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Top 10 Mistakes in Web Design (2023)

Web Design Mistakes To Avoid

Are you a web designer looking to create a stellar website that leaves a lasting impression on your visitors? Avoiding common mistakes in web design is crucial to ensuring a seamless user experience. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the top 10 mistakes that designers often make and provide valuable insights on how to avoid them. Let’s dive in!

Top 10 Mistakes in Web Design

When it comes to web design, the devil is in the details. Even the smallest oversight can have a significant impact on user engagement and conversion rates. By identifying and rectifying these mistakes, you can create a website that captivates your audience and maximizes your online presence.

Web Design Mistakes To Avoid 1

Top 10 Mistakes in Web Design: Introduction

1. Bad Search Functionality

What is bad search functionality?

Bad search functionality refers to the ineffective or inefficient search feature on a website. Users rely on search bars to find specific information quickly. If the search function fails to deliver accurate results or lacks intuitive features, it can frustrate users and lead to high bounce rates.

How to avoid bad search functionality?

To enhance search functionality, consider implementing the following tips:

  • Incorporate an auto-suggest feature to assist users in finding relevant search queries.
  • Optimize your search algorithm to deliver accurate and timely results.
  • Implement filters and sorting options to help users refine their search results.
  • Ensure the search bar is prominently displayed and easily accessible on all pages.

2. Using PDF Files for Online Reading

Why is using PDF files for online reading a mistake?

While PDF files are commonly used for sharing documents, they are not ideal for online reading. Opening a PDF file can disrupt the user experience, as it requires a separate program or plugin. Additionally, PDF files often lack responsiveness and are not easily accessible on mobile devices.

How to avoid using PDF files for online reading?

Consider these alternatives to PDF files for online reading:

  • Convert the content to HTML or use web-friendly formats such as EPUB.
  • Break down lengthy documents into smaller web pages for easier navigation.
  • Optimize content for readability by using proper headings, bullet points, and images.
  • Provide a download option for users who prefer PDF files for offline reading.

3. Not Changing the Color of Visited Links

Why is not changing the colour of visited links a mistake?

When users visit a website, they expect to see a visual indication of which links they have already clicked. Failing to change the colour of visited links can confuse users and make it challenging to navigate the website efficiently.

How to avoid not changing the colour of visited links?

Ensure visited links are visually distinguishable from unvisited links:

  • Use CSS to change the colour of visited links, providing a clear visual distinction.
  • Consider changing the link colour to a subtle shade or adding an underline for improved visibility.
  • Test the website on different browsers to ensure consistent behaviour of visited link colours.
Top Mistakes Web Design

Top 10 Mistakes in Web Design: Not Changing the Color of Visited Links

4. Non-Scannable Text

What is non-scannable text?

The non-scannable text refers to large blocks of text that are difficult to read and comprehend. Users typically skim through web pages rather than reading every word. If your content lacks proper formatting and structure, it becomes challenging for users to extract relevant information quickly.

How to avoid non-scannable text?

Make your text scannable and user-friendly by following these tips:

  • Use descriptive headings and subheadings to break down content into manageable sections.
  • Utilize bullet points and numbered lists to organize information.
  • Highlight key phrases or important points using bold or italics.
  • Ensure sufficient line spacing and avoid using long paragraphs.

5. Fixed Font Size

Why is using a fixed font size a mistake?

Using a fixed font size can hinder user accessibility and readability. Different users have varying preferences and requirements when it comes to font size. If your website has an inflexible font size, it may be challenging for users with visual impairments or those viewing the site on smaller devices to read the content comfortably.

How to avoid using a fixed font size?

To cater to diverse user needs, consider implementing these strategies:

  • Use relative font sizes (e.g., em or rem) instead of fixed pixel sizes.
  • Provide users with the option to increase or decrease the font size using intuitive controls.
  • Test your website’s responsiveness across different devices to ensure the font remains legible.

6. Too Much Going On

What does “too much going on” mean in web design?

Having a cluttered and overwhelming website can distract and confuse users. When there are too many elements vying for attention, it becomes challenging for users to focus on the core message or call to action.

How to avoid having too much going on?

Create a visually pleasing and focused website by implementing the following suggestions:

  • Embrace whitespace and use it strategically to create a balanced layout.
  • Prioritize essential elements and remove unnecessary clutter.
  • Use visual hierarchy to guide users’ attention towards the most important content.
  • Maintain consistency in design elements such as colour schemes, typography, and spacing.

7. Too Little Going On

Why is having too little going on a mistake?

While a cluttered website is undesirable, having too little going on can make your website appear empty and unengaging. A lack of relevant content and visual elements may fail to capture users’ attention and result in a high bounce rate.

How to avoid having too little going on?

Strike the right balance and engage your users effectively by following these tips:

  • Ensure your website provides enough valuable content that meets users’ expectations.
  • Incorporate visually appealing images, videos, or interactive elements to enhance engagement.
  • Use whitespace strategically to create a clean and uncluttered design without making it appear empty.
Top Mistakes In Web Design

Top 10 Mistakes in Web Design: Too Little Going On

8. Too Confusing

What makes a website too confusing?

A confusing website can frustrate users and drive them away. It may result from unclear navigation, complex layouts, or inconsistent design elements. When users struggle to find what they need or understand how to interact with your website, they are likely to abandon it.

How to avoid making a website too confusing?

Ensure your website is user-friendly and intuitive by implementing these strategies:

  • Create a clear and well-organized navigation structure.
  • Use descriptive labels and tooltips to guide users.
  • Maintain consistency in design elements such as buttons, icons, and colour schemes.
  • Test your website with users to identify and address any confusion points.

9. A Terrible CTA (Call to Action)

Why is a terrible CTA a mistake?

A poorly executed call to action (CTA) can be a major hindrance to achieving your website’s goals. If your CTA fails to engage users or guide them towards the desired action, it can result in low conversion rates and missed opportunities.

How to avoid having a terrible CTA?

To create compelling CTAs, consider the following tips:

  • Use persuasive and action-oriented language that encourages users to take the desired action.
  • Make your CTA visually distinct and easily recognizable through the use of colour, size, and placement.
  • Ensure the CTA is clear and concise, communicating the benefit or value proposition to the user.
  • Test different variations of your CTA to determine which one yields the highest conversion rates.

10. Poor Use of Content and Whitespace

What constitutes poor use of content and whitespace?

Content and whitespace are two essential elements in web design. Poorly utilized content can overwhelm users with information overload, while insufficient whitespace can result in a cramped and cluttered appearance.

How to avoid poor use of content and whitespace?

Achieve a harmonious balance between content and whitespace with these guidelines:

  • Organize your content into digestible sections with clear headings and subheadings.
  • Utilize whitespace strategically to create separation between different elements and improve readability.
  • Avoid excessive text or unnecessary information and prioritize relevant and engaging content.
  • Test the layout and spacing of your website across different devices to ensure optimal user experience.
Top Mistakes In Web Design

Top 10 Mistakes in Web Design: Poor Use of Content and Whitespace


In the world of web design, avoiding common mistakes is essential for creating a successful and engaging website. By understanding the top 10 mistakes in web design and learning how to avoid them, you can significantly enhance the user experience, increase conversions, and improve your website’s overall effectiveness.

First and foremost, focusing on user experience is paramount. Implementing intuitive navigation, optimizing page load times, and ensuring mobile responsiveness are crucial steps towards creating a seamless and enjoyable browsing experience. By simplifying your design, using scannable text, and choosing readable fonts, you can enhance readability and make your content more accessible to users.

Furthermore, paying attention to the placement and design of your Call to Action (CTA) is vital. A well-designed CTA can guide users towards desired actions and contribute to higher conversion rates. Additionally, striking a balance between content and whitespace is important for maintaining visual appeal and clarity.

To avoid these mistakes, it’s important to stay informed about the latest web design best practices. Regularly testing your website, collecting user feedback, and analyzing data can provide valuable insights into areas for improvement. Leveraging tools and resources available, such as usability testing tools, accessibility checkers, and performance testing tools, can streamline the design process and help you identify and rectify any potential issues.

Top Mistakes In Web Design

Top 10 Mistakes in Web Design: Conclusion


Lastly, it’s important to remember that web design is an ongoing process. As technology and user expectations evolve, so should your website. Continuously evaluating and refining your design based on user feedback, analytics data, and industry trends will ensure that your website remains relevant, engaging, and effective.

By avoiding these common mistakes and implementing best practices, you can create a website that not only captures the attention of users but also delivers a seamless and enjoyable browsing experience. Remember, every element of your web design should be purposeful and aligned with your overall goals and objectives.

So, strive for excellence, embrace creativity, and design websites that leave a lasting impression on users.


What are the top 10 mistakes in web design?

The top 10 mistakes in web design are:

  1. Bad search functionality.
  2. Using PDF files for online reading.
  3. Not changing the colour of visited links.
  4. Non-scannable text.
  5. Fixed font size.
  6. Too much going on.
  7. Too little going on.
  8. Too confusing.
  9. A terrible CTA (Call to Action).
  10. Poor use of content and whitespace.

Why are these mistakes considered bad for web design?

These mistakes are considered bad for web design because they can negatively impact the user experience, engagement, and overall effectiveness of a website. They may lead to frustration, confusion, and a higher bounce rate, resulting in missed opportunities for conversions and achieving website goals.

How can I avoid making these mistakes in my web design?

To avoid these mistakes in your web design, consider the following:

  • Incorporate intuitive and effective search functionality.
  • Opt for user-friendly file formats instead of PDFs for online reading.
  • Ensure visited links have a different colour to provide clear feedback to users.
  • Make your text scannable with headings, subheadings, bullet points, and concise paragraphs.
  • Use responsive design techniques and avoid fixed font sizes.
  • Create a balanced layout and avoid overcrowding or sparse designs.
  • Strive for clarity and simplicity in navigation, content, and overall website structure.
  • Design compelling CTAs that are visually prominent and communicate the desired action.
  • Use whitespace strategically and ensure your content is engaging and well-structured.

What are some other common mistakes in web design besides the top 10?

Some other common mistakes in web design include:

  • Slow page load times.
  • Poor mobile responsiveness.
  • Lack of accessibility features for users with disabilities.
  • Inconsistent branding and design elements.
  • Overuse of animations or effects that hinder usability.
  • Neglecting to optimize images and multimedia content for web viewing.
  • Ignoring cross-browser compatibility and testing.
  • Overlooking the importance of responsive typography.
  • Lack of clear information hierarchy.
  • Cluttered or distracting advertisements.

How do these mistakes affect the user experience of a website?

These mistakes can have a significant impact on the user experience of a website. They can make it difficult for users to find information, navigate the site, and complete desired actions. Users may become frustrated, lose trust in the website, and ultimately abandon it. A poor user experience can damage the reputation of a website and result in lost opportunities for engagement and conversions.

What are some best practices for web design that can help avoid these mistakes?

To avoid the common web design mistakes mentioned earlier, here are some best practices to follow:

  • Simplify your design: Keep your design clean and clutter-free. Use ample whitespace to create a visually pleasing and organized layout.
  • Prioritize readability: Choose fonts and font sizes that are easy to read on different devices. Use appropriate line spacing and contrast to enhance readability.
  • Ensure mobile responsiveness: Optimize your website for mobile devices to provide a seamless user experience across all screen sizes.
  • Focus on intuitive navigation: Make sure your navigation menu is clear, easy to find, and logical. Use descriptive labels and consider implementing breadcrumbs for easier navigation.
  • Use visual hierarchy: Structure your content using headings, subheadings, and bullet points to guide users and emphasize important information.
  • Optimize images and multimedia: Compress images to reduce file size without compromising quality. Provide alternative text for images to improve accessibility and SEO.
  • Pay attention to colour schemes: Choose colours that complement your branding and ensure sufficient contrast between text and background to aid readability.
  • Ensure fast page loading: Optimize your website’s performance by minifying code, compressing files, and utilizing caching techniques to minimize load times.
  • Test across browsers and devices: Ensure your website functions properly and looks consistent across different browsers and devices.
  • Include clear and concise content: Craft compelling and concise copy that communicates your message effectively. Break up long paragraphs into smaller, digestible chunks.
  • Implement user feedback: Collect and analyze user feedback to identify areas for improvement and make necessary adjustments to enhance the user experience.

How can I test my website to see if it has any of these mistakes?

To test your website for these mistakes, you can consider the following methods:

  • Usability Testing: Conduct user testing sessions where participants perform tasks on your website while providing feedback on their experience.
  • A/B Testing: Create multiple versions of your web design and compare their performance to identify areas for improvement.
  • Website Audits: Perform a comprehensive review of your website, analyzing design elements, content structure, navigation, and overall user experience.
  • Analytics Tools: Utilize analytics tools to track user behaviour, such as bounce rates, time on page, and click-through rates, to identify potential issues.
  • Expert Reviews: Seek input from web design professionals or usability experts who can provide valuable insights and recommendations.
  • Accessibility Testing: Test your website for accessibility compliance, ensuring it can be used by individuals with disabilities.

Are there any tools or resources available to help me avoid these mistakes in my web design?

Yes, several tools and resources can assist you in avoiding these mistakes and improving your web design:

  • Content Management Systems (CMS): Platforms like WordPress, Drupal, or Joomla offer themes and plugins that can help streamline the design process and optimize various aspects of your website.
  • Usability Testing Tools: Tools like UserTesting or Hotjar allow you to conduct remote usability testing and gather valuable feedback from real users.
  • Design Collaboration Tools: Platforms like Figma or InVision facilitate collaboration among designers, developers, and stakeholders, enabling smoother design iterations.
  • Accessibility Checkers: Tools like WAVE or Axe help you evaluate your website’s accessibility compliance and identify areas that require improvement.
  • Performance Testing Tools: Tools like Google PageSpeed Insights or GTmetrix assess your website’s performance and suggest optimizations.
  • Online Design Resources: Websites like Dribbble, Behance, or Awwwards provide design inspiration and showcase examples of well-designed websites.
  • Web Design Blogs and Communities: Stay updated with industry trends and best practices by following blogs and participating in web design communities like Smashing Magazine or Designer News.

How do these mistakes impact the SEO (Search Engine Optimization) of a website?

These mistakes can have a significant impact on the SEO of a website. Search engines prioritize user experience and consider factors such as page load speed, mobile responsiveness, and content structure when ranking websites. By avoiding these mistakes and implementing best practices, you improve the overall user experience, which in turn can positively impact your website’s SEO. Additionally, elements such as scannable text, optimized images, and clear CTAs contribute to better engagement and higher conversion rates, which are essential for SEO success.

What are some examples of websites that have made these mistakes in their design?

While it’s important to focus on learning from mistakes, it’s equally crucial to respect the efforts put into web design by various individuals and organizations. Instead of singling out specific websites as examples of mistakes, it’s more valuable to study and analyze case studies and examples that showcase successful web design strategies. By studying and understanding effective web design principles, you can gain insights into what works well and avoid repeating the same mistakes.