We’ve been thinking recently how styles in many aspects of life change on a regular basis. Take the fashion industry where styles change on a seasonal basis and what was considered fashionable a few months ago is now out of date. The same goes for websites, although not quite to the extent of changing with the seasons.
When we think back even 12 or 18 months in terms of what styles were “in” with websites it’s amazing to see what has changed. After reading and researching we’ve come up with a list of 3 things that are out of fashion and 3 current design trends.
Splash pages (and anything Flash)
Splash pages are simple pages that show a logo only before you get to enter the site. Not only do people find these annoying, but from an SEO (search engine optimisation) point of view they are really bad. Even worse, when built in Flash, all your mobile users (such as phones and tablets) won’t see anything at all.
We don’t know who thought having music playing in the background on a website was a good idea. Ever. Most of the time people look for the “stop” button, but unfortunately not all sites have one and you’re forced to either listen to it, mute your computer, or quickly close your browser tab. Not only do you probably not want to listen to it, but the people around you probably don’t either.
Instructions on use of the site
Years ago when web browsers weren’t as sophisticated as they are today (or the website we just badly designed) you needed a particular browser to view it at its best. These days all sites should (if built correctly) work in all browsers so the “This site is best viewed in <insert browser here>” text is not required.
With larger computer monitors we now have all this extra real estate that can be used to enhance the design of a website. Current trends see the use of backgrounds that are either textured, such as wood, or using full high quality photos. Both of these design features you’ll see all over the web – and when paired with an awesome photographer, can make your website look amazing.
Using text as a design feature is in big time. You’ll not doubt have seen sites that have large headings. When used correctly they can look quite effective and add that extra “something” to the look and feel of your site. Of course they can be done badly, but that’s where a good designer comes into play. There’s so many better (and web-friendly) fonts out there than Comic Sans MS.
Simple design is the key to a great website these days. People are more and more becoming time poor and don’t want to spend a long time looking for information on your site. Simple, spacious, clean and easy to read sites are they way forward, and are here to stay.
So when you’re looking around the web see if you can pick those that are keeping up with the trends and those that aren’t. Next time you’re ready to update the look and feed of your site keep these points in mind.
Do you want your website to stay in fashion?