10 Common Lies About Web Design You Need To Stop Believing

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Undoubtedly, there’s a convincing reason for TV shows like Mythbusters to exist and be successful. And it’s because the human being has continuously created many fake stories since the beginning of time.

This happens in every field, and web design is not an exception.

This is why I invite you to review the list of the most common lies about web design that you need to stop believing, because we are on 2017, right?

Myth #1: “Mobile web design is not necessary.”

Would you still believe that mobile design is not needed if I told you that according to Google, more than the half of the web traffic comes from mobile devices? I bet not.

Mobile or responsive design is essential for your possible clients to find you on an easy way regardless the device they use. Besides, Google thinks that the responsive design is necessary because it makes their website relevant.

Advice: Make sure to adapt your website’s design to mobile devices. If you still don’t have your website’s design, design your mobile site first, this way, you will save a lot of money and will make you be very well with Google.

Myth #2: “People read.”

People don’t read the full content on a website; they scan the pages looking for words, phrases or lists that catch their attention.

Steve Krug, in his book, Don’t Make Me Think assures that this happens for three reasons:

  • We’re always in a hurry. Our Internet use is motivated by the desire of saving time.
  • We know we don’t need to read it all. In most of the websites, we just care about one part of the content, so scanning will help us to find what’s relevant to us faster.
  • We’re good scanning. We’ve been scanning magazines, newspapers, and books our whole life, looking for information of our interest.

Advice: Always have in mind that people will only read word by word if they are interested on the content.

Therefore, deeply research the content your target market is interested in, and offer a text that people can scan – like highlighted keywords, useful subtitles, lists with bullets or using only one idea per paragraph. Besides, you can join the text with engaging visual content.

Myth #3: “The web design must be unique.”

Familiar places and conventions are our friends, even if there’s a tendency to disparage them. – Mostly between designers.

However, these conventions are part of our language and have helped us to communicate for millions of years.

According to the expert Steve Krug, the use of patterns design on the user’s web design interface, it is essential for the visitors that go from one site to another. This way, they find elements to help them orient, these items have already been tested, and they work.

Advice: Looking for originality just to seem different dismiss the conventions, is not a good idea. It’s better to use what has already been tested and what works, this way, the design process is faster and benefits the final user.

Myth #4: “People don’t scroll.”

Some of our clients at 1Entity have told us about their concern for people not scrolling inside their websites, and the answer to that is always the same: scrolling has become something natural.

In fact, in usability, it’s more advisable to place all the content in one page, than dividing it into many pages, this avoids people scrolls.

If you’re not convinced yet, I recommend you check the study the digital agency Huge made about the usability and better practices of the scroll, titled Everybody Scrolls.

Everybody scrolls!

Advice: Don’t accumulate all your website content on your website’s top. Instead of that, organize it through the whole page using key words, nesting the most important subjects.

People do scroll, so take advantage of it.

Myth #5: “Websites must be redesigned periodically.”

A radical restructuring could be counterproductive to the most of the cases because people tend to hate changes and love what they already know.

In my experience, I’ve noticed that many people take the decision of redesigning their websites just to have something new to show, or to follow new trends.

Redesigning can’t just be a whim, it has to be something more conscious to work, taking the elements that have worked before as a starting point.

Advice: Just like Louis Rosenfeld said, ‘’Instead of redesigning your website, start optimizing it.’’

The most recommended strategy to follow is to make minor changes to the design.

Google has given its best example of this matter: optimizing its searcher, without losing its essence.

Myth #6: “Icons improve the usability.”

Contrary to what many people think, icons are hard to remember and inefficient. Even though they can make the websites’ reading more comfortable, they don’t work well to represent abstract elements.

In the absence of a convention of a particular icon, the user must invest more time on unscrambling the icon’s meaning, and it’s possible to incur in ambiguities.

Advice: Use the icons carefully. So they can work, they must be joined with a visible text tag saying what the icon represents.

In any case, it’s recommendable to test the icons and verify that people recognize them.

Myth #7: “The three seconds rule.”

The fear of a possible client is leaving our web page immediately because it doesn’t load in three seconds, is a reality for many.

This doesn’t stop being a myth. Even though your website must load fast, as long as it’s just some seconds, you shouldn’t worry about it that much.

Instead of it, focus on offering high-quality content.

Advice: Use a loader to show the visitor that the websites’ content is loading. This will make them wait more patiently.

Certainly, a more creative loader will be more successful.

Myth #8: “The blank space is a waste.”

Since I was studying in college, I’ve thought that the blank spaces are one of the most important things in graphic design, I used to associate it with the representation of the silence in music.

White spaces are never a waste, but fundamental in every kind of design, including web design.

This is due to help ranking and priority to the elements, gives balance and harmony to the design, directs the user’s glance and makes the content’s reading much easier and pleasant.

Advice: Look again Google’s website and its use of white space. In this case, the design helps the user to focus on what’s really important.

Myth #9: “Stock photos are better.”

The problem with the stock photos is that a lot of them are not entirely related to the website’s content. This diverts the visitor from the relevant content.

Besides that, after the edition, those photos keep the stock style that you can’t hide and that everybody knows.

That’s why there are websites like Death To Stock, where they offer professional photographs, way far from the stock classic style.

Death to stock

Advice: Hire a photographer to make a photo shoot that gets along with your website’s content. That way, you’ll be able to boost the content correctly.

Myth #10: “The content is not necessary to design a website.”

This might be one of the phrases I dislike the most, and I can’t take seriously anyone that says it.

Content is not only necessary to design a website; it is the most important element.

Users visit a website looking for the content that offers that site, and not just for the design.

Using Lorem Ipsum and fake content makes the design out of the site’s reality, later on, there could be design failures.

Just like the web designer Jeffrey Zeldman tweeted: Content precedes design. Creating without content is not design, it’s decoration

Advice: Before beginning to design a website, please ask for the content.

Design’s decisions must come from the content, so the design supports it and boosts it.

What other lies or myths about web design have you read? Let’s talk about it. You can send me an email (david@1entity.ca). 🙂

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David Salcedo
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Project Manager at 1Entity. Graphic designer with experience in branding and web development. A fan of Kandinsky, Faulkner & Kieślowski.
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