If popular designs trends ever moved from one home to another, you know how difficult it can be to get rid of things you’ve owned for years. While digging through your closet, you find an old pair of pants you used to wear all the time despite the growing holes in the knees. But you tell yourself, “Maybe I’ll wear them around the house when it gets warmer” or “I bet the grunge look will come back in style”.

Similar to how your clothes may become outdated or your appliances obsolete over time, the same thing happens with design and development trends. Rather than hold onto techniques that no longer serve you and only add more to your workload, it’s a much better idea to clear them out and make the way for modern trends that’ll have a greater impact.

Five Design Trends Which Should Not Be Used Anymore:

 1. CHEESY STOCK PHOTOS: There’s nothing inherently bad about using stock photos. Many clients don’t have the budgets or wherewithal to create their own company photos and stock photos are a viable alternative.

That said, there was a time when “bad” (i.e. super cheesy and unrealistic) stock photos were all the rage. Even today, you’ll find websites that use these kinds of photos because there’s still an assumption that two people shaking hands in a well-lit conference room signals trust. (It doesn’t.)

2. HERO SLIDERS: Image slider technology was pretty great in its heyday. It allowed web designers to conserve space while displaying a number of promotional offers at once. In addition to sliders often slowing down page speeds, they also have a tendency to slow users down as they distract them from moving onto other parts of a website.

3. AUTOPLAY: It’s not common to find websites with background audio, let alone auto-play audio, these days. That said, what you do occasionally find are websites that automatically play videos or ads with audio. Needless to say, this needs to stop. If your video (or audio) players don’t allow your visitors to take control of when they start, change that up now.

4. THE 3-CLICK RULE: Over the years, web designers have looked for ways to decrease friction in the user experience. The three-click the rule was meant to be one of the ways to do this. 

Rather than minimize for minimization’s sake, consider the complexity of the task or funnel you’re designing when determining the number of steps.

5. (EXTERNAL) LINKS THAT OPEN IN THE SAME TAB: There are a number of reasons to add links to your content: for navigational purposes, promotional purposes, and referential purposes. But when you add a hyperlink to your text, consider the following: 

Is it okay if the link directs visitors to a page in this same browser tab?

External links, for instance, should always open in a new browser tab. Your goal in designing a website is to get more visitors to convert. Letting an external link replace your website in the open tab will only decrease the chances of that happening. In some cases, internal links shouldn’t be opened in the same tab either. So, be sure to think about this the next time you add a link to your site.

Summing Up:

It’s easy to get wrapped up in what the next big thing is in web design — AR tech, typography Popular Designs Trends, colour gradients, etc. But what about all of those trends and techniques that have become a habit over the years?

Rather than hold onto outdated design strategies that will only hinder your progress as a web designer and hold your clients’ websites back, start shedding these obsolete (or soon-to-be obsolete) practices now.

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