February 4, 2015

Depending on who you talk to, you’ll probably get a different opinion or outlook on how websites should be designed. Some will say it’s important to be super creative and modern, while others say stick to simplicity. While both of these opinions may be right to some capacity, the end result should always be a website that’s easily read through, and draws in the attention of the reader.

If you’re making any one of the following 4 mistakes in web design, you may be losing more readers than you might think.

1. Your Fonts Are Too Small

One of the most common web design mistakes that are made is in regards to font size. Years ago, it was pretty common for web pages to have small fonts, particularly 12 px. Just about everyone seemed to follow that standard for a long time, but this size just doesn’t cut it anymore. It’s way too small, making it tough to read what’s on the screen.

You’ve only got a handful of seconds to grab your reader’s attention when they land on your web page, so the font size needs to be large enough to be easily read. To get – and keep – your readers’ attention, bump up the font size at least to 14 px. Write up catchy headlines, and write content that’s interesting to read.

2. Using Low Contrast Fonts

Not only do a lot of websites have fonts that are too small, many of them also have fonts that are low contrast, making the context especially hard to read. Low contrast essentially means that a lighter-coloured font is placed on a light background, or a darker-coloured font is featured on a dark background.

There really is no need to use anything but white font on a dark background or black font on a light background. While some web designers might be aiming to add a little creativity or visual appeal, all they’re really doing is making the text more difficult to read, which is a huge faux pas in the world of web design.

3. Bad Line Height For the Text

A lot of people tend to overlook the line height for the text that’s on their web pages. While developing a website, many designers just select a specific font, choose a size, randomly pick a line height, and hope it all magically fits together well.

The fact is, line height for text is a very important feature of a web page’s look. It has a huge impact on the overall esthetic of the page. With the wrong line height, your fonts can look overcrowded, which won’t exactly be enticing to read.

Basically, the optimal ratio for text versus line height is a proportion that’s the most visually pleasing. Calculating the ideal line height for the text can be a bit complex for the amateur, but a great web designer will be able to achieve this perfect ratio.

4. Not Using Accent Colours for Your Call to Action

At the end of the day, you want to entice your readers to take action of some sort, whether it’s opting into a newsletter, or buying a product or service from you. But without making your “Opt In” or “Click to Purchase” button stand out, you’ll make it hard for the reader to figure out where to look or what to do. A great accent colour is essential to draw attention to calls of action.

While this might seem like a no-brainer, it’s amazing how many web pages fail in this simple task. When it comes to picking an accent colour for calls to action, make sure it’s bright enough to draw attention, complements the other colours on the page, and is reserved only for these calls to action so it doesn’t get lost in the background.

The Bottom Line

While these tips might sound like common sense, it’s incredible how many times simple web design rules are broken. At the end of the day, you want your website to be visually appealing, catchy, and easy to read and navigate.

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