When you are designing a website, the end result can say a lot about you and your design. After all, that is at least part of the reason why web designers spend so much time working on fonts, colours and the overall web layout. You naturally always hope that your web design says a lot of positive things about you. However, there are times when particular features can create a very negative image in the mind of your users. Here we will look at some of the major aspects of web design in the current climate and how they effect the impression the user gets when they visit a website for the first time. Modal Window Ads These new kinds of ads have sprung up more often over the last year or so. They are from a design perspective, quite a clever way to get around the downfall of pop-up adverts. Pop-ups are now considered to be quite out of date and they can have quite a damaging effect on Google search engine rankings. With modal window ads however, they can simply appear on screen without any additional windows opening. It is quite clever, but at the same time is something that doesn't create a good impression. In fact these modal windows could actually be considered more annoying than pop-ups, mainly because you have to deal with them right in the middle of the screen instead of just deleting the tab or window like you would with a pop-up. All these windows really do is delay your users from being able to access the content they are looking for. Being delayed is not something that is very appealing. Considering that Google now penalise sites in their rankings for having too slow a loading time, it's pretty clear that the modern internet user wants to be able to access the content they want immediately. Having to deal with modal window ads then will not create a very good first impression for a website. The Use Of White Space White space is a very helpful thing to have on a website, mainly because it helps make your content more readable. That is why the majority of online content has reasonably short paragraphs that are spaced out so then people are able to read the content with ease. There are however many sites that see white space as something that must be filled with more content. This is a very bad idea. Filling in the white space on a web page with more content does not create a more professional image, nor does it show that a site has a great attention to detail. It simply makes everything more difficult to read, which in turn will create an impression with users that the ability to read the content does not matter. Users might even start to think that the content is simply filler in order to get keyword hits on Google, which inevitably will result in them leaving the site and sending the bounce rate through the roof. There really is no excuse anymore for not having enough white space. If the content you have is long, then all you need to do is space it out with clear paragraphs. Better still, you can even run a quick edit to see if you can bring the word count down first, then deal with making paragraphs. Just try and remember that if you have written content, it deserves to be read by your visitors. Try and make sure they are able to do it in comfort. 404 Error Pages They really are unavoidable, no matter how well you have set up your website. Even if you run Screaming Frog tests of your site on a regular basis, chances are you will at some point have users coming across 404 error pages. When they do that, they need to be greeted with something that will help them find what they are looking for. Simply displaying that there has been an error is not considered to be good enough anymore. When a 404 error message appears, the last thing you want to happen is for your visitor to immediately leave the site. You could still have something that will help them, so you need to assist them in order to find it. Having a search bar is a very good way to start. These will then encourage people who visit to search your site and possibly find what they were looking for in the first place. By doing this, visitors will think that you want to be helpful and assist them to find what they are looking for. If however you just have a basic 404 error message, then these visitors will leave your site immediately and send your bounce rate through the roof. Background And Foreground Say you have found a great background design, but you have discovered the colour scheme of your foreground content does not fit very well. It's unfortunate, but you will have to say goodbye to at least one of these design points. If you leave things as they are, not only will visitors either find your site unattractive or difficult to navigate, but they will also think that you care more about creating an aesthetically pleasing image than you do about providing them with good content. Of course providing an attractive website is important, but it is more important that you provide high quality content. Having your content on a site that is difficult to navigate because of the aesthetic design choices is something that should be avoided at all costs. With a little hard work, you should be able to find a way to have the best of both worlds.