Great graphic and web design can set your business apart from the crowd and make it thrive. Unfortunately, there also some critical mistakes that can prove to be fatal. Which camp do you want to be in?
To make a good first impression, you must follow the basic tenants of design, aesthetics, form, and functionality. Making one or more of these 10 mistakes can cause you to look unprofessional, frustrate your users, and ultimately lead to a loss in business revenues.
1. Over-Use of Words
Humans are inherently visual creatures with incredibly short attention spans. One of the most common graphic and web design newbie mistakes is using a plethora of words when a picture would say so much more.
Keep text to a minimum and instead opt for infographics and other visual elements. When you need text, avoid large blocks of words and make good use of white space. For best readability, stay below 50-60 characters per line.
2. Poor Font Choice
Combining too many different types of font is another problem that makes your graphic and web design look amateur and unprofessional. Stick to a maximum of 2-3 font types. Try using different weights of the same font type to create variation.
Make sure the fonts you choose compliment one-another and convey the same general mood.
Always avoid the dreaded comic-sans font. Helvetica font, although very popular, is also over-used. For best results, get a little bit creative but beware of taking it too far.
3. Inappropriate Color Combinations
The wrong color combinations can completely ruin even the best design project. Choose a complementary color palette and stick to it. Pay attention to contrast and make sure your color choices don’t make your text difficult to read.
Be aware that too little color can make your design feel cold and boring. Too much color will create a mess and appear disorganized. Finding the right balance requires a certain amount of artistic skill but is well worth the time and effort.
4. Poor Photo Choices
Avoid using boring stock photos and other overused design elements. Instead, try creating illustrations, customizing your photos, or upgrading to high-quality HD photography.
Avoid pixilated or blurry photos at all costs. Choosing vectors instead of raster images will ensure your photos stay crisp even when they’re enlarged. Start with the highest resolution possible, knowing that you’re able to down-scale if needed.
5. Failure to Design for the Proper Medium
Great graphic design can be used on a variety of mediums including flyers, posters, banners, and even yard signs. The best design will vary depending on the ultimate purpose. Understand where your design will be used before you begin your project.
The combination of a great design and a professional outdoor advertising company can do wonders for your business. The Custom Graphix Signworks, LLC website showcases some great examples of outdoor signage design done right. Check it out!
6. Lack of Creativity
Don’t make the mistake of copying your competitors Not only is it in poor taste, it can also ruin your credibility and get you into hot water. It’s fine to look at what’s already out there for inspiration, but always strive to put your own unique spin on things.
Stay on top of the latest design trends and don’t be afraid to mix things up. Just remember that trends come and go, so you’ll need to update your work every so often to keep it from getting outdated.
7. Website Responsiveness Problems
People are no longer viewing websites strictly from their desktop computers. Your design must display flawlessly whether it’s viewed on a laptop, phone, tablet, or any other electronic device. If your website isn’t responsive, it can harm your SEO rankings as well as the overall user experience.
Test your site on a variety of devices before launching any changes. Any professional graphic and web design company should do this automatically. If this isn’t the case, it may be time to seek out a new relationship.
8. Slow Website Loading Times
Most users only wait a few seconds for a website to load before getting inpatient and hitting the back button. If your site is slow, you’re definitely losing traffic. Large images, splash pages, and pop-ups are some of the most common design elements that slow down your website.
There are many free resources available that allow you to check your web’s loading times for free. If your business relies heavily on internet presence, it may be worth the cost to hire a professional web monitoring service.
9. Stale Content
Failing to keep your website up to date with fresh content can kill your rankings. Even worse, if the content you have on there is old and outdated, it can ruin your credibility. It only takes one poor experience for users to bounce away from your site and never come back.
Incorporate some of this year’s most popular content trends into your site, and your users (and Google!) will reward you. Focus on diversifying your content types, adding plenty of videos, and updating your blog on a regular basis.
10. Poor Navigation
Don’t make it difficult for users to get around your site. Provide clear direction so they intuitively know where you want them to go next. Include an easy-to-use navigation bar and easy-to-find sitemap.
Add critical information to your home page and include your contact information on every page of your site. A search bar is also a handy design element that can help users quickly find exactly what they need.
Want to Learn More About Effective Graphic and Web Design?
Now that you understand what NOT to do, you’re probably wondering what to do next. Did you find some problems with your current graphic and web design projects? No worries, we’ve got you covered!