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7 Design Features You Should Avoid

Say it with me: You don’t need to incorporate every trendy design feature into your website. Users want to see simple, attractive, and easy-to-navigate websites. Having a ton of bells and whistles isn’t impressive—in fact, features used inappropriately screams amateur.

Your website is one of the most important branding tools you’ve got. It sets the tone of brand and has a major influence of sales and marketing. Remember that your website should attract the audience you want without repelling the ones you get.

Here are 7 design features you should (usually) avoid:


Busy Backgrounds


There is no reason for the background of your website to be overwhelming. Content should be easy to read, so choose simple backgrounds. If you do have a funky background, be sure to incorporate a neutrally coloured panel for the content.


Infinite Scroll


2014 was the year of infinite scrolling. Some argued it was good for the mobile user experience while others maintained it was difficult to optimise for SEO.

The infinite scroll must be well-executed with a considered strategy. It works for certain websites: content websites and websites for extremely established brands who want a certain look. However, having a website on one page with internal links that point to a different section of the page can affect SEO and user experience.

If you want an infinite scroll website, consult a UX designer so that visitors can navigate easily and get to information they’re looking for. Few things are more irritating than scrolling to a footer and being unable to click on it when more content loads.




Pop-ups might have worked five years ago. Now that we have gotten so used to them, people reflexively close pop-ups. Choosing to use pop-ups on your website is a risk. In the best case scenario, visitors do what’s asked of them; in the worst case, a potential conversion or sale leaves your website.

If you want to use pop-ups, ensure that they aren’t obstructing important content or buttons—especially on mobile.


Social Media Toolbars


The online community is obsessed with social—share buttons are everywhere! Of course you want users to be able to easily engage with your content, but you must truly consider the user journey and intentions.

Will someone really share a product page on social media? Is a visitor actually going to share a text blog post on YouTube? Choose networks that your users use the most (market research helps with this!) and that are most relevant to the page. For example, fashion brands might want product photos to have Rich Pins but they might not need a Facebook share button.




Scrolling text is difficult to read. Yes, people’s eyes are drawn to moving elements, but if it’s scrolling, readers can’t scan it. Audio and video that play automatically or when being hovered over are irritating. They may be necessary to your marketing campaign, but let users have control over when they play. Skip anything that flashes, GIFs, and animations while you’re at it.


Stock Photos


People want authenticity from brands so stock photos are a major turn-off. Photos aren’t there for filling space, they should show your company’s personality or display the quality of your products. Here are some of our tips for getting the images right on your website.


Unresponsive Cookie Consent


This is a new problem that websites are facing since the new EU regulations were put into place. Check that cookie warnings are working well on the website’s mobile version. If the consent box is hard to close, it may make it difficult to view the content. Ensure that the warning is just as responsive as the rest of the website.