Having an online presence is gaining more significance with every passing hour and everyone wants to stand out with a wonderful web design. While creative ideas are important to implement, there are some lines that shouldn’t be crossed. Following, is a list of mistakes and dangerous ploys in web design that you would do well to avoid:

1) Respect the Norm: Most people want to stand out with a crazy idea in an effort to seem different, or edgy. While it is good to be salient, it is not wise to break all conventions in the process. It will result in rejection over perceived uniqueness.

Reason? Jakob’s Law of the Web User Experience, which clearly states that users spend most of their time on “Normal” websites. This means that they are used to a certain formula both in design and articulation. Hence, the implementation of innovative ways to draw attention is a trap that you don’t want to get caught in.

Breaking all conventions will make your site look like an alien to your target audience.

2) Incompetent Color and Contrast: – Color and contrast combinations can make or break the best website. Even the best designs will be rendered ineffective if the proper attention isn’t paid here.

There is the theory of color to start with. There are design elements in relation to complementary colors and their visual effect on users that must be implemented properly. Add to that the factor of shade and it becomes more critical to have a working knowledge of design.

There are several books and online resources to refer to, such as “The Designer’s Guide to Color Combinations” and many more that come in handy.

Do not make the mistake of random color and contrast selections that can spoil all your hard work.

non-responsive-devices3) Non-Responsive Websites: According to a Whitepaper discussed on www.comscore.com from December 2013 to December 2015, internet consumption on tablets grew by 30% and Smartphones by 78%. Additionally, desktop internet consumption in the same period dropped by 1%.

All of these stats lead to one simple conclusion- while your website may focus on desktop internet users, equal importance needs to be given to designing smart gadget-friendly versions. However, smart device-friendly versions need to be equally well designed and enticing.

Do not make the mistake of ignoring the need for a responsive website.

4) Heavy Images and Graphics: – While we are on the topic of smart device friendly versions, an extension of an age-old trend needs to be considered. Images and graphics used cannot be too heavy for the page to load.

While this is a given for desktop access, it is even more critical for portable smart device access. On the go users tend to have less time and patience. According to a survey result published by Adobe (2008) 39% of US consumers over 18, who use at least one digital device, said they would stop engaging with your website if it took too long to load. Food for thought?

Avoid heavy graphics and images keep it Light & Simple.

5) Video Over Plain Text: The same Adobe (2008) survey emphasized another important finding. Users prefer video over graphics. Given a 15 minute time window, about 2/3rd of the population would prefer watching a video over reading lengthy content.

So two lessons here:

First, ensure suitable videos or infographics are included to communicate key information.
Secondly, ensure that the video or infographics elements are easy to load on any device.

6) Don’t Dodge the Bullet: – According to data published by the Nielsen Norman group, about 70% of audiences would read a bulleted list, compared to only 55% who would read a simple article. While designing the web page, look carefully for ways to incorporate bullet points.

Do not dodge the bullet!

Adam Chronister is co-founder of Enleaf, an award winning Web Design and Internet Marketing Firm. You can find him on and Twitter.

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