Technology changes weekly, and every year new web design trends emerge. What was once the norm dictating the decisions of web designers can quickly become obsolete and eventually regarded as ghosts of the past. When these design trends are used, it can lead to a poor first impression that can make all the difference between a visitor taking action on the site or hitting the back button to head to a competitor. In fact, according to web design statistics, 94 percent of first impressions are related to a site’s design.
If your site contains one or more of these design trends, it’s probably time to take advantage of web design services.
Unrealistic ‘Bad’ Stock Photos
There isn’t anything that’s necessarily “bad” about using stock photos. Many companies don’t have the budgets to hire a photographer and create their own, making stock photos a viable option. There was a time when cheesy stock photos seemed to be all the rage, and you can still find them all over the Internet, but that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. Most fall in the “not great but not too bad” range, and a small percentage of truly outstanding. However, that photo with two people shaking hands in a brightly lit conference room isn’t. It doesn’t signal trust like so many think it does, nor does that woman who looks like a mannequin with an obviously fake smile holding out her hand do the trick. In fact, it indicated the opposite of trust, making viewers think you’re trying way too hard to convey the image with nothing solid to back it up. And that common photo with a guy and his laptop, working on the edge of a cliff? What’s that all about, and is anyone really going to climb that high just to work?
While you might think your site looks cool with homepage sliders, most users quickly head elsewhere when they’re encountered as it makes it harder to focus and feels overwhelming. It’s not going to help convert visitors into clients.
Lots of Flash and Animation
Animated buttons and fancy flash menus were once seen all over the web, used as designers felt “animated” and “flashy” equaled more engaging. But it negatively impacts the site’s SEO as crawling flash files is virtually impossible for search engines. It means poor loading times, and it isn’t mobile-friendly either.
While vertical sidebars weren’t once popular for subpage navigation, due to the overuse of banner ads, users mostly ignore them, which makes them inefficient today. It’s always best to go with horizontal navigation and sub-navigation or at least limit the use of a sidebar to your blog page for displaying related posts leading visitors to different categories.
Fewer websites have background audio, and even fweer have autoplay audio, but there are more than a few that have videos that automatically play or ads with audio that make for a poor user experience. Visitors want to be able to take control of when and if they start.
People have been losing trust in big brand names and are more often seeking out businesses with real people rather than faceless corporations. That’s why you don’t want to make your website look overly corporate. While it should have a professional feel, consider adding some more personal touches. Additionally, the copywriting shouldn’t be filled with technical jargon viewers won’t understand, even if you’ve been working in your field for decades.