Circa 1999 – A custom website with a flash intro, with the content written in Comic Sans. Web designers had mastered a few elements of web design for custom made business websites. Websites were all fun and games then. In an era, when the world is increasingly eyeing lofty business leads coming through the internet, fun, and games cannot be afforded anymore. Websites have to look slick, professional, and fun at the same time.
This requirement for professional and business-minded web design made many web designers introspect as to what it was that was obstructing traffic from coming to their websites. Iterations and malfunctions later, we are finally seeing a beautification of the web. Websites now are less gaudy, more attractive; less haphazard, more professional; and less code-centric, more easy-navigation-centric.
Here are three web design trends that have (almost) been dumped for good, and we genuinely wish they stay dumped.
Flash was rubbish. There was no point in it really. It really was just a jazzy add-on that visitors did not care for. Websites that came with no ‘Skip Intro’ button lost most of their traffic in about 30 seconds. Websites that came with a ‘Skip Intro’ button had their intro skipped within 30 seconds. The point that was lost on designers and businesses alike was – Users came for information, not for entertainment. To add to the visitors’ woes – Adobe’s flash plugins is known to have a history of issues with various browsers and their various versions over the years. Then again, it wasn’t universally accepted either. Google started indexing Flash only recently, well after Flash has one foot in its grave. Apple still does not support it.
Let’s face it, most of those dudes look like they had a gun pointed at their back when they were being asked to look and smile at the camera. The audiences now treat brands as a human. Hence, it is important to stay and seem human. Stock images make you look like you don’t care or simply don’t have real customers buying your product. Moreover, the internet exposure is so huge now that it is a tad little cringeworthy to see the same person holding a diaper and hanging out with friends on two different websites at the same time.
Yes, you had 10 million hits on your websites. In actuality, only FOUR people had heard of it. It was a great manipulation tool and a superb show-off idea. The counters did count visitor hits, but they were so easy to manipulate that it could only fool website visitors for about a year. The large ticking blocks of 6 figure digits soon disappeared from most websites and understandably so. Even a lay user knew they meant nothing.
Small and fancy fonts, tons of pages of information, cramping every empty corner of the page with some information, outdated coding standards, auto-playing videos, un-updated website, popups looking to gather leads – there are plenty of web design trends from around a decade ago that are dead, or are almost dead, or should be put to rest.
Trends shall come and go. Web design is a process that works in progression. Hence, the onus is on designers and business to stay updated with newer trends and discard the outdated ones.