Attractive and functional web design is important for both individuals and businesses. On the internet, people make up their minds about a brand in three to five seconds, which is not much time to make a first impression.

When considering a new or upgraded site, it is important to remember that designing on the web is very different than traditional or graphic design. Hiring a graphic designer who understands this difference will result in a product that makes the best impact.

The following guide will help to avoid the common mistakes graphic designers make when designing websites.

Lack of Cross-Browser Compatibility

One of the most prevalent issues designers seem to forget about is the number of browsers currently in use. Each one displays websites in its own way and may have particular quirks that a designer needs to consider and work around. The personal view on the designer’s monitor may be quite different than what the client or the world at large sees when loading the site.

cross browser compatibility is important in web design

It is crucial to choose someone who understands the value and importance of testing a website in all major browsers to ensure a consistent experience.

Considering Web Design as Art

Many graphic designers see their projects as art, however, the reality is that websites exist to provide information to users, not to express the emotions of the people who built them.  Take a look at this landing page by web design company SERP Co; you’ll notice it isn’t very artsy at all but very clean and effective.

web design is not art

While creating sites has some basis in the visual preferences and taste of the client, they exist for a practical purpose. This is a simple concept to bear in mind when hiring a professional designer. The technology of the web and the sites that run on it has limitations and rules that must be respected to provide a quality product. Designers can be very creative and talented, but they are not truly artists in any sense of the word.

The Effects of Design on Site Performance

A good design is not just about how it looks. It is also about how well it works. In the case of websites, it is a combination of user experience and Google rank. While a developer can optimize code, they cannot optimize images or other media that have been inserted by the designer, which can have a large effect on speed and search engine indexing. In addition, a complex design will require complex code to run it. If a designer is resorting to JavaScript to meet the layout goals, then it is time to find another person to finish the job.

Responsive Layouts Only for Mobile

Today’s digital landscape contains many screen sizes from 360 to 1440 and higher. This means a layout that works well on all of them, not just mobile. A savvy designer will use a grid system and know the difference between responsive and adaptive. A responsive design provides a more natural user experience although it requires more optimization to keep everything consistent. The adaptive method sets breakpoints in the design where the transitions will occur. One is not better than the other, but a decision on which method to use is determined by the content. It cannot be based on the visual aspect alone.

web design grid

Using the Wrong Fonts

Good typography is an essential factor in web design. Font choices must align with language support and branding. Designers may choose a font that works well with English content but is not supported in a different language. The tricky part is the problem may not be apparent until a client adds content in an alternate language and finds themselves with a website that has become virtually useless. The way fonts look in Photoshop varies from how they look in a browser. Even when the browser and operating system are the same, there can be display differences between machines due to specific user settings. A good design will not rely solely on fonts. It will utilize the best font for content, language and layout. Best practice is to use Google fonts and not use more than two fonts throughout the design.


Building a brand or a professional online presence requires the assistance of an expert. Using the guide above will help those starting out to avoid the common mistakes made by graphic designers. Choosing the right designer is the first step toward an attractive and successful website.

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