There’s no question that web design is the fast growing area of the creative industry today. Thousands of new sites pop up every day, with varying degrees of quality content and layout. Some sites have quite a lot to boast in the design department, while others have annoying features that would ward away even the most tenacious web users.
This post is about the majority of web sites out there with serious design flaws, those that make even the greenest web designers feel better about their abilities. Allow me to share with you some of my biggest pet peeves when it comes to web design.
There are some websites that have no sense of design at all; they’re just pages of jumbled text, images, videos and ads. You come across these sites with train wreck-style layouts on a daily basis.
Even with a proper WordPress theme, they still manage to fit every possible widget, ad, text box and image onto one page. These pages lack proper margins or proportions in terms of page design, and they likely look at comic sans and neon colors as reliable aesthetics around which to plan a design.
Then there are sites that look like the owner sunk a million dollars into them when a simple WordPress theme would have done just fine. These are the sites that ask you to install the latest update to your video player or to enable flash in order to view a page.
If you’re looking at the web page for a web ad agency or the portfolio of a graphic designer, this might make sense. But when you’re just looking through a restaurant’s website or shopping for retail online, this can be unnecessarily frustrating.
Other webmasters like to play hide and go seek with their contact information. These are sites that don’t offer any immediate indicator for where you can get in touch with the person hosting the site.
If you do find a contact page, it’s probably one of those that offers a text box for writing an email to be send to a general email address. Some designers didn’t get the memo that labyrinthine sitemaps reflects sloppy and thoughtless web design.
My final beef is with sites designed to auto play videos and music as soon as you arrive there. These sites are the bane of anyone working in a quiet office environment, where the sudden unexpected noise grants you dirty looks from officemates.
This annoying feature is purely a creature of spam sites, those that aim to get higher viewership for ad clicks and nothing else. The videos are usually sales pitches for bogus products, and the auto play music is usually some jarring pop song. it should go without saying that serious web designers ought to avoid this habit.
What are your biggest beefs with web design?