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What are some common mistakes to avoid while designing? I know color, text and images play a major part in designing, but there are so many other things that we need to take care of! I don't know those other things but I know there are so many...

Many times we get the end result with mistakes (minor-major-visible-hidden)...

So my question is :

  • What are some of the common mistakes that we make? (you are also included honey) (it's not like nobody makes mistakes, everyone does)
  • How can I/we avoid these mistakes?
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3 Answers

Yes, this question is incredibly broad. Maybe it's OK as a wiki article.

For starters, define 'we'. There are many, many people and roles involved with designing web sites and they all tend to have different common mistakes.

To give this question at least one answer, I'll toss out issues I've seen that seem to pop-up over and over again:

  • using wireframes as documentation instead of the sketches they are intended to be
  • forgetting about copywriting until its too late
  • not properly defining business objectives and how to measure the success of the site based on them
  • designing for the client rather than the client's customers
  • designing a photoshop file instead of a web site (that is, spending all the time visually designing the site in Photoshop, rather than in HTML, CSS and JS. When focused only on Photoshop, one doesn't consider things like font variances, other devices, screen sizes, content reflowing, interaction design, and so on)
  • designing a particular browser site instead of a web site
  • designing a flash file instead of a web site
  • forgetting about accessibility
  • forgetting about adaptive web design principals
  • not involving all the needed roles (product manager, business analyst, marketing, copywriting, DB admins, back end devs, graphic designers, UI designers, UX designers, usability, metrics, SEO, etc.)
  • not using Agile methods.
  • forgetting about mobile
  • over-designing (a very common side effect of not using Agile)
  • choosing technologies instead of solutions (ie, picking an enterprise product for all the reasons other than asking if it solves a particular problem well)
  • not doing initial information planning/design/sketching
  • not getting users involved sooner
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If we rated questions by the quality of the answers they produce, this one would be at the top of the list. Fantastic answer. –  Alan Gilbertson Dec 14 '11 at 22:31
I accept i do many of this :( wish i can up vote this twice... –  Jack Dec 15 '11 at 5:00
Lots of good points, but I think the choice of agile/scrum is a subjective decision that may not fit all projects or organizations. I personally prefer agile methods whenever possible, but, particularly in graphic design, it's not always suitable. –  Lèse majesté Dec 15 '11 at 8:56
what does "Designing a photoshop file instead of a website" mean? too many effects? can you expand on that bullet a little? –  Lauren Ipsum Dec 15 '11 at 12:02
@lauren I mainly mean spending all the time visually designing the site in Photoshop, rather than in HTML, CSS and JS. When focused only on Photoshop, once doesn't consider things like font variances, other devices, screen sizes, content reflowing, etc. –  DA01 Dec 15 '11 at 15:14
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I think a very common mistake in web design is evident on the mobile web.

If you browse the web on a small mobile device, such as iPhone or BlackBerry, you will notice that sometimes the buttons are too small.

Now this isn't always the button itself, but one mistake that is made is that there is often not enough room around the button.

Lets assume we are doing a survey and there is a back button and a next button next to each other, they need breathing space so the user can press the button and not tap on the wrong one by accident.

This is a common thing and a major consideration in email design for the mobile user.

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I find this to be true on the SE mobile sites. I constantly tap the "ask question" link when I'm intending to get the user-account drop-down. –  Farray Dec 31 '11 at 20:25
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I think DA01's answer is already an excellent list of things to consider. I'm adding my answer both because it's important and to bump the question as I'd really like to see more answers to this.

Another very important consideration in designing a website is speed. Being aware of all the factors that affect page load speeds before you begin designing should help to ensure you don't spend a lot of time creating graphics and architecture that you later have to completely change because the website takes 30 seconds (extreme example) to load.

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