Is it true that a website design can actually suck big time?
Yes! If you’re practicing these ten forbidden web design techniques then you’re sure to fail. A bad user-interface design can become the top reason for customers bouncing off the website, let alone surf it. As a UI designer, you don’t want to create a crummy design for your client unless you’re preparing for your career doomsday.
4 Key Factors Affecting Website Design Today
The website design industry is growing by the minute! According to Internet Live Stats, there over 1.8 billion websites today as compared to the 4 billion netizens reported by Hootsuite. These numbers sound more exciting when you think that the total population of the world is 7.6 billion. I think within a matter of a few years, the two populaces (real and digital) will run parallel – thanks to the growing awareness and consumption of technology.
While these numbers fascinate us, the focus is not on the quantity but the quality of what is being created. There are four factors greatly affecting the way a contemporary website is constructed. I won’t consider them as problems, but ways to challenge web designers’ capabilities, set higher standards for them, and steer concentration on user-experience.
• Mobile Optimization
Mobile is becoming the new black, no kidding. It is what tech companies like Google are paying keen attention to because people are increasingly using their smartphones for a variety of reasons from communication to searching products. This is why ‘good’ designers are paying attention to responsive web design and specifically mobile design.
As per Statista, by 2019 the worldwide penetration of mobile phone internet users will stand 63.4%. As UI designers, you must understand that a website design that isn’t optimized for Android or iOS will not survive the current digital era.
• Designing For Usability
With voice search and refreshable braille display devices, we can speculate that the trend to design for differently able people isn’t simply an idea in the air but something that’s beginning to take center stage.
Disability rights lawyer and design thinker, Elise Roy believes that ‘design thinking’ helps people innovate and solve problems. The key features I found important in her talk on TEDx Mid Atlantic include:
- “Find the problem and understand its constraints”
- “Observing people in real life situations and empathizing with them”
- “Ensuring that the solution you came up with is sustainable”
• Decreasing Attention Spans
A delay of three seconds or HTTP errors on a website can frustrate users. This is why it is suggested by minimal designers to not use heavy graphics as they take longer to load, depending on the RAM and internet connection of the device.
Online customers are also looking for instant answers – a user trend well described with the term micro-moments. If you’re unable to satisfy users for their queries then the website faces some serious consequences, such as increased bounce off rate and lower ranking on SERPs.
Remember as a UI designer, your task isn’t simply to design for your client but to design for the target audience. If you’re only designing for the heck of a new project and for expanding your portfolio then you’ll never become an inspiration to others because all you’re thinking about is you and your client.
• Artificial Intelligence Disruption
If you’re not aware then there are companies using artificial intelligence to design websites, perhaps because they feel that a smart robot can do a better job than a human designer. Are we seriously prone to errors? Well, A.I. is increasingly questioning our design capabilities especially “if” we suck at it. Now is the time, UI designers have to prove their mettle and take their job seriously.
The truth, however, is that many web designers don’t realize that the following forbidden web design practices can damage both their personal image and the brand image. So let’s take a look at what these barred techniques are.
1) Oh, It’s So Heavy
2) Overdoing Kills It
3) Do This, Do That & That Too
4) Annoying Endless Scroll
5) All-Over Inconsistent Style
6) Padless Menu Buttons
7) Look What Popped Up
8) Veiling The Face
9) Abusive Font Use
10) No Law And Order
Is there any other “forbidden” web design technique I’ve missed?
Vector Source: Freepik, iStock.com