Modern web design is a field which is always evolving as new trends crop up and technology advances. What worked for a website in 1997–or even 2007—is now a bad idea for 2017.

So, let’s take a look at seven of the deadliest sins when it comes to modern web design.

1) Making your site too artsy or abstract.

Imagine a company that sells coffee, but when you go to their website, the first thing you see is a tiger photo with the caption “Be Free”. You’d be confused, right?

It’s estimated you only have five seconds to make an impression before visitors move on. Don’t waste that five seconds with vague statements and symbolic images. You never want viewers to be confused what your site is about at a glance.

Pretty pictures and slogans can help make a beautiful, eye-catching website. But they should never distract from the message you want to communicate.

2) Not using enough white space.

It can be tempting to cram as much information as possible into a website. But, white space is incredibly important. There should be good-sized gaps between margins, images, and text. In modern design, not having enough white space makes things look very sloppy.

The reason for white space is simple: Every text block or image should be there for a reason. You want to draw attention to each one on its own merits rather than squishing everything together.

Plus, it just looks nicer!

3) Using poor-quality or poorly sized images.

Today, many people are viewing your website either from a fairly large screen or a mobile device with a high resolution. Low quality images make websites look ugly and unfinished.

Likewise, if you don’t take the time to make sure images are resized properly, they can be squished out of proportion. If someone sees a distorted, squished image on your site, it will make your website look unprofessional.

4) Using too much text.

Less is truly more when it comes to writing for the web. Very few people will bother reading a huge block of text.

Instead, you should break your writing up into short, simple sentences—like this one!

This isn’t to say you can’t have some long articles on your site. But, even long articles need to be supplemented with a concise summary, easy to read formatting, and lots of white space.

5) Poor navigation with no clear way to contact or search.

Getting people to come to your website at all is difficult. Once they’re there, you don’t want to drive them away with confusing navigation!

It’s HUGELY important to make it blindingly obvious how to get from one part of your site to the next. This is why big, clear menus, bright links, and obviously placed search boxes are so popular in modern design.

In addition to this, large call to action “CONTACT” buttons should be staples of every website. After all, if someone likes what you’re offering but doesn’t know how to get in touch with you, what is the point?

6) Annoying your visitors with autoplaying videos or repetitive popups.

People hate feeling annoyed. It’s not a good idea to make your visitors feel harassed.

While people are generally willing to accept one popup—MAYBE two—as par for the course, if those same popups keep appearing on every page, the annoyance factor will rise. Having popups appear one time will do plenty to get your message across.

Videos are a great addition to any site, but leave them optional. Autoplaying videos might work well in some instances, such as mainstream news sites. But it’s easy to make a poor impression if the first thing someone has to do on your site is pause a loud, disruptive video.

Finally, the BIGGEST deadly sin of modern web design is…

7) Not making your modern website mobile responsive.

There’s a huge chance someone will first see your website on their phone. This means you can have the prettiest website in the world, but if it looks horrible on phones, you’re going to drive potential clients away.

Designing for mobile can be difficult because you have to sacrifice some design elements. Mobile layouts are simpler versions of full-screen websites, so what looks great on your laptop might look awful on your phone. But it’s definitely worth the sacrifice to streamline and make your site readable on all phones and tablets.

The best websites will be designed with mobile in mind from the start. You can add more features and effects to your main site, so long as you’re positive it will look great on mobile.

Hopefully the above tips have given you some ideas for how to improve your website. If you’re interested in overhauling your website, DUSTY SUN offers awesome, affordable websites starting at $500!

Tina Talley
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