The Biggest Web Design Mistakes of 2016
We’ve come a long way from the days of big bold text and plain backgrounds. Web design technology today provides creators the tools and instruments to create anything from a fast-loading static page to a fully animated slideshow using HTML5 and CSS3. Things will only get better.
Unfortunately, even the most experienced web designers still make some big mistakes. Even worse, some of these mistakes are commonly found on top and popular websites. Now that we’re at the start of a new year, it is time to take a look at the biggest web design mistakes of 2016 – and how to avoid repeating them.
Big Popups and Annoying Ads
I don’t know about you, but I absolutely hate annoying popups. Telling users to subscribe to a newsletter every time they change pages or asking users to see an interstitial page before getting to the actual content (I’m looking at you, Forbes!) are web design practices that should no longer exist today.
The problem gets even worse when you access these sites using a mobile device. A popup asking – well, forcing – users to download a mobile app is very common among the best sites today. Fortunately, Google and other search engines started penalizing these big popups almost as soon as they became popular.
While it is understandable that websites want to get users to subscribe or follow a certain call to action, popups are just not the way to do it. There are simpler, subtler ways to achieve the same goals. A background ad that appears in the middle of an article – and that users can easily scroll through or choose to act on, depending on the content of the ad – will be a big hit in 2017.
More Ads on Mobile
Mobile is going to be bigger than desktop in 2017. Last year, over 60% of the world’s internet traffic came from mobile devices. That number will continue to grow as more mobile devices reach the hands of internet users. Having a mobile-friendly site is a must.
Unfortunately, not all responsive or mobile-friendly sites are created equal. Some failed to realize that migrating the same number of ads to a mobile layout means making the mobile version cluttered.
Content must always be the king of your site, including when the site is viewed from a mobile device. Removing some ads from the desktop version of the site or repositioning them so that the main contents can be more accessible is the way to go this year.
Lack of Personality
Users value relationships more than they value good design and fancy animations. In fact, the two most important factors to add to a website today are positive user experience and personality. It is time to stop bombarding users with logos and design elements and start adding faces and people to websites.
Having a website that shows personality is a good way to quickly build a strong audience base. Instead of seeing a brand, visitors can connect with the people behind it. This works for any website from one for a professional to a big corporate website equally well. Paired with social media presence and high quality contents, you will be able to have a website that sets you apart by adding faces to it.
So, did you make any of these mistakes in 2016? What are your plans for this year? Be sure to share your stories and insights in the comments section below.