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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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2 Answers 2

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

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

Here are some issues I've seen that seem to pop-up over and over again:

  • Failing to properly define the business' objectives for the website.

  • Failing to properly define the key performance indicators, and subsequently failing to implement systems to measure the success of the site based on them.

  • Designing for the wants of the client, rather than the needs of the client's customers.

  • Not involving the necessary people, or at least considering the task from the aspect of all the needed roles.

    Technical aspects of product management, business analysis, marketing, copywriting, database administration, back end development, graphic design, user interface design, user experience design, usability, metrics, SEO, and more, should all be considered.

  • Failing to plan or at least sketch the design.

  • Forgetting about adaptive and responsive web design principles.

  • Forgetting to design for devices with screens of varying sizes and resolutions.

  • Failing to consider all of the factors that affect page loading speeds during the planning stage, and not testing the speed throughout its development.

    Common mistakes include loading highly detailed graphics through less than optimal conditions (eg, as a background image), and in general, simply downloading too many large assets without optimising the loading conditions.

  • Using wireframes as documentation, instead of the sketches they are intended to be used as.

  • Not using Agile methods during development.

  • Over-designing, a very common side effect of not using Agile methods.

  • Choosing technologies instead of solutions.

    For example, choosing an enterprise product for all of the reasons that make it good; even ones that don't apply to you; rather than questioning whether it's able to solve the specific issues you want it for, well.

  • Forgetting about copywriting/content. This needs to come early in the process--not later.

  • Designing a PhotoShop file rather than an actual web page.

    When focused only on Photoshop, one doesn't consider factors like font variances, other devices, screen sizes, content reflowing, interaction design, and many others.

  • Designing a flash file, or outlandish ideas that can only be achieved with a flash file, instead of an SEO friendly web site full of readable content.

  • Building the functioning website design with focus on one particular browser instead of continuously testing in as many browsers as you can.

  • Failing to apply accessibility principles while planning, designing and implementing the website.

  • Waiting too long to involve users, often then finding something needs to be changed that you could have known 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
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I accept i do many of this :( wish i can up vote this twice... –  Jack Dec 15 '11 at 5:00
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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
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@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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@user go for it! –  DA01 May 11 at 0:10
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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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