Every Friday, Myron Mariano, Senior Website and Graphics Developer at Miles Technologies, will bring you five tips and tricks about the latest happenings in the world of web and graphic design. This week’s tips are the website trends that should be yesterday’s news.
Much like in any other industry, trends in website design come and go as technology improves and user preferences evolve. Let’s take a look at some of the website trends we aren’t sad to say goodbye to.
1. Full-Flash Websites
While it sounds like an excellent idea on paper—and it allowed for websites to feel active—updating it is cumbersome. Whereas you can open HTML and CSS in Notepad to make changes to a regular, non-Flash site, you need the work-in-progress FLA file (good luck asking this from a client who commissioned the work to somebody else) and the Adobe Flash program on one that’s in Flash.
Apple’s then-polarizing decision of ceasing support for Flash on the iOS signaled its demise, and truthfully, for the good of web design in general. jQuery, CSS3, and HTML5 have made giant strides when it comes to mimicking the way Flash delivers content. And you don’t have to be tied to your home computer—or one that has the software installed—if you need something fixed.
2. The Fold
Back when desktop browsers were the primary vehicle of viewing websites, sure, the fold matters. Nowadays, with devices and screen sizes as plentiful as Imelda Marcos’s shoes, making sure that your most relevant text appears above the fold is an almost-impossible task.
The solution is deceptively simple: Don’t bother with the fold in the same, old-fashioned, way. Sometimes, all that’s necessary is a strong sentence or two to make a (great) case for your website.
3. A Separate Mobile Website
Before the widespread acceptance of Responsive Websites, designers had to create two separate experiences: Full, which is what users viewing your site through desktops and tablets would see; and mobile, which offers a condensed look at the same content.
While this is excellent for visitors—you’re allowing them to see important material irrespective of however they reached your website—having to deal with two entities can be a logistical nightmare. Because, really: Who has time to update two sites?
4. Content is King of the Homepage
This is only a half-done trend: Unless you have an extremely popular site, you still need some content on your homepage. What’s great is that the 250 or so words do not have to be crammed above the fold (see above).
Web design’s current penchant for big graphics and typography allow you to create a visual narrative—something akin to an image first, then a paragraph of text, then a pull quote. This way, you’re able to relay important information regarding your website (great for Google) without overwhelming the visitor (great for retention).
5. Over-the-Top 3D-Based Design
This tired trend is similar to using Flash, where form completely overtakes function. Don’t get us wrong; it’s always an encouraging sight when designers find creative ways to stretch the web’s muscle. It becomes problematic when all the effort is focused on making sure that a site looks fantastic at the cost of the user experience.
Remember, K.I.S.S. Bells and whistles should be there to enhance, not be the focal point of any product.
Hit us up in the comments below if you have any questions about some of the things in this list.