The internet is still in its relative infancy, and while it has very rapidly become ubiquitous, we are still seeing it grow into what it can be. As such, web designers and programmers are still ‘finding their feet’ as it were and developing and advancing the styles they use to build attractive and functioning websites. Then at the same time there’s the fact that web design trends and fashions simply change over time, and when you combine these factors it makes sense that the internet should be constantly evolving.
Nowhere is this more evident than in the large selection of fads, design choices and layouts that simply no longer exist. Here we will look at a few of the things that have been and gone, and those that are just on the way out. In doing so we’ll illustrate the liquid nature of the internet and hopefully help to avoid making similar mistakes in future.
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There was a time that about 40% of websites you loaded up would have some kind of irritating music on autoplay. Of course this was a good way to engage the viewer and to get their attention, but at the same time it also tended to irritate them – particularly if they were already listening to their own music, or if they were browsing the internet in a quiet room. It’s slow and clunky, and for the most part it’s irritating, so music is a no-no these days.
Remember when you first learned to make your first HTML page? You probably loved the tag and how it would add animation and movement to your page. Of course every other beginner web designer thought the same thing too and they were everywhere – which is perhaps partly why you simply don’t see them anymore.
Frame layouts are layouts that show more than one HTML page in a single layout. This is all fine and well and a fine way to organize the pages, but unfortunately it’s also very SEO unfriendly and would bring people to random menu pages or content with no navigation. So why use this now when you can use tables?
Animated Gifs still have their place, but the time when we flooded sites with them is very much over. Perhaps partly because they’re just slow to load. Thankfully animated gifs are now being used for internet meme instead of website navigation.
And speaking of bombastic animations, Flash animations are on the way out too. Some people says it is because of the new version of HTML which is the HTML5. Flash vs. HTML5, that’s the battle you must always updated. We already don’t see big introductions to websites any more, but as a form of navigation Flash is also dying out – partly thanks to Apple products no longer supporting it.
One Final Thought
The moral of this story? Just because a new technology has come along, doesn’t mean you should cover your website in it. When Flash first came out you found ridiculous animations and navigations on every page with sound effects and bells and whistles. Quickly this became dated, and the same will happen to anything new that comes along too. So take these ‘trends’ with a pinch of salt, and implement them in a way that will stand the test of time and that will genuinely aid the layout of your website.