I might be exaggerating when I say that this will bring about the apocalypse, but it can feel a little bit like that to someone that has design sensitivity as I do. Here’s my next installment of Design Crimes, Part 3

Your logo does not link to your homepage.

As the Internet grew from about few thousand sites in nineteen-ninety-something to around 1.5 billion today, certain design elements and practices became standard. One of those was that most logos can be found in the upper left hand corner of the page and that it functions as a link bringing a visitor back to the homepage. It’s like a shortcut, eliminating the need to read the navigation bar to get back to the homepage.

On some sites, clicking on the logo does nothing. This is very annoying. It’s a small element but it’s become so expected that when it doesn’t do what it should, it impacts the user’s experience. It almost feels like it’s broken.

Wherever your logo appears on your site, maybe you’re one of those rebels that puts it in the middle, it should function as a link back to your homepage. Otherwise, you’re committing a web design crime.

Flash, and I don’t mean the superhero

It was many years ago that Flash sites were all the rage. They looked cool, though took forever to load. I remember playing lots of games that used Flash…not during work of course! Flash isn’t completely gone. It’s still used to show multimedia items such as videos, graphics, games and animations.

However, back in 2014 Google and Firefox disabled the plugin on their browsers due to a “critical” security flaw. Yikes! So all those awesome, EXPENSIVE Flash websites no longer worked. Anywhere.  iPhones and iPads don’t support it either.

When I heard the news about Flash I was in a workshop. Another participant who was an interior designer raised her hand and told us that she had just put the final touches on a brand new EXPENSIVE Flash website. The woman running the workshop had a look on her face that was the embodiment of the “whoomp, whoomp” sound. It was tough to watch.

Websites built in Flash are not indexable by search engines and slows down page load speeds. Unless you’re using it for animation, stay away from Flash.

Too many fonts and colors

The human eye can see millions and millions of colors. Don’t try to use them all on your website. Developing a color scheme for your website or printed materials is a great idea. They can be taken from your logo. You can incorporate complimentary colors to add to your color choices. I usually choose 5 or 6 colors to use on a website. I’ll use two on a majority of the the design, the others sparingly. Good design is a balance of elements. Colors should enhance the site or printed material. Do not overwhelm the viewer with too many colors that aren’t working in harmony.

I have too many fonts, yet never enough. There is an endless amount of fonts to choose from. But be very selective. Two, three maybe four at most. The should work together. Not clash.

There are rules to follow. Sans-serif for screens, serif fonts for printed materials. Always left-align body text. Above all, it should be easy to read. Want to see a list of font you SHOULD NEVER USE? You’re welcome.

In conclusion, there are a few design crimes that can be easily avoided. They can negatively impact your customer’s expereince online and with your printed materials.