Web design has come a long way from animated GIFs and annoying pop-up ads. Designers today prefer simple, uncluttered, and clean design, with a focus on visual storytelling rather than through narrative text. Sadly, however, some marketers have been holding onto a few tired trends that are old news (and not effective).
Here are five web design trends that should be retired:
Separate mobile versions of a website
When mobile phone usage surged in the mid-to-late 2000s, marketers were quick to jump on the mobile-optimized bandwagon. Many turned to mobile-switched sites, which are separate, mobile-friendly sites that contain a separate URL and much of the main site’s information. While this was a good step toward becoming more mobile, these sites actually hurt companies’ SEO due to the duplicated content.
USE INSTEAD: Savvy web designers are now turning to responsive web design for mobile sites. This takes an existing website and crafts it to respond to the width of whatever device the visitor is using. Not only is this better for SEO, it’s also a much cheaper option than creating two versions of your website.
Many companies rely on website copy to tell their corporate story. More commonly, consumers will gravitate toward visuals rather than long blocks of copy.
USE INSTEAD: Use visuals to tell your story, and condense copy to only the most important points or taglines. You can also use video and interactive elements to engage your website visitors.
Stock images are inexpensive and easily accessible, so it’s no wonder that marketers have heavily relied on these photos for website design. Unfortunately, since so many companies use these generic stock images, using this trend make it more difficult for your company to show its unique branding.
USE INSTEAD: Try using professional images from your own company, or organize a photo shoot to capture proprietary photos that tell your company’s story.
It’s been a long time since “pay-per-click” was the new buzzword. Marketers used to believe pay-per-click advertising was the best way to target online consumers. This method is more of a “spray and pray” technique, rather than matching interests with your product or service. Luckily, the Internet has evolved to offer several other, more effective ways to reach your target audience.
USE INSTEAD: Marketers now use targeted ads and re-targeting to reach audiences. For example, if a user lists their favorite show as a cooking show, you can target cookware ads toward that specific user. Or, if someone visits your website, you can re-target an ad on another website to gently remind them of their interest.
Distracting 3-D effects
Three-dimensional design used to be a flashy, fancy web design element for marketers, but most users now find 3-D design and images to be distracting.
USE INSTEAD: More and more devices now include retina display. This means these devices have higher pixel density, which requires higher resolution design. Because of this, marketers should adapt websites to have a flat user interface (UI) and clean design for better image display.
Whether setting up a new website or re-designing an existing one, SKYFALL BLUE can help you keep up with ever-changing web design trends, and give your website desired polish and performance.