9 most common web design challenges & how to tackle them

Have you ever wondered how it would feel if you barely had any feedback after designing a web application?   

GIF Source: Giphy

And even when you did, you could explain the rationale behind your decision in the design process. 

There’s only one thing stopping you from reaching that status: web design challenges

If only you knew what those challenges were and how to avoid them. You’d be on your way to creating perfect sites that convert!

Luckily for you, that’s what we discuss in this guide. 

We don’t just talk about the biggest challenges out there but how you can address them, too. 

…you’re welcome. 😉

So without further ado, let’s get right to it. 

Table of contents

  1. Hitting the mark with UX/UI
  2. Minimizing feedback loops
  3. Working with small budgets (but great expectations!)
  4. Understanding who you design for
  5. Ensuring the sites will work well across all devices
  6. Designing for accessibility
  7. Creating for conversion and retention
  8. Designing with personal security and data in mind
  9. Balancing functionality and speed of browsing experience

1. Hitting the mark with UX/UI

User experience (UX) and user interface (UI) are two independent terms that are often confused with each other. 

UX focuses on the experience (perception and emotions) users have when they interact with a design. UI, on the flip side, involves creating the layout of the design like buttons, text boxes, menus, and more that users can interact with. 

Creating a web design that hits the market with both concepts can be challenging. 

If you’re unsure about what would appeal to users and the technical aspects that might be too complex for them, we’re so glad you found this blog. 😇 

When designing an engaging website, the UI must be flexible enough to support different integrations and seamless navigation. This’ll allow users to interact with the site easily. 

On the other hand, you want the UX design to be easy to use, allowing users to engage with the website without feeling turned off by complex technicalities on the site like slow loading times, inconsistent design elements, or an unresponsive design.  

How can I tackle this?

To start tackling this brave new world, you must get to know your client’s audience and their reason for visiting the site.  

The best way to understand the audience’s perspective is to speak with your clients and see if they can share user personas with you. This will give you detailed insights into the end user’s mindset so your designs are based on what they want.  

User testing can also help you balance eye-catching and functional designs. It involves creating different iterations of the design and presenting them to users to get their feedback; after all, it’s because of them that you’re designing the website in the first place. 

2. Minimizing feedback loops

Have you ever been stopped by a construction worker controlling the traffic flow on a work site?

Then you know how frustrating it can be to wait in your car for what seems like an eternity until they finally wave you through.

That’s how design feedback can be sometimes. 

You’re done with the first draft and have emailed stakeholders or clients to review the design. 

You wait, but no feedback comes; when it finally does, there’s no context. 🤬

Our thoughts and prayers to anyone this looks familiar to: 

Email with unclear feedback out of context

And because there’s no context or review system, there’s a good chance you’ll receive similar feedback even after implementing their first request. 

In other words, you’ll be stuck in a feedback loop

How can I tackle this?

What you need is a collaboration tool like MarkUp.io to help streamline your review process.  

With this platform, you can request client feedback, document it, and respond to it. 

Clients can provide pixel-accurate, contextual feedback that’s easy to understand on the web designs.  

3. Working with small budgets (but great expectations!)

You’re on a strategy call with a potential client, and they’re all hyped up about the kind of website they want. 

“So, it should be an AI-enabled site with a voice and interactive user interface accessible to everyone.,” they say excitedly.It should be easy for every visitor to find what they’re looking for.“

Sounds like a great idea,” you respond. “That’s actually the future of web design.” 

You’re just about to congratulate yourself on landing a new client when you remember to ask what their budget is. 

And this is how you feel when you hear their response: 

GIF Source: Giphy

This is a frequent challenge that many design agencies face. Either the agency’s quote is too high for the client, or the budget is too low for the agency. 

And low budgets often go hand-in-hand with high expectations.  

How can I tackle this?

It’s important to let clients know what can be done with their budget. Be prepared also to explain why to set their expectations before you accept the project. 

Avoid the popular “let’s see what we can do” cop-out when your client’s budget only covers a hosting plan. 

Communicate what it’ll cost you to create the design they want. And once you’ve agreed on an amount, ensure you stay within that budget. 

The key is to keep communications with clients open and be clear about money, deliverables, and design timeline before the project begins.

4. Understanding who you design for

Who can forget those difficult college professors who droned on in lectures while their students dozed off or tuned out? 

Bottom line: adequate professors simply read from their notes. Great teachers engage their students and encourage them with enthusiasm.

But why are some teachers so … boring? If you think about it, it’s probably because they have difficulty understanding their students. Similarly, not understanding your audience can affect the outcome of your website design

It’s impossible to create a website that consistently converts visitors into customers if you don’t know who those visitors are, what they want, or what challenges they are dealing with.

And yes, it applies even if you’ve designed more than a thousand websites. Customer use cases vary for each, so assuming or taking an educated guess won’t cut it. 

How can I tackle this?

Have a sit-down with clients to create user personas based on their ideal or current customers. Carry out in-depth quantitative and qualitative research that syncs with the personas you’ve created. 

Send surveys to better understand the audience, carry out A/B tests, and collaborate with other professionals, like copywriters, SEO experts, or digital marketers. Another option is to conduct job-to-be-done interviews to understand what conditions have to exist for users to visit your site.  

5. Ensuring the sites will work well across all devices

There was a time when web designers only needed to be concerned with the desktop version of a site. 

Those days are long gone. With multiple devices and all the mobile browsers out there today, web designers need to ensure that whatever sites they design are also suitable for mobile users.

This is called responsive web design — ensuring a website displays properly in different display sizes.

As users shift their focus to mobile devices, it is important to deliver the same smooth experience they get on PCs.

That’s because more people are surfing the web on their mobile devices than ever before. More than 58% of global site traffic in the second quarter of 2022 was from mobile devices. 

Without a responsive website, many potential users may skip the site you’ve designed. And that’s not something you want!

How can I tackle this?

Creating mockups, frameworks, and wireframes for different devices and screen sizes is a good place to start. 

Use flexible grids, scalable vector images, and legible fonts when designing.

Here are some other solutions you can implement:

  • Ensure the buttons and logos are correctly placed on the site. 
  • Design an intuitive menu scalable across multiple devices. 
  • Select important design elements for display on smaller screens and keep others hidden so the site isn’t cluttered. 
  • Test the design on multiple devices for browser compatibility. 

6. Designing for accessibility

Designing websites with everyone in mind can be another challenge, but it’s also important. Accessibility is an important part of modern web design, but if you’ve never done it before, it might be hard to know where to begin.

You’ll need to consider different types of internet users who might visit your website, such as those with:

  • Cognitive impairments
  • Slow network
  • Visual impairments
  • Hearing impairments 

…and more!

An accessible website shows a commitment to equal rights and targets different users. It also improves search engine ranking and promotes brand loyalty, making users feel seen. 

On the flip side, that’s a lot of work for you as a designer. You’ll have to create more use cases and modify the design to suit them. 

How can I tackle this?

Leverage the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), some of which include:

  • Adding alt text to images 
  • Applying high-contrast colors
  • Avoiding the use of flashing media 
  • Having a clear layout by using headings and subheadings correctly
  • Using clear language 
  • Having a simple font template
  • Using an accessibility-friendly content management system (CMS)
  • Ensuring all content is keyboard accessible
  • Giving descriptive names to links
  • Designing accessible forms

They’ve also got additional resources, such as the Design and Develop overview and Accessibility Insights, that you can use.

7. Creating for conversion and retention

Web design is not just about making a pretty site. Sure, it should be attractive enough to draw visitors in, but what good is it if those visitors don’t convert into customers?

The hallmark of any successful website is that it attracts, converts, and retains users. 

The challenge is balancing aesthetics, functionality, business goals, and users’ needs properly. To do that, you need to understand users.  That in itself is another challenge. 

How can I tackle this?

Study your audience and figure out what they want. Then create content centered around your findings. 

Stick with real photos and avoid generic, stock images. Use eye-catching graphics for the site’s header and footer so users have an immersive experience. 

Keep the site’s copy short and relevant, with well-placed calls to action (CTA) buttons. Leverage SEO (on-page and off-page) and integrate social media for more traffic.

8. Designing with personal security and data in mind

Web security is yet another hurdle for designers to overcome in web development. There’s always the risk that the site could be hacked, and that’s an experience you don’t want users to have.

Sites with poor security risk losing users’ trust and harming your reputation, especially if you’re building an e-commerce store that depends on collecting personal data. 

But I’m just the designer, it’s not my responsibility to put security measures in place.

Well, it is, in a way,. For instance, there could be plugins that might threaten your site’s security. 

And with the frequency of hacking in the digital space, you must be on guard regarding personal security.

How can I tackle this?

Here are some solutions to put in place:

  • Integrate SSL certification.
  • Use a well-secured web host with firewalls set up, including antivirus and antimalware.
  • Enable multi-factor authentication.
  • Enable regular security updates.
  • Create strong passwords with numbers, letters, and symbols.
  • Conduct security audits regularly. 

9. Balancing functionality and speed

Imagine trying to resolve all the challenges we’ve discussed so far while ensuring the site still has a fast loading time. It’s a daunting challenge, but someone has to do it.

While graphic elements are needed to attract users, and buttons and web pages are required for seamless navigation, it’s important to strike a balance and not let all of those elements decrease the site’s speed. 

That would not only make life difficult for users, but it’d also reduce your site’s visibility on search engine results pages (SERPs).

How can I tackle this?

Compress large files and images before uploading them to the site for faster loading. Another option is to limit the content on the web or mobile app and keep the design simple. 

Leverage conditional loading on the mobile site so only necessary design elements are shown. 

Finally, use a fast web host and a caching tool for WordPress users.


In the words of Joshua J. Marine, “Challenges are what make life interesting, and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful. “ 

Speaking of interesting things, here’s another tip that can make life simple for you…

Overcome web design feedback loops with a contextual feedback tool

Getting feedback is important for progress, but it doesn’t have to be a nightmare. You shouldn’t have to keep fixing the same comments repeatedly because there’s no system to track them. 

With MarkUp.io, you can start requesting and collecting contextual reviews on your web designs – ending the vicious feedback loops you’ve been used to. 

Sign up today and get a free 30-day trial on MarkUp.io.