We’ve all heard the phrase “the world is your oyster” before. In a way that can be adopted into web design as well. However it’s possible to go overboard with the infinite possibilities when it comes to web design. Here are five outdated website trends you should avoid when designing your website:

  1. Lame Stock Photos
  2. Aggressive Pop-Ups
  3. Too Many Widgets
  4. Skeuomorphic Design
  5. Too Many Fonts

1. Lame Stock Photos

5 Outdated Website Trends You Should Avoid - Spark Sites

As a rule of thumb, if you have your own photos to use for your business, you should always try to use those first before you start your stock photo hunt. Having your own photos makes your website more personal as it will actually be your product, shop, clients, employees, etc. Obvious stock photos of women on headsets or people reading text books in primary colored tee shirts will put your user in a time capsule and send them right back to the 1990s. If you don’t have your own photos to use for your website and you have to use stock, we suggest finding your stock photography on sites like Unsplash or Pexels. These sites offer license-free photography that is high-quality and not staged. We also highly suggest hiring a photographer to take high-res photos for your website. Our own Jenna Adams of Jenna Nicole Photography is who we always suggest to take photos for your business!

2. Aggressive Pop Ups

When a user is on your website, chances are they aren’t surfing the web for leisure. More than likely they’re on a specific mission to gain knowledge about something. We’ve all experienced it before: landing on a webpage on a mission for what we’re trying to find out and our user experience is interrupted by a pesky pop-up ad. It’s okay to try to gain emails or other information from your users, but there’s better ways to go about it than aggressively shoving a pop-up in your user’s face. Instead, add a call to action module somewhere on your side that allows users to subscribe.

3. Too Many Widgets are the Worst

We know, WordPress is really cool and offers a plethora of widget options for your website. However, just because the widgets are there doesn’t mean you have to use them all. Don’t mistake what we’re saying, widgets are a great thing… in moderation. Think practically about the kinds of widgets your business needs to make more sales and get more clients. Don’t use widgets that won’t accomplish this mission, they instead will bog your site down.

4. Skeuomorphic Design is Messy

5 Outdated Website Trends You Should Avoid - Spark Sites

Sure Apple is cool and often on their A-game when it comes to design, but nobody’s perfect and that includes Steve Jobs. Skeuomorphic design is the use of icons and such that look like real life objects. You know, early iPhone graphics. While this might have been cool when Apple first came on the scene, it surly isn’t anymore (even Apple wised up eventually). Skeuomorphic design is messy because it breaks the continuity of your brand. You lose control of colors and formatting when you use skeuomorphic design. Flat or line icons are much more practical and clean and allow for easier customization to ensure your brand is being represented throughout your design.

5. Using a lot of Fonts is NOT COOL

5 Outdated Website Trends You Should Avoid - Spark Sites

We saved this one for last because it’s a mistake we see often, but is so easy to fix. Thanks to sites like dafont.com and 1001fonts.com its easy to have free access to an endless amount of fonts. There’s a lot of designers out there who create beautiful fonts for you too choose from. However, just like your mom wouldn’t let you have all the candy in the candy shop as a kid, you can’t have all the “pretty fonts” on your website. When you have font designated for every heading, body copy, menu links, footer text, etc. it gets cluttery and confusing for your user. We suggest picking a font for all your headers and then a different font for your body text. Pick a font that is clean and easy to read. This doesn’t mean fonts like Comic Sans, Papyrus or Bleeding Cowboy… talk about transporting your user back to the 1990s!

If you can avoid these 5 outdated web design trends then chances are you’re on your way to creating a sleek, clean website with an awesome interface for your users. If you ever need help in deciding what design elements you want to include for your site, contact us! We’d be happy to guide you in designing a website any user would love to see.