important information that they need to see or realize. It also disregards visual hierarchy. Keep in mind that if you have a background that provides a greater visual impact that any other element in your website, your visitors will probably fail to catch your message and leave the site without spending any real time in it.
4. The Devil in the Details
“It sucks!” You will surely say that when you realize that you didn’t take into consideration the minor details of your site. A light effect, a shadow here and there or a single additional stroke can make a world of a difference between a just good design to a superb website.
5. White Space
Something you need to realize is that whitespace doesn’t have anything to do with color per se. It is the space between various elements of your design that helps in readability and design flow. It also provides a professional look to your web designs. A professionally done website will make use of whitespace intelligently to create a balanced and clean design.
Cluttered information around your website confuses your visitor and they feel lost as well as unhappy. You must do your best to avoid doing this.
6. Flash Animation
There was a time when flash animation was the in-thing and if you have a flash introduction, you are the king of the websites. There are a number of great introductions out there but there are more bountiful supply of failed attempts. These days flash animation is still done but you have to make sure that it is done well and adds a point and a value to the website lest your visitor will become bored and leave your website in a flash.
7. Background Music
Okay, so you like music, but keep in mind that not everyone appreciates the music you like. So an automatically playing music as your background music can really be irritating and if you don’t put in the option to mute it or stop it from playing, you surely would lose your visitors as fast as your music plays.
Okay tables can have good use in your website but use it sparingly and only when it is necessary. A price list can make use of tables or other data that is tabular but other than that making use of tables as a design can really depart from good design aesthetics and can make your website look ugly and irritating with all those lines. So if you really want to use tables make sure that it doesn’t look ugly or irritating and that you use them intelligently.
9. Choosing The Right Color Palette
Keep this in mind, making the wrong color choices can break your design, in any aspect including web design, banner, logo, general graphic designs and the likes. You need to be able to take into consideration the many different aspects of color. These aspects include saturation, hue, contrast, color types, even your target audience and your general design aesthetics.
The use of bright colors needs to be subdued by more neutral colors and warm colors should be used with cool colors sparingly and generally only to emphasis a point and not as a whole background and foreground of your design.
Ensure that your color fits with your target audience, your style and the personality you want your web to exude.
So unless your design covers a horizontal layout a horizontal scroll bar is a big no, no. Optimize your layout to 1024 x 768 pixel resolution, in this regard you will target 98% of your audience and they can navigate your site without problems. Ensure that your background fits and make use of CSS coding accordingly. In this case overflow-x:hidden is a great code.
In the end, website design is a very meticulous task if you don’t want your web design to suck in the end. Just ensure that you take into consideration the various aspects of design before delving into the task to make sure you end up with a usable and great design that will bring in your target audience rather than they leaving your site without second thoughts.