Have you ever looked at pictures of people from the 1990s and wondered, “what the heck are they wearing?” I think most of us have.
Because fashion trends come and go (and 90s fashion is ridiculous!), right?
Well, it’s no different with web design trends.
As time goes on, new trends make their way into the picture.
And as those new trends roll in, we end up with outdated web design trends that need to make their exit.
Only with web design, the process happens about 10x faster than clothing!
This post is focused on those trends – the outdated web design trends that need a good kick to the curb if you want your designs to appeal to visitors.
1. Image Carousels
Thankfully, carousels are nowhere near as common as they once were.
But you still see them pop up fairly regularly despite carousels having a contingent of detractors who feel strongly enough about the issue to actually create an entire website mocking carousel use.
So why are carousels so bad?
Mainly because no one clicks on them and they make it hard for users to find content.
While carousels with CTAs are at least marginally better than those without, they’re still typically a waste of space.
There’s tons of data that backs this up:
Erik Runyon found that only 1% of people clicked on ND.edu’s carousel.
With most of those clicks going to the first slide.
Nielsen Norman Group found that, even when a user was looking for a specific piece of content, they couldn’t find it because of an auto-forwarding carousel.
Wider Funnel found that carousels just plain don’t convert.
They’re distracting, confuse users, and don’t convert.
And for those reasons, carousels are a bad design decision for the vast majority of websites.
2. Parallax Scrolling for Everything
Parallax scrolling is one of those things that is great in the hands of professionals but should never have been made accessible to anyone else.
Whereas it was once used tastefully to enhance designs and add depth, now it’s a standard feature of most WordPress themes.
And that means it gets abused.
So when is parallax a good idea?
A study in the Journal of Usability Studies found that users find a site with parallax to be “more fun,” which makes parallax ideal for lighter websites.
But at the same time, some participants in the study experienced “significant usability issues” as a result of motion sickness.
Parallax doesn’t need to completely go away, but it does require a healthy dose of restraint.