web design trends

Web design trends you should avoid

We tend to hear a lot about the web design trends we should be following, but what about the trends we shouldn’t? When it comes to web design, and the technological and digital industries as a whole, it is important to keep up to date with the things that are going to make you stand out. These industries are constantly changing, and so we should make sure to change with them. From bad UI to just being frustrating, here are five web design trends that need to be ditched.

Videos and Audio that auto play

We’re not sure who thought either of these things were a good idea, but apparently someone did! There isn’t much point to having video and audio auto playing in the background, unless you’re very enthusiastic about someone hearing your new song, or listening to your podcast. Moreover, they always seem to play at the most inappropriate times, while you are studying for example, or on public transport, or if you are at work. There’s no harm in letting people choose what they want to listen to or watch, and it might actually be more successful if you let site users make that decision on their own volition, as people will typically turn off their sound, or find a way to stop the video from playing… or just leave the site! Not only is this bad for consumers, but it’s also bad for the company if people are getting frustrated with content being shoved on them and they leave the webpage as a result. In addition, having auto playing content can be incredibly overwhelming for people who are neurodiverse. If we take a look at this website which provides services to adults with ADHD in Newcastle, we can see that there are no videos, and certainly no audio playing in the background, because of the fact that it can be overwhelming for people who have neurological differences.

Pop ups

Please can someone tell us why pop ups are still a thing! They are possibly one of the most frustrating things when it comes to web design, and it’s hard to think of anyone who’s bought anything from a pop-up ad. With that being said, thanks to GDPR, it’s unlikely that pop ups for cookies are going to fade into the background, but bad pop-ups are the real enemy here. Bad pop-ups are ones that:

  • Repeat offers that are already being promoted around the site
  • Appear as soon as you arrive on the site
  • Appear every time you go to a different page

They are usually completely irrelevant to the site that you’re on, or if they are relevant, they appear far too many times making you feel like you’re being forced to take a specific action that you don’t want to take. They also block the screen and the content that you are trying to digest which is incredibly frustrating, especially if you need to get information in a rush, and often they are created with the tiniest exit button, making it tricky to see how you can get it off the screen.

Stock photos

Oaky, we’ll admit it, sometimes stock photos can come in handy, especially if you haven’t had the time to source your own photos but still need a website with images on. The problem is, they get over used, and people rely on them to ‘enhance’ the visual content on their websites, without realising that everyone can tell when it is a stock image. Some people may not care about this aspect, but if you want to create a site that stands out and is personable and unique to your brand, then sourcing your own photos is definitely the way to go about it. Stock photos look inauthentic and bland, and they tell you nothing about the company that you’re looking at. Stock photos are better than no photos at all, but there’s always the option of choosing illustrations and designs in place of actual images, much like on the website for adult ADHD services in Newcastle, where the only photos are of the people that work there. This is a good alternative for those who may not have the budget to outsource a professional photographer or just don’t know where to start when compiling images.

Parallax scrolling

Parallax scrolling is when you have the foreground and background moving at different speeds when scrolling through the webpage. It can look really cool, and seems like it should be second nature to us now that we’re all scrolling through social media pages all the time, but it just doesn’t translate the same way on websites as it does on social platforms. It can ruin the UX of the website by taking extra time to load, and can be frustrating for visitors to the site who just want to get to the actual content. In addition to the longer loading time, parallax scrolling can look clunky if the scrolling isn’t smooth which can ruin the effect of it. While it can look incredibly aesthetically pleasing, what does it actually bring to the website, and the services that are on there? It can definitely enhance the UI if there is a genuine story to tell, and the effect of the design can tie in with that but for the most part all it provides is slow, endless scrolling.

What’s the takeaway?

Like all trends, trends within the web design industry come and go, but while we’re made aware of the trends that we should follow, there are just as many trends that need to be ditched. These trends are typically ones that negatively affect the user experience, and also the user interface, and are annoying and frustrating for those visiting the site. Things like media that auto plays, and pop ups serve as a reminder that these things are outdated, and in most cases pointless, and to move away from relying on these things is going to be one of the ways that we can enhance the user experience of websites even more.

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