Trends are bound to get obsolete with time. Ever looked at your old pictures and wondered whether that was really you? The trends that were stylish a few years back may be more of an eyesore today. This happens too in the web design industry. Old web design trends are no longer visually appealing or user-friendly. The fast-growing internet has led to the evolution of new technologies in the graphics design industry, digital marketing, and automation. As a result, web designers and developers have opted to create usable and appealing sites with effective ways of attracting the right traffic. In this post, I will inform you of some of the washed out trends that shouldn’t be featured on your website today.
1. Image Sliders and Carousels
Carousels have been widely used in the past to display images on websites. However, I’d like to inform you that most people today find them rather annoying. In my encounters with sliders on sites, they were either too fast or extremely distracting. They literally shift your attention from the site content. In the end, the conversion rate of the site is reduced significantly. Carousels often contain high-resolution images that are under-optimized. Landing pages that are populated with carousels suffer from slow loading more often than not.
Instead of using the image sliders, I would suggest you opt for simple static CTAs and text. The most efficient way of using the slider section is to display a single static image accompanied by highly converting message. You could also add an audience-specific call-to-action alongside the static image. These are more efficient as compared to overbearing carousels or image sliders.
2. Interstitials and Flash Images
Interstitials refer to the ads that appear as you transition from the search page to the actual site. Interstitials or flash images can be annoying if you ask me. If you have to do it, a subtle quote of the day or information on weather would be relatively useful. However, this still may not work if the close button is hidden away in some corner of the screen or can’t be found due to color contrast. It goes without saying that receiving an ad before even accessing your searched page can be a major put off. Therefore, I would suggest that you avoid interstitials as much as possible to steer clear of poor user experience.
3. Parallax Scrolling
Parallax scrolling is a feature that allows foreground and background content to scroll at different speeds in an attempt to create a depth illusion. Parallax effects aren’t harmful if used conservatively. They could improve the visual appeal of a site. However, I strongly suggest you opt for its alternatives due to the following reasons. Parallax effects require a lot of resources to load making them impractical for mobile browsers. Consequently, it gets tough to add exciting features on a parallax website. There are also complaints of difficulty in navigating parallax sites.
Today, this technique has been abused, particularly by free websites and blog themes. It is offered as a standard feature hence making it more accessible to ill-practiced designers. If you have a light site with no signs of future expansion (which I highly doubt), then you may use it. However, there are more features today that can make your site fancier without giving you restraints on expansion and user experience design.
4. Using Hamburger Icons on Desktop Sites
The main reason why hamburger icons were adopted was to conserve space in mobile sites. The menu items are tucked away in a simple hamburger icon on the landing page for quick access. However, I find it rather interesting that these icons have been lifted to the desktop websites where display space isn’t a major problem. Take it from me that hiding a site menu in a hamburger icon on a desktop site landing page does not make it any usable.
A desktop site has enough room to arrange menu items intuitively for quicker access. A minimalistic design will just complicate the site. Therefore, I would vouch for a top-level navigation for a user-friendly experience.
5. Load Screens
Load screens are flash animated screens that web users have to sit through as the requested page loads. In my experience, visitors are unlikely to wait for more than ten seconds to access your website. Such delays will push them to move on to a different site. With the robust advancements in the internet today, load screens don’t do your clients any favors. Therefore, try as much as possible to avoid this trend of the past.
However, if the load speed is beyond your control, I suggest you add fancy elements on the page to make the wait worthwhile. For instance, I would put a captivating outline of the services in the anticipated website. This gives the readers a glimpse of what to expect when the page loads. Note that this can only work for so long. For a full proof measure, strive to get rid of any unwanted load screens that could drive away potential clients.
6. The Use of Flash
Flash was a great platform on which to build sites until the revolution of smartphones occurred. If your site still runs on Flash, I recommend that you switch to an open platform. Flash is not compatible with mobile devices both Apple and Android among other main brands. Today, mobile browsing is the major trend, and even search engines like Google are ranking sites according to how optimized they are for mobile access.
Running your site on flash means that you will lose traffic from mobile users who make a significant part of the internet community. Therefore, it cannot be stressed any further why you need to toss away Flash as a platform for websites.
These are some of the dying trends of web design that shouldn’t feature on your site. Most of them affect SEO negatively, reduce conversion rates of landing pages, and negatively affect UX as I have discussed in this post. I also recommend that you screen your site for any pet peeves. If any, replace them with current alternatives that affect your traffic positively.