Common Web Design Sins

The World Wide Web has changed the way we communicate with each other throughout the world. The great thing about this, is anyone is authorized to build a website and share his or her talents, opinions or wares. Sadly though, not every person who creates a website has an eye for design and many amateur sites have committed the same four sins or design faux pas.


Typography snobs are a bit of a laughingstock in some circles, but proper font choice is a subtle but vital part of graphic design. At a time when word processors such as Microsoft office, with their endless graphical options, became available to the public, everyone wanted to create their own "unique" design statement. Courier New evoked an old typewriter; if you wanted to make things fun, you could always throw in a little Curlz MT. Not only were these funky fonts distracting, but they looked unprofessional and completely out of place; they made the websites look cheap and were difficult to read. Is there anything more sinful than using one horrible text font? A dozen differing fonts whimsically strewn about the page. Going font crazy was a clear sign that the website owner had no idea what he or she was doing.

Clashing Colors

When designing a website, even the most basic page, you're certainly spoiled for choice when it comes to design elements. There are hundreds of colors to choose from for the font, the background, the hyperlinks, and many other elements. How often have we seen a website that is totally unreadable due to colors that are too similar in hue, or so bright that you need polarized sunglasses to view it. Worse yet, if they chose to use a different color for every letter of their headings, creating a rainbow effect. Even if you do have every hue at your fingertips, it doesn't dictate that you have to use every one of them in your web design.

Speaking of Background Faux Pas...

Everyone has pictures that they love. However, taking that image and making it into a tiled background is one of the worst sins of them all. These sins aren't just limited to backgrounds and images either: looping background music was a horrendous assault on the eardrums of unsuspecting web surfers.

Clip Art? How Original

So you're a web user, struck with a sudden burst of inspiration for a website of your very own. You're seized with the anxiety that if you don't get this idea out on the Internet by the end of the day, it will be too late. So you leap into action: choosing colorful text and finding the perfect back drop, ready to proudly announce your existence to a waiting public. You're looking for a few images to liven up the page and you discover that your computer has a massive clip art file that reflects every idea and concept you want to portray on your webpage. But everyone has seen that clip art thousands of times; it smacks of an amateur rush job, instead of a website with some investment and thought put into it.

It's a relief to know that many of these sins no longer occur on modern websites, although there are still a few DIY sites out there that didn't get the memo on updated web design techniques. If you're setting out to create a website of your own today, take a cue from the professionals: take advantage of design templates available from Wordpress, or keep your design choices simple - the KISS principle does apply. The users on your site will appreciate it.

Together with his design team, Gary Klingsheim, of Moonrise Media, is dedicated to providing distinctive web design services for clients from all areas; creating stunning Social Network, Mobile, E-Commerce websites as well as providing Web App Development, Managed Website Hosting and more. Join  Gary Klingsheim on Quora  to learn more about web design, online marketing and more.