It’s very important to research and understand the latest design trends in website design before even venturing to design your own website. Utilize the tools and effects in such a way that the site stands the test of time and does not dated in any way. Additionally, spotting trends can help you to pick up the popular elements in the design. Here are a few trends that are dying and you need to keep an eye out for them.
1) Autoplay videos and music
If your site is not a music site and does not help users to spot music of their taste like Spotify, then automatically playing music for the visitor isn’t “classy” in any sense. Moreover it is an annoyance and a nuisance to your user who has picked up a station or a song of their liking. Make sure that the playback or volume controls are in place and readily available for use. But do not make them search for the off button especially when the autoplay function starts an unwarranted song in between a meeting.
Similarly for videos, the autoplaying function is distracting for users and will irritate them to no end. Maybe, they would even stop spending time on your site and never come back.
2) Mobile-only sites
With the advent of recent updates to Google’s search algorithms, site optimization is useful and making them usable on mobile platforms is highly necessary. However, creating a site just reserved for the mobile platform means now you need to optimize, update, debug and extend support to the site, thus shelling out additional dollars. SEO issues will crop up because of duplicate content too. Instead, invest some time up front to make the existing website responsive enough for support on multiple platforms.
3) Overusing parallax
Parallax scrolling is now out of fashion. They look good if used sparingly but according to recent reports, the perceived usability, satisfaction, and visual appeal is not at all there to compare for sites which do not have it and which do have it. UX practitioners who are planning to work with parallax scrolling need to devise strategy so that they avoid irritating their test participants.
Modals that prompt user action before the page content loads is one of the most irritating trends that is dying fast.
When a site throws a modal at the user, it just does not attract anyone to click on it. On the other hand, the mind game does not work because it insults the user’s intelligence. The modals are part of a trend wherein marketers believe that strong by-lines can generate clicks at will and even generate profit for them. Those days are fast gone by.
5) Splash pages
Splash pages and flash intros never helped users to gain useful information. Since it is a dated practice, it has lost its importance forever. While splash pages can force users to look at something, they put off users from their potential visits themselves. These popups or splash pages using third-party advertisements are the worst trends that are not here to stay, ever.
6) Using Flash content
Flash isn’t totally out of business and those using “open” platforms are likely to give up on using Flash since it is not compatible with mobile devices.
Creating Flash content is time consuming and spending time for the 1.2 billion people who access the web through their smartphone is a poor choice.
7) Image sliders
Image carousels and sliders are mostly ignored because people think they are ads, and might be too fast for some or slow for others. It also distracts users and decreases conversion rates while they were meant to increase them.
A single static message in text or a call-to-action alongside some text and an image might work better for you.
8) Long Shadows
Long shadows were part of the flat design trend and although flat designs are preferred by users, the shadows are not finding favour anywhere. Since they stretch beyond a typical drop shadow, it might prove an interesting visual for some, but does not match with the simple layout. Also, it hurts user experience.
9) Black Backgrounds
A simple, minimalist design, with a black background might sound tempting to some website makers. But this trend tends to overstep the simplicity and might become plain boring. Adding a bit of color to create user interest or a bit of texture is a wise move. Black backgrounds can create rich contrast with some elements, but they are not as intriguing enough as they sound.
10) Script Typefaces
For some time, many site owners were using a script font on the site, making use of print materials. The trend has been far overused since instead of standing out by being creative with the typography, designers have used fonts that have not justified their purpose on the site. Also, it becomes harder to read when they are small, and also not good enough in terms of mobile design.
Let’s Wrap Up!
Website design is an evolving practice and designers need to align the sites with the latest trends to have a site that is more marketable and attractive to the majority. With the technology pushing the envelope, it is essential to have a site that justifies its web design in terms of a branding perspective rather than taking up dying practices and put off customers and prospects from the site.
Keval Padia is a Founder & CEO of Nimblechapps, a fast-growing iPhone application development company. The current innovation and updates of the field lures him to express his views and thoughts on certain topics.