9 Horrible Habits of Web Designers

August 25, 2011 · 8 comments

by Lars


What’s with web design that make visitors stay? Every web designer aims to make the greatest website experience for their clients or themselves, but sometimes even the best design ideas and fast loading hosting can’t a site with good content afloat. Many websites run on reliable yet cheap web hosting services but it is still not enough. One of the main reasons webizens cite for not using a website is terrible design, and in the fast paced world of blogs and web 2.0 a site needs all the hits it can get. If your website is turning your visitors off, then it’s only a matter of time before it falls into the nether like so many sites before it. Here are the top 9 horrible habits of web designers that anyone looking to make the best site they can should absolutely avoid.




Studies show that the best readability for any site is the traditional black text on a white background. While a few additional colors here and there can brighten up a design and make it pop, using too many bright and loud colors can give even a fan of the neon-gilded 80’s a migraine.



Here you find examples of good coloring of web design


When someone goes to your site, they are looking for information about your product or your web content itself. Flash intros are fluff, and if unskippable they are really bad for a web site. If a user can’t get to the meat of your site and get what they need, they’ll leave.


Good and creative Flash loaders may keep people attention for a few seconds, but don’t think it is a lifesaver.


This is a recent development in the world of web design, but this is one of the biggest annoyances of modern sites. An embedded video of a person walking and talking around the actual site will introduce you to the site, often obscuring the text onscreen and turning the viewer off as well. Here is an example even though it is not a live site.



Animated Gifs have not gone the way of geocities, but live on through trashy site design. Flaming torches, bouncing kittens, and mailboxes that open and close make your site look incredibly unprofessional and can make visitors question the legitimacy of your venture itself.


For some reason, many designers believe that blinking text and images will make users pay closer attention to what their site is saying and what their site is providing. This is far from the case, and can even harm users who are prone to seizures or other medical conditions.


A single popup on a site to let your user navigate to a separate form or view large media files such as quicktime films is fine by todays standards, but some web designers still cling to the idea that every window and navigation choice must pop up underneath the browser. Considering that most browsers come with popup blockers now, this is definitely not the case. However many internet marketers building email lists have figured out that it is very effective to have a popup with a free offer.



Unless you’re a musician, no one wants to hear your favorite song embedded into your site. If your site features embedded music that the user can’t turn off, they’ll immediately leave instead of taking a listen or taking a look at what you have to offer.


It’s hard enough to find what you’re looking for when your house is a mess, so imagine how tough it is to find something when your site is a mess. Clean design can’t be stressed enough when it comes to site usability.


In the day and age of the iPhone, flash-only navigation makes no sense. Any visitor trying to get information from your website on their phone won’t be able to access it at all, and the amount of potential customers lost can be in the hundreds of thousands.

Choosing top web hosting may help your website, but it’s not enough to have stable and fast loading sites. Designers must do away with all the aforementioned annoyances before they can perfect a masterpiece. One option is to use e.g. cute tumblr themes or some of the best wordpress themes. Both publishing platforms are easy to use, free and very popular.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

james December 4, 2012 at 7:57 am

good article 9 Horrible Habits of Web Designers


malihu December 31, 2010 at 1:55 am

I agree with pretty much everything except #9.
It is my opinion that we should not ditch great technologies or change the way we design and develop websites, because a private, profit-oriented company decides not to support it. Apple or any other company should comply with the Internet and not the other way around.


Lars January 1, 2011 at 8:36 pm

Good point… it is however not the apple vs. adobe fight this is about. Flash as navigation is simply a MEGA no go in my opinion 😉


Darek December 29, 2010 at 2:41 pm

That first one, from Yale, is intentionally bad you know…


Lars December 29, 2010 at 3:52 pm

I hope it is… if not… oh no… 😉


Klupa December 29, 2010 at 10:57 am

I actually miss those animated flames and skulls, IE only scrolls and stuff like that :-) Lets bring the old school design back!


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