Following the trends in web design can sometimes have a negative effect on your work. The final product may end up looking just like everyone else’s because you’re trying to stay with the pack.
So don’t be afraid to think outside the box. Sometimes the best websites are created by playing around with absolutely terrible design ideas. Try it — you may be surprised what will actually work in your favor!
1. Mismatching Colors
Many designers spend a lot of time narrowing down the color palette for their work. While you don’t exactly need everything to match, you do want it to all be complementary and feel like a cohesive design no matter where you are on the site, right?
Well… not necessarily. Sometimes you will actually see better results with a call-to-action button that essentially clashes with the rest of the design. Why? Because the fact that it’s “wrong” draws people’s eyes straight to it. Consider experimenting with A/B testing to see if you can “clash” your way to higher click-throughs for your clients. Don’t believe me? See the results from this test by Goodbye Crutches.
2. Oversized Buttons
A website design that’s inundated with buttons probably isn’t your first instinct as a designer. There are much more sleek and effective ways to draw attention to calls-to-action.
So why are buttons just getting larger? Well, as more and more people use mobile devices to navigate websites, companies are trying to cater to them. It’s much easier to mash a button or two on your iPhone than to try to select from a drop-down menu or click on a link.
Be careful if you decide to jump on board with this trend. If there are too many or if they’re too large, buttons can become graphics-intensive. You don’t want that to slow down loading time on mobile devices or that will defeat the purpose! Instead, use large buttons judiciously, and find ways to make them look good in the overall design.
3. Script Lettering
It was all the rage in the 90s as purely technical web developers tried their hand at adding a little personality to the websites they programmed. It’s gone out of style for a reason: it can make things hard to read, particularly when used for large blocks of copy.
So why am I arguing that it may actually work for a website today? Because, when done right, it can add a touch of class to a design. Also, since it’s gone out of style, it can be a little unexpected touch.
The key is to use it sparingly for larger text, like headings and buttons, and to pair it with more readable but complementary fonts. Looking for inspiration? Of course, you are! That’s why you’re here, so check out this list of cursive fonts to get the juices flowing.
One of the first things you’ll learn in any course focused on design is that simple is better. As a general rule, that holds true, but as they say, all rules were meant to be broken! Sometimes an overwhelming design can actually cause people to want to take a second look or to delve deeper – things that can help keep people on a web page.
Think of Where’s Waldo. Your eyes aren’t drawn to a specific part of the page. But since you know there’s something hidden there, you end up taking in more of each centimeter of the page than you do for most art.
But there’s a reason for the chaos: to hide Waldo. And it should be the same if you use this technique for web design. It needs a purpose. The chaotic design should be interactive, relevant, and compelling. It shouldn’t just be chaos for the sake of chaos. Look at how this fanzine Kinetic draws you in with their chaotic design.
5. One-Page Fits All
We’ve all seen a website that makes this mistake. The majority of their traffic is coming from a particular landing page or maybe even their homepage, so they try to cram every bit of information onto it to make the right impression. But of course, the end result is that it usually doesn’t make much of an impression at all.
But before you start thinking about the best way to design an easy to navigate site architecture, consider if a one-page design could make sense. When it does work, it makes quite an impression. Check out how Head2Heart uses a single page design for storytelling purposes.
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