Don’t Be Blindfold When Following Trends #Infographic

Unfortunately, a trendy website is not a synonym of efficient and user-friendly one. When choosing fashionable trends for your design, be ready that they can play not to your favor. Your website may turn out to be absolutely not usable. Most trends are OK when not overused and don’t harm the user experience.

What trends should you apply with caution? What is so dangerous about them? Are there any ways to escape the risk? Just read on and you’ll find the answers to the above questions. All of them were written by TemplateMonster’s web design and marketing pros. For those who don’t know, TemplateMonster is a marketplace offering an array of digital products that are able to meet any tastes and requirements.

Please bear in mind that you should use trends wisely. A trend is not a guarantee of good UX. Without user convenience in mind, even the most gorgeous site is doomed to failure. Meanwhile, the number of cool trends is constantly growing. Every year brings new rules and tendencies in visual design niche. It seems to you that they can power up your online business. However, this happens only if you use them smartly.

Follow these golden rules to implement web design trends correctly.

  • never overuse them;
  • always ask yourself if your users really need this or that design element;
  • make sure that a trend is relevant in your context.

The infographic you see below demonstrates the riskiest trends and tells about their pleasures & drawbacks. How can you benefit from it? You will get to know the tips to avoid all those risks, besides, you will be able to get a trendy website without compromising UX.

Glaring Colors

Color psychology is one of the key elements when it comes to engaging the users. Bright, vibrant colors energize the layout while pastel hues create a relaxing atmosphere. Does your business require a site designed in bright colors? Then make sure that you use them sensibly.

Possible risks

  • sometimes loud colors work as bright flashes and the website becomes uncomfortable for visitors’ eyes;
  • when used close to the text, bright colors cause poor readability.

Tips to avoid them

  • balance bright colors with dark or neutral tones;
  • use them selectively: to draw attention, guide the user’s eyes;
  • avoid using bright colors as the main background;
  • avoid using bright colors near the main text body.

Tiny Details

Decorative elements like geometric shapes, patterns, lines, circles make layouts more interesting to view. It’s better to use them to point out, separate or balance the text. Otherwise, these decorations will look as a digital noise.

Possible risks

  • decorative elements can compete with the main navigation or text.

Tips to avoid them

  • use decorative elements against the monochrome background;
  • implement them on minimalist layouts;
  • make sure they don’t hinder readability.

Animation

Rich animated UI is a hot current trend. Moving full-screen images, as well as small hover effects, add dynamics to a website, but this doesn’t mean that it’s OK to overuse them. If there are too many animated effects on your website it becomes heavier, website’s loading speed slows down, which makes both users and Google mad.

Possible risks

  • increased time till the website becomes available for interaction;
  • animated effects often distract the users;
  • they sometimes confuse them.

Tips to avoid them

  • make animations subtle;
  • don’t allow animations confuse the users;
  • make sure that your animations are smooth, not jumpy or mechanical;
  • the animations should be fast;
  • don’t mix up too many effects;
  • don’t congest your site with animation.

Parallax

Users like parallax. They find it more fun. But parallax should be used with great taste. What does this mean? This means that the number of floating elements should be reasonable in order not to cause a motion sickness.

Possible risks

  • parallax can disorient the users;
  • parallax is more mobile than web-oriented;
  • it is not SEO-friendly at all;
  • parallax is slow to load.

Tips to avoid them

  • use parallax only when it’s necessary;
  • limit the number of floating elements;
  • use it subtly to highlight small elements (product images/pull quotes);
  • don’t use parallax for wordy content or eCommerce sites.

Alternative Layouts

Uncommon compositions are great and trendy until they bring chaos to your design. Balance irregular layouts with overlapping elements to create well-structured visual hierarchy instead of a messy page.

Possible risks

  • it’s difficult to scan/find the content on alternative layouts;
  • the unconventional layout can turn the design into complete chaos.

Tips to avoid them

  • balance uncommon elements with neat, well-structured blocks;
  • keep grouped elements close to each other;
  • clearly separate text blocks;
  • overlapping elements should be used with contrasting types;
  • don’t use alternative layouts for content-oriented sites.

Petite Typography

Such kind of typography looks stylish and makes the text stand out. As a rule, it is surrounded by negative space. The pro tip is to use it sparingly, in short paragraphs in order not to make the users strain their eyes.

Possible risks

  • petite typography negatively affects readability;
  • it can be lost on the page.

Tips to avoid them

  • surround your petite typography paragraphs with negative space;
  • make it noticeable with the help of a contrast between colors/images;
  • the typography size should not be less than 13pt.

Unusual Navigation

Experiments with navigation are great solutions for low content sites. They can bring creative interactions. If you opt for such type of navigation, make sure that it is clear, perfectly-linked and user-friendly.

Possible risks

  • unusual navigation can mislead the user.

Tips to avoid them

  • your navigation should be intuitive;
  • it should be accessible from every page;
  • uncommon navigation is best for small or medium sites.

Stock Photos

Stock photos don’t work anymore. They are used on hundreds of your competitors’ sites, remind ads and look amateur. Our advice is to forget about stock photos and go for real ones. Most shoppers consider custom photos more trustworthy.

Possible risks

  • stock photos create a bad reputation for your website;
  • they don’t look real;
  • they don’t stir emotions;
  • they don’t engage the visitors.

Tips to avoid them

  • choose stock imagery of high quality;
  • make your artistic edits;
  • try to avoid stock imagery.

Infinite Scrolling

This is a good practice for various galleries and shops but can turn into a usability nightmare when is not properly done. The user feels disoriented when doesn’t see his current location on the site and when he is not provided with navigation options to move forward.

Possible risks

  • can be disorienting;
  • is bad for page load time.

Tips to avoid them

  • suggest call-to-actions and tooltips emphasize navigation options;
  • think about offering a sticky footer, menu;
  • infinite scroll is best for social media sites, blogs, and shops;
  • avoid websites that are actually endless.

Pop-ups

We are all tired of the aggressive pop-ups. During the last year, they have turned into one of the most-hated UI elements. Properly designed, they show good conversion, but they irritate the visitors. It’s really hard to display enough information in the pop-up without distracting the users.

Possible risks

  • popups bring zero level of engagement;
  • they are too aggressive;
  • popups may increase bounce rate.

Tips to avoid them

  • make your popups as non-intrusive as possible;
  • make them simple, distinctive, and valuable;
  • keep in mind popup timing and position;
  • don’t use entry pop-ups;
  • don’t ask for contact details;
  • carry out A/B tests to find out how to communicate with users best.

Hamburger

Hamburger menus have been originally designed for the mobile interfaces, so should be wisely applied on desktops. Hidden menu is hard to discover, especially if the user is not familiar with this icon. People spend valuable time on searching this type of menu on the page, which is far from perfect for user experience.

Possible risks

  • hamburger menus are sometimes hard to discover;
  • they are confusing when have too many options inside.

Tips to avoid them

  • use an icon that is easy to recognize;
  • try to put menu into focus;
  • test your website in different browsers to make sure that your hamburger icon is displayed correctly.

Video Background

Background with moving visuals is engaging but makes it tough to read and digest the content placed above. Besides, it affects the site load time. Showcasing the products of your company and telling its story, mind the length of the video and readability of the content.

Possible risks

  • bad readability of your content;
  • endless videos;
  • no control buttons available;
  • videos make sites heavy.

Tips to avoid them

  • choose contrasting content color;
  • compress the video as much as it is possible;
  • use short looping videos;
  • avoid annoying audios;
  • provide a pause button.

Takeover

All the trends mentioned above are criticized today. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t  implement them in your designs. But now you know their weak points and you can easily reduce these negative effects. It’s always up to you to choose which trend to use and how to implement it in your design. The most important thing you must remember is that user experience is the major factor that can never be sacrificed for the sake of the fancy look.