Gray Matter


Web Design Mistakes That Many Web Designers Make

RT Cunningham | October 8, 2020 (UTC) | Web Development

web design mistakesAs a novice, I make a lot of web design mistakes. The same mistakes are being made by “professional” web designers as well. I’m not claiming to know everything about web design, but I tend to test a lot of theories.

It’s amazing how social sites seem to cause more work than necessary, like creating extra images when they serve no other purpose. I’m probably one of the few people who won’t create an extra image just to please Facebook or other social media sites.

Web Page Width

Ignoring the narrow width of phones for a minute, web page width should make reading easy, without distraction. It’s the same reason standard letters in correspondence have plenty of whitespace, including margins on both sides. Most of the same techniques translate to the web.

Most paragraphs should have short and succinct sentences, using no more than four lines of text. There are exceptions, of course, but that’s the standard rule of thumb. With narrow screens, like those of the profile displays on phones and tablets, those rules no longer make any sense. Responsive web design allows us the flexibility of using the right rules at the right time.


I won’t mention the various fonts themselves, but some of their attributes. A lot of web designers present the standard paragraph text in what looks like a gray font color. I’m thankful that some have bucked that trend. Even though I have very good vision, my eyes get more tired from light-colored text than dark-colored text.

I see a lot of standard paragraph text being displayed in tiny text. Again, tiny text wears me out faster than “medium” text. In case you haven’t noticed, my web page fonts aren’t tiny, and they aren’t light-colored.

Fixed Page Heading

I don’t know where I read it and I really don’t care. Someone said that the page heading, with navigation options, shouldn’t be fixed because it takes up valuable real estate on phones. I think that person was wrong.

When I visit a website with my phone, I want to be able to navigate easily without having to scroll back up to the top of the page. That’s how I treat visitors to my own websites.

Web Page Speed

A lot of the web designs I see have negative effects on web page speed. Images do not make up for well-placed text. Too many ads don’t help matters either. Web designers need to keep abreast of technological changes, including lazy loading of images and videos.

I check my web pages on the Google Search Console regularly. My Core Web Vitals show me I don’t need to correct anything. Alexa tells me my web pages are faster than 97 percent of the websites they measure. I don’t have more than two ads per page and I usually only include one thumbnail leading to a larger image.

By the way, Google Matched Content tends to slow down the first contentful paint and that’s why I no longer use it.

Aesthetics Vs. Functionality

Web designers tend to think like, well, web designers. They tend to favor aesthetics over functionality, at least at the beginning of the process. I tend to favor the reverse and it’s probably because of my programming history. Regardless, both angles can be achieved at the same time. The key is to think of the visitor’s experience above all else

I think that’s called UX instead of UI, or something like that. Sorry, I’m not an expert.

Photo Attribution: Free-Photos from Pixabay

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