1. Your Typography is Trash
I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again. Web design is 80% typography. The fonts you choose for your website profoundly impact the overall aesthetic and vibe that you’re giving off to your website visitors. If you’re feeling like your website isn’t looking its best or you’ve always wondered why everyone one else’s website looks so much better than yours, become an expert in typography. Choosing the right combination of fonts, font weights, and font sizes to use on your website is skill anyone can learn.
- My book recommendation: “Thinking with Type” by Ellen Lupton.
2. Your Website Layout is Trash
Here’s another reason why your website is trash. Your website layout is trash. In other words, the way that you’ve decided to layout the content on your website is so confusing, unbalanced, and has poor usability. The way that you layout your website’s content is key to good web design. Harmony and balance are all but a few important elements that must be considered when designing your website’s layout. A logical, balanced, UX friendly website is a beautiful thing.
- My book recommendation: “Layout Essentials: 100 Design Principles for Using Grids” by Beth Tondreau
3. Your Website Colors are Trash
Some colors do not go together and some do. It’s just a fact of life. Don’t fight it, just accept it. No, I can’t read your blog that has a black background and blue text. Colors should bring harmony and beauty to a website. It shouldn’t overpower the design but compliment it. If you’ve always had trouble deciding what colors you should use on your website, start with only three colors: a white background, black (or dark grey text), and any color for hyperlinks and tertiary website elements (i.e. header and footer background).
When you start small, the chances of you going crazy with color and overwhelming your website visitors is smaller. As you gain more confidence in your ability to pick color combos for the web, you can use more colors and experiment with different color palettes. Adobe Kuler is a free website by Adobe where web designers can instantly create beautiful color pallets.
- My book recommendation: “The Principles of Beautiful Web Design” by Jason Beaird and James George
4. Your Lack of White Space is Trash
Another huge reason why your website is trash is the lack of white space on your site. If every pixel is covered in text or an image, there’s too much going on #VisualAnxiety. White space is good. Don’t think of it as just “empty space”—think of it as an invisible grid/guide that helps create balance, increases content readability and interaction since distraction is minimized. Embrace the white space!
- My book recommendation: “White Space Is Not Your Enemy” by Kim Golombisky and Rebecca Hagen
5. Your User Experience is Trash
Bad user experience on your website is yet another reason why your website design is trash. At the end of the day, your website should make sense. No one should have to think long and hard on how to navigate your website. If 90% of internet users are used to using a navigation on the top of a website, don’t put yours on the bottom left corner. “Why?” You might ask. Well, do you enjoy making everyone’s life difficult? To be “different”? No. Just, no. At the end of the day, most people want to visit a website to get info and then leave. Your website visitors don’t have time to figure out how to find the info on your site. Ain’t nobody got time for that!
- My book recommendation: “Don’t Make Me Think—Revisited” by Steve Krug