Technology March 5, 2015 Last updated September 18th, 2018 1,843 Reads share

Five Outdated Web Design Trends that are Still at Large

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The top web design trends of 2015 have introduced themselves a long time back. Industry observers knew which trends 2015 will bring around, so they are not taken aback observing the industry embracing new and radical trends. Problem is, alongside the new trends, a number of outdated trends are also in practice.

It’s essential for the industry to rinse itself from outdated practices. The very first step taken in that direction is listing up all the web design trends that have become outdated already.

The first shoddy trend, which is no longer important for marketing but still found on websites galore is:-

#1. Annoying Pop-ups

Popups were invented for marketing purposes. But instead of enhancing user experience, they started to cause great distress to site visitors. Just imagine how pissed you’d feel when you’ve just landed on a website to read an insightful content or watch a tutorial video and suddenly a pop-up box appears in front of you preventing you from accessing the content.

A pop-up may feature an advertisement, an email subscription request or social media button to incur like or follow. Some spammy websites have taken user’s annoyance to a new level by launching a new tab on the browser or a window. Users feel a blistering anger when they come across such intrusive elements on a site.

Having said that, a pop-up can fetch a site quality leads. If it’s a blogging site that earns from Adsense, then through pop-up it can garner new readers. If it’s a service providing website, then through pop-up, it can take users to its social media pages, so the users turn into dedicated consumers. Avoiding pop-ups means missing out on the opportunities to attract new visitors/leads.

This problem can be sorted by placing alternatives to pop-ups. Designers, along with online marketers, can work out new ways to place ads or get more email signups. They just need to make sure the alternative doesn’t hinder user-experience.

#2. Autoplay media elements

The first thing that autoplay media elements such as music and video do is make the site visitors confused. When a visitor lands on a site and autoplay music starts on its own or a video begins to play automatically, he initially doesn’t understand what is the actual source of the media that is being played.

If the speaker is on, then the visitor suddenly starts to hear a voice. At first, he doesn’t understand from where the sound is coming, then after sometimes, he locates the source and either puts the video/music on pause. It’s a sheer annoyance and site visitors feel pissed when they come across troubles such as this. Most of them close the tab on the browser and never open it again.

Autoplay media elements are not only annoying but also consume a lot of visitor’s bandwidths unnecessarily. Since autoplay music/video amounts to user’s dissatisfaction, a site should steer clear of them. Multimedia content is immensely useful for online marketing and for that reason, video/music should be embedded in a site. The only thing that the site owner needs to bear in mind is the music or the video shouldn’t be autoplay.

#3. Skeuomorphic UX design

The design industry is rejecting skeuomorphism because skeuomorphism is against flat design, which is the latest fad. The only USP of skeuomorphism is it imitates real life objects and by doing so, makes the design look good. But the three main shortcomings of skeuomorphism are

  • It hinders smooth navigation
  • It increases loading time
  • It is not compatible with minimalistic design and user-friendly elements

Those who justify skeuomorphism refer to iOS UX design where skeuomorphic elements have always been prioritized. But anyone who stays updated with the news and trends of the hand-held industry should be knowing that Apple has recently called off skeuomorphism and moved to a simple design.

Besides, skeuomorphism deals with metaphors and there’s a problem with them. The problem centers around the essential difference between the virtual world and the real world. Metaphors in the virtual world don’t necessarily have to be in sync with the real world. Emails and attachments are best examples of that. They don’t have anything equivalent to them in real world.

Hence, skeuomorphism is not essential and it’s not a persuasive argument that web design needs to resemble everything that we see in real life. Flat design bodes well with minimalism and makes a website uncluttered and simplistic.

#4. Infinite scroll pagination

Last year, Jack Schofield wrote an excellent article on ZDnet that deals with this subject. Schofield highlighted on two shortcomings of infinite pagination. The first is, infinite pagination is not user-friendly and the second is, it is not search-engine friendly.

Users face problems getting information from a page that keeps scrolling. They have to keep scrolling down. If the connection speed of a user is down, then the page might take hours to scroll down. If the website has plenty of images, then the PC could get slow or the browser might get crashed.

As for the search engine, the crawlers spend less time on the site if it has the infinite scrolling feature enabled, then it won’t stay on the page for long. When it comes to usability issues, infinite scrolling is a big headache. If a user clicks on a link while the page is still loading, he’d leave the website and won’t return back. Because of these reasons, numbered pages are preferred by a number of industry experts.

Some sites do need infinite pagination. For example, the portfolio page of a service providing company’s site may have infinite scrolling feature enabled. That’s because prospective clients often wait for the whole portfolio items to show up.

#5. Flash intro

Even in the not-so-distant past, flash was in vogue. Flash was originally a platform to work on web animations and games. In fact, there’s no scarcity of sites that were built entirely on flash. Problem is shockwave flash crash is a distressing experience that we often have to encounter.

Google Chrome is particularly vulnerable to such problems. Oftentimes videos don’t load and users have to type chrome:plugins in the address bar, then locate shockwave and then enable it. If two players of two different versions are running simultaneously, then one of them needs to disabled. There’s no automated way to do that, users have to do it manually.

Perhaps the biggest disadvantage of flash is incompatibility with the handheld platform. Mobile apps are developed in HTML5, which is a great alternative to flash. Last but not least, Google disapproves flash, so a site designed on flash is likely to rank lower on Google and subsequently, on other search engines.

The five design trends discussed above, are yet to be gotten rid of. But as we’ve just seen above, they can hurt the search engine ranking of a site as well as become intrusive to satisfactory user experience. So, in 2015, web designers and online marketers need to bid farewell to all these trends.

Images: “A word cloud of web design related items /


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Eric Haskell

Eric Haskell

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