There are good ways to design a website, and there are bad ways. Usually the most popular websites on the Internet, such as Facebook, Google, and Pinterest, employ popular design trends. Websites that have fallen in popularity, such as MySpace, do not. With this in mind, you can probably imagine what a badly designed website looks like. If not, here are 3 terrible web design features that you should never use on your website.
1. Stock Photos — Free, but Tacky
Stock photos make for terrible web design, and are the subject of much amusement for many Internet users. They are very generic photos, generally of people in various situations, in front of a white background. While it seems like a good idea in theory, in practice they just look out of place. Good stock photos don’t look like stock photos, and those are fine to use. But we generally recommend taking your own photographs for your website. For example, if you are a pizzeria, you’d want a picture of someone eating your own pizza in your own restaurant. It’s much more authentic.
2. Flash Websites — Totally Outdated
There are some websites on the Internet that cannot be viewed unless you’ve downloaded Adobe Flash Player. These sites are generally video-heavy and use animations. While having videos and animation is fine, requiring Flash is not. For one thing, Flash is very outdated. And for another thing, people aren’t going to view your website if they have to download something first. Internet users want information as fast as possible. So instead of downloading Flash, they’ll head to a different website.
3. Pop-up Windows — An Annoyance
All Internet users hate pop-up windows — and they’re a terrible web design feature. If the first thing a user sees when clicking on a link to your site is a pop-up advertisement, they’ll be wary about coming back to it. Advertisements are an important part of the Internet, but if you’re going to use them on your site, don’t put them as pop-ups. Put them in a sidebar, so they can blend in with the rest of the content.
Hopefully these tips help you from making terrible web design mistakes. Remember, your website should be easy to navigate, clean, and free of user annoyances. That is the best way to gain, and keep, an audience.