As is the case in the worlds of fashion, food and furniture, trends in the digital realm come and go. Whilst some are clearly destined to be short-lived (automatic audio thankfully disappeared a while back), others seem fine until we take a step back and realise that they’ve become clunky, annoying and downright ugly. Here are five such trends that many websites still include; if any apply to your own, it’s time to take a long hard look at your website.
Flash intros and splash pages
A few years ago Flash intros could be found on all kinds of websites, from production houses to law firms. However, web users no longer have the time or patience to sit through an opening introduction before being allowed to access the all-important content. Even if it’s only a few seconds long, it is now simply unacceptable. The same goes for splash pages, also designed in Flash and pretty much devoid of content, instead subjecting the visitor to an unnecessary call to action such as “enter here”. If someone is visiting your website, they want to find information quickly and easily, so forget about all the unnecessary animations and give them what they need.
If you visit a website on your mobile, iPad or tablet and it loads the full web version, chances are your user experience will be diminished, as it will display a tiny version of the website that requires the user to zoom into just to navigate to the content they require. A website should automatically respond to the device that is being used to view it, fitting perfectly to the screen, realigning content, providing an easily accessible navigation menu, and making the visit run smoothly from start to finish.
Cheesy stock images
You know the type we’re talking about. Perfect families in non-branded clothing walking along a beach; inexplicably happy employees in the middle of a meeting; close-up 3D illustrations of clocks, graphs and arrows, which are usually blue; or if you work in the industrial sector, people in hard hats pointing at something out of shot whilst holding schematics of something that doesn’t really exist. No one believes that these images represent your company, so instead you should choose something unique, creative and honest. If you can’t find anything, invest in a photoshoot.
Did you know that Vividfish is a digital marketing agency based in Hull and Sheffield that provides inbound marketing campaigns through Growth Driven Design for websites, online marketing, SEO, social media, video and a host of online techniques to drive sales leads to you, operating across the UK, including Leeds, Manchester, London, Edinburgh, Glasgow and London? Yes, you probably did, but you didn’t find out from web copy that’s stuffed with keywords, geo tags and repetitive sentences that say very little about the actual detail. If you want visitors to get a true feel for what you do, explain it to them with well-written copy that works with SEO, not for it.
Times New Roman: yawn! Comic Sans: are you serious? This is the digital age, so stop using fonts that were already boring and overused twenty years ago. Having said that, it doesn’t mean that you need to use a font that no one else uses, or one that’s overly flamboyant; in fact, the simpler the better, as readability and compatibility are crucial. Nor should it become a font-fest, with several fonts that don’t match and make the site confusing. Choosing the right font is a skill and can make or break a website.
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