10 Popular Design Trends It’s Time To Let Die

Like anything else, design trends are evolving with time and what is popular changes from year to year.

Nevertheless, there are some things that seem to stay for too long even when they have long become outdated. Here are ten popular design trends it’s time to let die.

#1 Hero Sliders

First, there are the hero sliders. Based on the image slider technology, hero sliders were quite innovative and fancy back in the day. Every big website wanted to use them because they looked so good and allowed web designers to save space while also displaying more promotional materials almost simultaneously.

On the other hand, the sliders would slow down page speeds. They also tend to distract visitors from what is important by immediately attracting their attention to particular ads rather than letting them explore a little. This can lead to some of your pages not being visited as much as you would like them to be.

While some websites have abandoned this trend, many are still using it. It is critical that you decide whether or not you really want to display such elements on your website and whether it is worth it in the long run. But if you want to focus your visitors’ attention on one particular promo and make your strategy more organized, then a single hero banner will be enough.

#2 Non-Traditional Scrolling

You might have realized that this trend started spreading several years ago. At the time, it helped many websites to set themselves apart from others and stand out from the crowd (if they were among the ones who started the trend, of course). The downside is that they have now become quite outdated compared to new trends that are gaining popularity.

The idea was primarily taken from the regular mobile apps that made users scroll or swipe sideways instead of scrolling downwards as usual websites did. But while this was a completely new and exciting thing back when it was, well, new, it is now only a difficult task for site visitors to complete as it is not the standard for most websites.

Instead of making it too complicated for your audience, it is much better to resort to the more “traditional” ways of scrolling which are downwards and upwards. Don’t try to invent the bicycle and save the headache for your website visitors.

#3 Bad Pop-Ups

As a rule of thumb, pop-ups are extremely annoying for the majority of web users. As for the website owners, there are two main types of pop-ups: good and bad. Good pop-ups are the ones that your site visitors don’t find irritating. Bad pop-ups are the ones that will not work on your site visitors and will only annoy them diverting them away from your website.

Bad Pop-Ups

Of course, the earlier pop-ups would often be of the second type, but many website owners and webmasters have now learned how to create effective pop-ups that can actually work with your audience. This is why you need to avoid creating bad pop-ups and try to have only the good ones. Here are some tips on how to do that:

  • Don’t make the pop-ups show up a second after someone enters your website. Give them time!
  • Don’t make the pop-ups appear multiple times during one site visit (or return visit). It’s actually really annoying.
  • Don’t create pop-ups for the offers that are already displayed on your website in some way (e.g. banner, sidebar, slider, etc.)
  • Don’t accuse your users of not accepting your offer. Be as polite as possible.
#4 Autoplay

What could be worse than having music or some other audio play from one of the tabs opened in your browser while you have no idea where it is coming from? But even if you knew the source of this annoyance, it wouldn’t make it less irritating, because the damage has been already done and you already got a negative experience.

If you enable autoplay on your videos and ads, this will be exactly how your site visitors will feel every time they visit your website. It is simply a bad idea and there is no justifiable explanation for its existence in the first place. Well, unless you count the fact that autoplay on YouTube is quite useful when you are listening to music and need videos to play continuously.

If you do have autoplay enabled on your website, disable it as soon as possible. If you have ads that contain videos and need to play them one way or another, then simply make the sound off as a default. If they like the video, they will turn on the sound and watch the ad. But don’t just force them to watch it.

#5 Cheesy Stock Photos

What is troubling is that cheesy stock photos are still a thing. Even if your content is written with the help of professional writers like the ones at Online Writers Rating, cheesy stock photos can be the ones that spoil it instead of improving it. However, there is still something to keep in mind: stock photos are not bad, stock photos that are too cheesy are bad.

Many small businesses don’t have the budget for having their own company photos and resort to using regular stock photos. The only thing you need to make sure about is that these stock photos are realistic and don’t look like they were set up.

The point is to think through what exactly you want to show with these photos. Maybe your aim can easily be achieved with a few stock photos, but if that really isn’t the best solution, then definitely look for a good alternative.

#6 (External) Links That Open in The Same Tab

Links are a fundamental part of search engine optimization for your website. By building your link profile, you will be able to get higher search rankings (but only if you link out from your website and have backlinks pointing to your website). Nevertheless, there are some rules you need to follow if you want your links to function properly.

Internal links will usually open in the same tab replacing the page that your site visitor is currently on. But some internal links are better to be opened in a separate tab. This will increase the page views of whatever page that these links are pointing to.

External links will always need to open in a new tab. You don’t want a different website replacing yours. This is why you need to always make sure that your external links are set up to open in a separate page rather than in the same one.

In general, you will want to use links to create better navigation for your site visitors, build your link profile to improve search rankings, promote certain landing pages for the products you are currently focusing on, and for other different purposes.

#7 Adobe Flash Player

Adobe Flash Player

It’s incredible how many websites are still using Adobe Flash Player. Adobe has already announced that it will be cutting support for Flash in 2020 which means you should not expect this to be a legitimate option anymore. In other words, if Adobe says it will no longer support Flash, then so shouldn’t you.

There are plenty of alternatives that you can try before deciding on what you will be using. Check the websites of your competitors and see what they are currently doing. If it is something you think might work out for you, this will probably be the smartest choice. It’s not even a matter of trends anymore – it’s a matter of effectiveness and efficiency.

#8 Slow-Loading Websites

This issue does not simply concern desktop websites. In fact, the mobile version of your website is even more prone to slow loading speeds. Historically, mobile versions are much harder to optimize compared to their desktop counterparts, but if you find a good programmer, you will see that it is still possible to make the website load faster.

As an alternative to a mobile-responsive website, you could design a PWA which would be responsive even with users whose wi-fi is poor. Wi-fi connectivity is generally not that impressive all around the world, so thinking about poor wi-fi and taking that into account when you design your website is simply essential.

#9 Keyword Meta Tag

Did you know that for years web designers have been adding unnecessary elements into websites even though it was completely pointless? That is the case with the keyword meta tag. There is really no need for it to be used because most major search engines don’t even support it, yet many web designers still add it for some strange reason.

If you really want to get into details, try to look through your website and see if there is anything else you can get rid of. For instance, there might be some plugins that you are no longer using. They can actually make your site vulnerable to hackers, so it’s better to delete them instead of simply keeping them deactivated.

Whatever way you look at it, keeping your website design clean is fundamental for it to function properly, load quickly, and be as responsive as possible. If you can make it organized, you will no longer have to worry about constantly dealing with various issues. They will come up from time to time, but they won’t be as frequent as before.

#10 The Three-Click Rule

The Three-Click Rule

Last but not least, you need to forget about the three-click rule. The logic is that there should be a maximum of three clicks that a user should make to get to a particular piece of information. But recent findings debunk this theory (which didn’t even have any factual support from the beginning).

So, what should you do instead? When designing whichever piece of your website, take into consideration all the peculiarities of this chain of clicks that the visitor should go through to get wherever they need to get. Think about it this way: if it is necessary to make the journey between two points of information longer, then make it longer.

That being said, you should still prioritize the comfort of your site visitors. Good navigation is still extremely important while the resources you link will also assist them a lot. Good pop-ups can help you direct their attention to certain landing pages. Disabled autoplay will be a pleasant surprise to some who are used to seeing enabled autoplay on every other website.

Final Thoughts

To sum up, there are some trends that just need to be forgotten by this point, even if it feels like they are a good choice for you. Find new and exciting ways to use fresh and innovative trends in your design and make it look more up-to-date than it used to be.

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