Website trends and when to use them (or not)

We interact with a lot of websites in our day-to-day life. The internet and websites are always evolving and changing, creating peaks in certain styles or effects. We know them as trends! When we start to recognize a similar theme across different websites we see, we can identify a popular website trend. However, these trends can either help or hinder a website. Let’s take a look at a few website trends and when to use them (or not).

Parallax

You’ve probably encountered parallax on a website before and not known what it is called. When different layers of text or images move at different rates as you scroll down the screen, we call that a parallax effect. Sometimes it’s whole background images, sometimes it’s just separate objects. Parallax isn’t inherently harmful to your site, but it could be. Usually, the code required to make the effect is just a few lines (and there’s a few different ways to do it, too). However, the more layers you stack on top of each other, the more “thinking” the browser has to do to move those layers in real-time for you as you scroll down. Additionally, each layer is another image the browser has to “serve up” for you, increasing load times if those images are large. Make sure your images are optimized and you use a small number of layers for best results.

Colors and Fonts

Well, you probably know what colors and fonts are but truth is, they can be extremely trendy when it comes to design. There’s a fine line when it comes to fonts and colors. On one hand, they can be a clear indicator of the date of your site. If you think to even 10 years ago what colors and fonts you might see online, you’ll get a clear picture of what I’m referring to. Updated fonts and colors can really modernize a site and make it look instantly refreshed. On the other hand, it can be tricky to go too trendy when it comes to colors and fonts. Because these design elements can look so specific to a certain year, they can easily not go with your branding or look outdated in a year or two. (Here’s a reminder to tell you that if your logo is from the 1990s it’s probably time for a rebranding session).

Dimensions

Trends for website design have cycled through several different iterations of UI design. We talk about UI design in terms of the shape and treatment of objects we interact with on a site such as boxes, buttons, links, or icons. Flat design has no dimension to it at all, no drop shadows, no layering. A recent trend has been evolving for years and that is the concept of dimension. Dimension is not a new concept but it has recently been applied in different ways. A very fresh take on dimension is to combine it with gradients and graphics for a 3D effect for UI design. These elements seem hyper-realistic and almost jump off the screen when viewing. They also have a lot of rounded corners and hover effects that can make glowing drop shadows change color or pulse. It is true that all of these styling elements take extra lines of code to implement, but they can be achieved in different ways to optimize loading and won’t slow down your site more than anything else you put on it.

Trends can either help you or hinder you. Make sure you’re considering your brand and the message you’re trying to convey on your site before implementation. We’re always here to help. Do you need a website refresh and think a website trend could work for you? We’re here to chat ideas and strategies as always.

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