The Rocket Blog

The Most Basic Web Design Mistakes To Avoid

Posted by on March 27th, 2012

Why Web Design Matters

Your website is the face of your business and these days everyone is a web critic. On the web you only get a few seconds to make a good first impression. You don't want to turn people and potential customers away from your business because of a few web design mistakes.

Sometimes the most well intentioned website owner can be led astray from good web design principles which in turn leads customers away from their business. Don't let this happen to you. Avoid the following mistakes instead!

Basic Mistakes To Avoid

We love to help clients avoid design mistakes that can put off potential customers. As lovers of the web and good design, we ask that you please don't do the following (or ask us to do them):

  • Use white font on a black background.
  • Or any hard to read contrasting color combinations.
  • Use the font Comic Sans.
  • Or the font Papyrus.
  • Use animated smiley face gifs.
  • Or any other animated gifs unless for hilarious or ironic purposes.
  • Play music automatically when someone visits your site.
  • Use so many images and buttons your site takes five minutes to load.
  • Use huge image files that cause the same long load problem.
  • Create long blocks of text without paragraph breaks.
  • Use flash for your whole website.

Most of these things are relics from the internet's past. They are very simple mistakes that will turn people away from your site in just a few seconds. Some people still want to use these techniques but they don't make a good impression and they definitely don't give web users what they really want.

What do visitors to your site really want?

Generally web visitors want:

  • Text they can easily scan and read.
  • Useful content that answers their questions and needs.
  • Fewer distractions from the main content.
  • Fast loading webpages that aren't clunky.
  • Quality, professional looking design. (We can help with that.)

Refer to this post on the basics of creating web content for more information on how to create a website that visitors will love.  

Be smart and listen to the experts - avoid the mistakes and give visitors what they really want!

Reuben Brunson, CEO

"I'm thankful for the time I get to spend with my family. That's especially true of one particular six-year old girl who I fancy as the benevolent princess of my world..."

Lori Brunson, President

"I'm thankful for Memphis.

I love this town and the people in it. I moved here begrudgingly back in 1992 and it was a couple of years before I opened my heart to Memphis. Once I started to be open to this city, I fell in love. I moved to Midtown and started to learn about the people and places that make this a great city. My love was a slow build though because this city has been transforming itself over the past five to seven years in a really meaningful and exciting way.

Then, through my work at RocketFuel, I was exposed to even more awesome people and organizations. I am thankful that I live in a town with so many wonderful non-profit organizations that are pushing its citizens to participate and help each other grow and prosper. I am thankful for the people in our city that tackle issues such as literacy, child advocacy, neighborhood restoration, health & fitness, and more. I love the grittiness of our city and the people in it. There are so many truly authentic people in this town and I am thankful for that.

I am thankful for this city that may not always get things done correctly the first time but that doesn't hesitate to keep trying. I love the energy, the variety of restaurants, the volume and variety of things available to do. I am excited to be raising my daughter in this town. I'm excited to see what we'll be doing next and finding out how I can be a part of it."

Andy McFarland, CTO

“I have so much to be thankful for this year! Having a warm place to live, more than enough to eat, clean water to drink, a great job, but I am most thankful for the relationships God has given me. I look around and am amazed at how my relationships with friends, coworkers, family and God have all grown so much this year. Thanksgiving to me is not about what we have, but with whom we share it. The material things in life are so fleeting, but the relationships we build can last more than a lifetime.”

Bryan Robinson, Director of Usability and Interactive

"I am thankful for the amazing tech community that I get to be a part of every day, the amazing co-workers that make work fun and an awesome wife, family and cats."

Stephen Hackett, Director of Account Management

"I'm thankful for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Having grown up in Memphis, I've always known it was a special place that put Memphis on the map internationally. It wasn't until May 2009 that I realized *how special,* when my wife and I's oldest son was diagnosed with a rare form of brain cancer.

Over the last five and a half years, he's received millions of dollars worth of state-of-the-art medical care, paid for by the army of supporters behind St. Jude. Today, he's six, and has been off treatment for several years. He still receives regular checkups and MRIs, and will always live with the cloud of cancer, but thanks to St. Jude, the weight we feel is carried by many."

Kevin Lipe, Sr. Account Manager

"I am thankful for the cappuccinos at Café Keough, for the view of the river from my desk, for being able to play footsie with Zac and then claim it’s an accident, and for working at a place where everyone gets along with everyone else. Except for Jay."

Gennie Henry, Operations Manager

"I am thankful for my family- my husband and two adorable little boys. 

I am thankful for Starbucks Coffee and Bananas.

I am thankful for music and the ability for my coworkers to amuse me with their tastes of different music or the ability to recommend a song that is just right for my mood."

Shannon Rhodes, Digital Art Director

"I’m thankful for family and friends and my schnauzer Sophie who excitedly greets me everyday when I come home."

John Waddell, Senior Designer

"It's quite a challenge to summarize everything I could be thankful for. The truth is that there are so many people, and so many things to give thanks for. I'm thankful for a home, and I'm thankful to be well. I'm thankful for this country and its freedoms. I'm thankful for both a family at home and a family at work. I'm also thankful for a team and a work environment that allows me to create; and that allows me to help people further their dreams."

Zac Woolfolk, Internet Marketing Strategist

"I'm thankful for my mom and the relationship we have."

Jay Peyton, Senior Internet Marketing Strategist

"I'm thankful for my family, friends, that I laugh a lot, that I don't live in a war torn country, that I'm under 30 for a few more years, that my job, my bosses, & my co-workers are chill, and for my doggy."

Joe Ferguson, Senior Web Programmer

"I'm grateful for a work environment where I am constantly challenged by our clients needs; where I get to mentor an incredibly promising young group of developers; and where I'm encouraged to try new things."

Troy Gottier, Web Developer

"I am thankful for a loving family and healthy children."

Nathanael Smith, Front End/User Interface Developer

"I’m thankful for Open Source Projects, Mr. Pickles, and a super-fun work environment. "

Eric Terpstra, Front End/User Interface Developer

"I'm thankful for my loving family, health and happiness throughout my day, a workplace full of friendly faces, and a cat that sings me to sleep every night."

Katie Mars, Web Content and Community Coordinator

"I'm thankful for the friends I keep and the family I'm stuck with (hi mom!), my co-workers who keep me laughing/cringing, pants without buttons, the amazing adventures I had in France this past summer, the entire lineage of Justin Timberlake, and Young Avenue Deli cheese fries."

Nicole Lewandowski, Jr. Web Developer/Programmer

"I am thankful for my two little boys who run up to hug me for no reason at all. I am thankful that their laughter is pure and contagious. I am thankful for my husband who takes care of all the craziness in the house, including me, without going crazy himself. I am thankful for all that our family does for us even though they are so far away. And I am thankful for my close friends who support me through it all."

Raquel Hinson, Account Executive

"I’m a cliche: I’m thankful for my healthy and beautiful children, Reed and Amelia, my very hard working husband, Adam, and a job that allows me to be a good mom and wife while still supporting our family."

Maria Griffo, Account Manager

"I'm grateful to work for a company that treats me like a human.  For the first time in my career I do not feel like just another cog in the machine."

Ryan Filler, UI/UX Designer

"This year I’m thankful for my exciting new job, the continued health of all of my friends and family, and how excited my dog is too see me every afternoon."

Comments (3)

Hotel Web Design: Webmasters must aware of these common mistakes which you have shared and try to not make them on website design and development. Thanks for this informative blog!

web design: Hey excellent post.You shared some important and useful information about designing mistakes.By avoiding the design mistakes you can improve your customer service,encourage customer interactions and build trust. Thanks for sharing such good post.

Aahna: Your designing tips helps me a lot.I have just designed a new website for my client and I have tried to implement all points you mentioned. I will keep them in mind while designing a website layout in future as well.Thanks again for great posting!!

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RocketFuel is a Memphis web design team specializing in custom website design, a simple content management system, and strategic internet marketing. Ready to launch a new website? »