It’s not a secret that you should keep the design of your website up to date to be able to beat the competition on the online market. When launching or updating your website, you should necessarily check for what web design trends are currently rocking to see, which ones let you make it to the top.
In this article, I’ll intimate 7 web design trends that you should beware in 2017 as they harbor unexpected pitfalls. Keep in mind: I don’t imply that these web design trends turn out bad for every website, otherwise they wouldn’t be termed as trends. However, you should use them with caution for a number of reasons.
A famous adage says: forewarned is forearmed. Let’s learn what the 7 trends you should beware this year are, and what the reasons to be extra cautious with them are.
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Popups and Floating Elements
Pretty effective to make people do what you want them to do, popups and floating windows can be rather nagging and irksome. Timed inappropriately, popups prevent users from seeing what they want to see and interrupt their smooth browsing experience. The more interruptions, the likelier visitors are to quit the page.
The takeaway lesson here is limiting yourself to just one pop-up per website, be it a newsletter subscription window or some free offer. Make sure it shows up only once a couple of seconds after a user opens a page. Moreover, don’t hide crosses that let users close the window. This is very irritating and turns your pop-up into some kind of spam.
Cinematographics, GIFs, Video Backgrounds
2017 has shown a splurge of inclusion of cinematographics and GIFs to the websites. At the same time, video backgrounds also stick to their guns. Usage of such elements makes your website more dynamic and provides for stronger user engagement. Of course, this is all great. However, the not so obvious drawbacks can’t be eliminated.
GIFs Usage. Although GIFs are great to entertain your website guests or even make them laugh, this kind of animation is way heavier than conventional static images. Moreover, GIFs support only 256 colors and the moving image is often pixelated. So, GIFs do entertain your website guests, but they aren’t always visually appealing. If you don’t need a dark spot that clashes with its environment, think of your GIF choice twice.
I bet this is not a thing you dream of seeing on your website. Too bright, too flashy, too loud. Use GIFs sparingly.
Video Backgrounds. Great to capture attention and create the atmosphere of your website, video backgrounds may distract from main content of your website and appear to be visual noise. If you use a video background, there shouldn’t be too much motion. Remember, this is a BACK-ground and nothing more than this.
One of the WordPress themes by TemplateMonster gives us a rather positive example of how it SHOULD be: the moving picture is not too fast and bright, content displayed over the video background and minimal, readable and matches the color of the logo on the top, CTAs are bright and can’t be missed.
Experimenting with Typography
Bold and creative typography is one of the great tools to make a statement on your website. However, don’t go overboard with it as well. Your website page shouldn’t be a demo of different cool fonts that you’ve found. Always keep in mind that content readability and sleek uniform look of your website page should be your paramount concerns. If you overdo with fonts, this distracts your guests from the message you deliver and ultimately decreases your website’s conversion rate.
If you go for bold typography, make sure it matches the overall design of your website and is appropriate in every particular case.
Hamburger menu is the menu that hides under a single button (often with a menu icon) and unfolds when the button is clicked. Such a menu is a true bounty for small screens as it saves space on the screen and opens a large menu panel where every element is easy to click with a finger.
Hamburger menu has won over the hearts of web designers, and some began to incorporate it to desktop versions of the websites as well. Of course, the website looks cleaner and sleeker in this case, but usage of hamburger menu dramatically affects discoverability of website pages other than home page. Not every site guest notices the small button on the screen of their PC, fewer actually do click it. So, if you see higher bounce rates after going for a hamburger menu, switch back to the conventional one.
Carousels on Home Page
Carousels may seem a pretty cool interactive element that lets you save space on your website and make it less cluttered. This is truly so. However, the question is whether people are really clicking through those carousels or just scroll the page down after casting a sight on the first carousel element.
There was a study, conducted back in 2013 that showed that just 1% of site visitors actually click through carousels. The number is by no means rousing. If people are after scrolling the page and not after clicking through carousels, are these design elements really worth your effort?
Moreover, carousels are detrimental from SEO standpoint. Having a carousel equals to less information in the body of the page and less content for search engines to discover.
Parallax is now known to everyone, who has some exposure to web design. This big trend has really brought success to many companies as it lets them differ from other websites out there.
What’s wrong with it? A couple of drawbacks are still present and they are:
- It’s about to become trite. People are getting used to Parallax effect and it appears to be not that exiting.
- Mobile screens. Parallax effect is hardly impressive on mobile screens and oftentimes hinders content readability.
Infinite Scroll: Chasing the Footer
I’m kind of puzzled, when I see websites that both have a footer and employ infinite scroll. Just imagine the situation: I scroll down the page with the list of items, see website footer and want to get to some other website page with one of the links there. In this very moment the website loads 20 more items and footer is away from my sight. Pretty sad, I’d say.
To avoid such a confusion, double-think whether you really need endless scroll. If you do, then turn off your website footer on the pages with infinite scroll.
Moderation in all things is a worthy principle. You don’t need to jump on the bandwagon and go for every web design fad that’s out there. Now you know some the pitfalls of modern trends and will be able to use these trends wisely.
Are there any other website trends with shady reputation that you know about? Share your thoughts and considerations in the Comments section below.