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Top 5 Awful Web Design Trends you Need to Avoid

While beauty is in the eye of the beholder, ugly is generally agreed upon unanimously which is just one reason to review our Top 5 Awful Web Design trends you need to avoid. Think of things like rainbow-like palettes for colors or something straight out of MySpace, and you will get the picture.

Along with being visually unappealing, those aspects are also very ineffective. Of course in most cases awful web design trends are just that, a trend, which is something that seemed appealing at the time but now has been shown to be ineffective, which is not what you want for your site.

Good web design incorporates wonderful visual elements that have purpose which is to help direct users to where you want them to go. The goal after all is to engage viewers and then get them to convert is some way or another. While sometimes it does incorporate a trend, these days’ designers try and focus more on functionality and the user experience.

Web Design Trends to Avoid

  • Pop-Ups – This is by far one of the worst web design aspects to use for a few reasons. To start with, they are rather ugly and completely disrupt the visual picture of a web-site. Secondly, they are highly ineffective and annoying. Ask yourself a question; when was the last time you actually read a pop-up ad? Most people look at them long enough to find the “X” button that will close them and do not care one iota what the ad actually says. The use of too many pop-ups can drive users to bounce from your website as they simply will not want to deal with the interruptions.
  • Auto-Play Videos – Right behind pop-ups in the annoying category are auto-play videos. Who thinks they are a good idea? Nobody came to your site to see or hear that ad so why are you putting it there? Plus from a design perspective the auto-play ads do not work well, or at all, with mobile users. In our eyes that makes them doubly ineffective. When you think about it, you are doing a disservice to your users as instead of them enjoying the experience on your site they are wasting time trying to find the pause button on the video before getting back to what they were doing, if they even stay on the site at all.
  • The Flash Intro – Flash introductions can be fun and when the trend first came out it was interesting, but why do you need it? Your website should be interesting and engaging to users by itself, not because it has a cute flash intro. On top of that, people who use a long introduction will annoy users who know why they are at the site and where they want to go. This is another ineffective, and sometimes awful trend you need to avoid because existing users will be bored after a few views and new visitors shouldn’t need that hook to engage them if your web designer knows what they are doing. Similar to a Flash Intro, splash pages should also be avoided. Remember, Google recommends a load time of no more than 4 seconds for a webpage, which is a great guideline to follow.
  • Stock Photos – For a brief period stock photos were the rage, and admittedly we used them too, until we realized the error of our ways. The cheap or free stock photos look just like that; cheap. The good photos tend to be very expensive. Neither option is that great when you think about it because you are doing a disservice to your brand by not showcasing your own people and style. Why have an ethnically diverse photo of smiling people showing a ‘thumbs-up’ when none of those people actually work for you? If you are going to use photos they need to be carefully selected, high quality and ones that truly reflect your brand and business.
  • Bad Parallax Scrolling – Parallax scrolling can be a great technique when done right. When done wrong it can be confusing to users, which you do not want. Part of the problem can do with users understanding they are supposed to scroll without proper notification that scrolling was the way to navigate. Also after a while users can get tired of scrolling which can detract from what your goal is. You can have issues with users scrolling too quickly and missing content or call-to-action buttons as well. Finally, without a standard navigation menu or search option some users might feel that can’t find what they want. All in all, this style of design can be ineffective unless used sparingly in specific instances.

The Bottom Line

While trends can make a site look fresh and seem relevant, it typically comes with an expiration date. Using out-dated trends, especially ones that are ugly or ineffective is a mistake that can easily affect your conversion rate, which you certainly don’t want. After reviewing out Top 5 Awful Web Design Trends you need to avoid you should be able to determine if your site needs adjustments to ensure that your clients are not suffering from ugly or ineffectual delays which might cause them to leave and not come back.



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