Avoid These Website Fads Before Your Next Redesign

June 12, 2018 0 Comments Han Lee

Feeling like your website is outdated? Not sure which website trends to follow and which ones to avoid? Let's take a few minutes to go over a few website fads to avoid before your next redesign. We'll look at website trends and graphic design trends that could end up leaving you with an outdated website.

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Too Much JavaScript

close-up-code-coding-239898You can't watch Netflix without it. You can't use an online spreadsheet or watch videos online on certain platforms either. JavaScript is an essential part of the modern web. Too much of it though, can be a network overhead nightmare. Users with older web browsers and computers are especially vulnerable because of the loading of intensive scripts. So, it's important to know the demographic of your users, and scale back by minifying your JavaScript code if possible. Also, mobile devices struggle with loading JavaScript. There are ways to deliver content with HTML5 and CSS that are going to load quicker than JavaScript files. The next time you are ready to revamp your web design, try to use JavaScript for functions that cannot be done in some other manner.


Another fading website trend that we should address are popups, not necessarily the use of popups but the over use of them. Popups are used to alert site visitors about special offers or to encourage them to sign up for an e-mail list, and e-mail is still one of the more profitable communication channels when it comes to online marketing. 

brand-computer-desk-67112Since 2017, Google started penalizing sites that use popups that are intrusive. Popups do contribute to conversion rates, but they do little to provide a good mobile user experience. What is not penalized, however, are popups that don’t take up more than 15 percent of the screen, popups that don’t display as soon as a visitor enters a site, and popups that are timed to go away after a few seconds without the user having to close it on their own.  When you have too many annoying popups, you have an outdated website.

Too Many Fonts

The use of too many fonts makes a site look unstructured. Tone things down by using less fonts. Usually, two to three should be fine in most cases. Other things to consider are readability of text. It’s better to use standard fonts because they are easier to read. Line lengths should not be too long. Too many characters on each line hurt readability. Try to keep characters per line to around 60, and around 30 to 40 for mobile only sites. Lines that are too short can hurt readability as well. If the body text is too narrow, the reader’s eyes will have to travel back and forth a lot, and this may lose the reader’s focus. Body text is that too wide can also cause a reader to lose focus. 

Typefaces that display well in different sizes are important. Your content will be viewed through mobile and desktop devices with varying screen sizes. Fonts with cursive do not show well on smaller mobile screens. Proper spacing between lines of text and not using all caps are both good practices to ensure readability. Good typography should complement the content on your site and not distract visitors from it.

Still Using Flash

book-computer-design-326424An outdated website trend that has not gone completely gone away is the use of Flash plugins. Two years ago, Google gave users of their browser the option to turn off the Flash plugin when visiting a site. If your web design still relies heavily on Flash, then visitors of your site may not be able to see your content. There is also a growing lack of device support, especially with mobile devices. If you are still using Flash for simple animations, then it may be time to switch to another platform like JavaScript or HTML5. Otherwise, you could be alienating a lot of users with an outdated website that loads slowly and performs poorly.

Parallax Scrolling

bear-business-computer-461497As mentioned before, too much use of JavaScript will slow down your website. With parallax scrolling, there will be heavy use of JavaScript and intensive graphics. Parallax scrolling is a technique that is borrowed from the video game industry. A background image has a fixed position, while other elements or objects on the page move giving the impression of motion of the fixed object. This trend has been in for a few years now, but if you want to avoid this outdated website trend, it’s time to limit the use of parallax scrolling or scrap it altogether. Other disadvantages include the lack of content on your page because parallax scrolling takes so much space on a single page. Search engine bots do not look at images as content when crawling the web.

Cluttered pages

blur-close-up-collage-196655Too much clutter can hurt your web design. It’s not just for the sake of minimalism, but if your visitors have to take extra time to search for what they are looking for on your site because of too much clutter, that can lead to high bounce rates.  Many designers compensate for lack of having a strong brand or logo with excessive imagery that leads to a cluttered web design. The human brain and eyes have to do a lot of work to process images and objects that are viewed on websites. When there is too much information to process, from having too much clutter, the eyes and photoreceptor in the brain must work extra hard to process all of this information. In other words, simpler or minimalistic websites are more appealing to the human brain because there is less work to do to process this information. Having too much clutter may not exactly be a fading website trend, but you still want the best user experience possible.  

We have gone over only a few web design trends and graphic design trends.  Some other fads that are becoming outdated to consider are image carousels, hamburger menu icons on desktops, and floating images. All of these will be covered at some point in the future. Try changing things up a little bit on your site and ensure it  stays current.


CATMEDIA is an award-winning Inc. 500 company based in Atlanta, Georgia. Founded in 1997, the company specializes in advertising, creative services, media production, program management, training, and human resource management. As a Women Owned Small Business (WOSB), CATMEDIA provides world-class customer service and innovative solutions to government and commercial clients. Current CATMEDIA clients include Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Office of Personnel Management (OPM), and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

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Han Lee

About Han Lee

Han is an IT intern at CATMEDIA while pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Information Technology at Georgia Gwinnett College. When he's not working or in class, Han enjoys gaming and reading about all things tech related.

View all posts by Han Lee

Search Engine Optimization (SEO), SEO, Website, Website Design, Wordpress, User Experience, Website Management, writing copy, css

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