If you’ve dealt with as many designers as I have, you can easily tell when this is their first foray into the wild world wide web. Most of the time it’s a graphic designer who has done plenty of print work and now figures they can hack it in the web world.
The problems usually stem from the fact that the designer:
- Has always dealt with constrained proportions. Whenever they’ve done a design in the past, it has to fit on an 8.5×11 piece of paper or something similar.
- Has never thought through a user interface. Your run of the mill pamphlet or bulletin isn’t usually clickable. Not to mention people “read” websites and paper completely different.
- Has never considered load time. Oh the horrid amount of graphics I get in these designs. Impossible to cut up into a quick loading site.
And due to these facts, here are the top five mistakes new web designers make:
- Don’t think about left and right – The mockup will cut off right at the edges of the website. If he is designing a site to be 800 pixels wide, that’s how wide the mockup will be. Thought is never given to how the website will display on a wider monitor. Will it be left justified or centered? Will the top bars continue out or be constrained? None of this is answered.
- Have text printed on diagonal angles – Large portions of text will be put at slight angles. Sure, (you think) this looks good, but it’s not the way to go on the web.
- Designs are extremely to heavy – Huge background images that have no repetition to them. Every title on every page in a weird (and/or diagonal) font. Every container on the page has a different (also non-repeatable) background.
- Uses a non-standard font for everything – Web typography is a completely foreign concept.
- 300 dpi – The initial file size alone is often enough to tell me what’s going on. A print designer always uses 300 dpi. A web designer always uses 72 dpi.
September 15, 2008