Defensive Web Design, What You Need to Know

Design plays a vital role in deciding the success or failure of a website. Irrespective of the amount of functionality you’ve incorporated into your site, failure to design the site appropriately can keep you empty handed when it comes to gathering maximum clients. Hence, it is always better to come up with a design that best suits the ‘wrong’ situations during the website development process. A defensive web design signifies the same. As you read through this post, you’ll come to know everything about a Defensive Web Design. So, gear up now to learn about the same in the best possible way.

Defensive Web Design

What exactly is a Defensive Web Design?

Defensive web design is one that anticipates both the user as well as the website error. This web design mainly focuses on the vital points of website failure including the address bar, search and the server-related problems. A defensive web design employs validations to check the mistakes prior to making the same frustrate the end user. It expands all the available options based on the end user’s implied intend. To top it all, a defensive web design protects the website visitors against server errors and broken links via informative messages.

Defensive Web Design, from a business perspective

Well, if you belong to the category of individuals who’re trying to grow their online business then Defensive Web Design is for you. If reaching out to a larger audience is what you’re planning for, defensive design is the tool that’ll help you achieve your goal. Whether its online business marketing, community-building, display ads and content strategy, search engine optimization or simply attracting thousands of new visitors, defensive web design lets you do all this and much more with utmost amount of convenience. As per a recent survey, it has been found that practicing defensive design lets you grow your website’s conversion rate from 3% to 3.5%. Isn’t that interesting enough?

Slow Web Connections, no more a reason for stress with Defensive Web Design

A key aspect that is being looked into by a defensive web design is the slower web connections. By deploying a defensive web design on your website, you can make sure that the visitors read the entire content placed on your website, without leaving it at an early stage. It is quite essential for the web designers to plan the type and layout of their website to attain the freedom to use images, flash and other slow-loading elements on the website. The designers need to work on a website that works perfectly even under situations where the bandwidth shrinks on a frequent basis.

Defensive Web Design – How it helps in form validation and error handling?

Forms rank on the number one position of the hate-list of website visitors/customers. People hate filling long forms and often make typo errors, leading to a wrongly-filled form. Instilling smart defensive design lets the website owner provide clear directions to the customer by performing the following tasks:

  • Preserving visitor’s data. A website built using the defensive web design involves a scenario wherein when a user is returned to a form to fill out any missing information, the site preserves the already filled in data. This allows the visitor to fix all the errors without retyping the entire form from scratch.
  • Avoiding use of non-endearing messages.Customers get turned off by messages that aren’t pleasing to the ears. For example, if a website visitor hasn’t filled in the form correctly, the website flashes a message in full-caps saying “YOU COMPLETED THE FORM INCORRECTLY”. This is something that is being purely avoided in case of a defensive web design.
  • Highlighting errors using clear graphics and text. A defensive design assures that all the wrongly-filled entries are being highlighted using clear text and graphics, preventing the user from getting frustrated.

Defensive Design – A proven means of handling “Page Not Found” Errors

The internet is loaded with broken links and a website containing the same is surely going to disappoint the customers. Websites with a well-planned defensive design customize their “Page Not Found” area by providing options that explain what exactly happened. These options are injected with a little humor to avoid the customer from getting frustrated.


It actually pays to plan for all the bugs and user mistakes done for a website. With all the aforementioned advantages of using a defensive web design, one can easily grow the count of happy customers and thereby improve the business growth.

Please spare a minute to drop in your views/opinions on the above post. For this, you may use the comments box provided right under this post.

Written by Sarah Parker

Sarah Parker is a blogger and WordPress designer. She has been busy writing articles on web design strategies. Currently, she works for Designs2HTML Ltd a leading markup conversion services company.

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