50 Ways to Make Your Web Design Less Effective

Everywhere you look, there’s advice about how to make your website awesome. But what’s the deal with these web design saints trying to “save us” from ineffective design? It’s honestly getting a bit tiring.

Rebel against legible fonts, easy to understand navigation, and skim-able text blocks! Make your website worse.

Listed below are 50 random but guaranteed ways that you can render your site’s information obscurely, ruin visitor experience, and significantly reduce any traces of pleasing aesthetics.

1. Automatically play music.
2. Use pop ups to interrupt whatever your visitor is doing on your website.
3. Make it mandatory to sign up for your newsletter to see your website.
4. Hide the links in normal looking text.
5. Comic sans.

Example of Comic Sans

6. Make the font size smaller than tiny.
7. Have a trail of stars follow the mouse.
8. Forget to put your contact information anywhere.
9. Have a ton of content but no way to search it.
10. Make the text lines really wide. After all, it’s only fun to read if you look like you’re watching a tennis match.
11. Incorporate word art.
12. Make all images thumbnail sized, like actually thumbnail sized.
13. White space is for Buddhists, fill up all available space with images and text.

Whitespace lacking
14. Use white text on a black background for the main content areas.
15. Make your website load slowly.
16. Put all important updates into bold yellow text that blinks quickly.
17. Use buttons that are too small to be clicked.
18. Sparkle animations over all your photos.
19. Insert images that are irrelevant to the topic at hand.
20. Don’t include your address or location (to avoid stalkers, of course).
21. If someone wants to leave a comment on your blog post, make it necessary to register via a 5-page-long form.
22. Use flash.
23. Transport your viewer into the snow globe of your dreams! Create snowflakes that fall down the every page, continuously.
24. Take images from a google search and use them for your website.
25. Hide important pages in the drop down menu of a drop down menu of the main drop down menu.
26. Waterfall gifs.

27. Make everything that’s important bold. Nearly everything is important so everything will be bold.
28. Make the website out of one big image. The user will then have to guess where to click based on visual associations alone. The book? Yes! That’s my biography page. The spectacles? That’s my image gallery. The toilet? That’s how you escape.
29. Times New Roman.
30. Every page is an opportunity for a completely new design idea. Consistency is overrated.
31. Don’t include a FAQ.
32. Design your website for yourself. The audience is you. It’s all about you.
33. If something will take a long time to load, don’t include a load progress bar. The anticipation combined with not knowing what’s happening will keep them interested. Like a murder mystery!
34. Use ambiguous names for the menu items.

35. The website of a multi-passionate person should include all 5 passions even if one of them is scuba diving and the other one is jewelry making.
36. Ensure that your website won’t fit on small screens.
37. Subscriptions to your RSS feed will only be awarded those smart enough to figure out a 758 step process.
38. Keep old, broken links on the site.
39. Typefaces. The more the merrier.
40. Don’t indicate what page a visitor is currently on. When a viewer doesn’t know where they are, they feel a sense of deep comfort.
41. Put this kitten video on the home page for no reason.

42. Favicon? It starts with f because it’s forgettable anyway.
43. Don’t include a 404 page. If someone types in the wrong URL, too bad for them.
44. If there is an error submitting a form, print ERROR across the top of the page and make the user guess why there was an error.
45. Use language that is hard to understand to alienate your readers.
46. Be trendy, use stock images that have been used 345,123,567 times.
47. Use clip art from 1996
48. Include several permanently moving animations to help with your visitor’s concentration.
49. Put chunks of text reallyclosetogether.
50. Use low contrast between your text and background color. Like gray text on a gray background.


I’m not sure how anyone could incorporate all 50 of these tips and tricks into their website but I think we should all try. What will you be doing to make your website less effective? After all, ideas are just ideas until action is taken.

Kat Love

Hi, I'm Kat! Therapists helped me heal from childhood sexual abuse, so I helped them with websites and marketing for around 5 years. You can still write your therapist website in the easiest way possible with my easy, fast, and affordable solution called Empathycopy. Or stick around here on the Empathysites blog to get your fill of helpful website and digital marketing insights for therapists. Happy to help. Pronouns: they/them/their