5 Terrible Web Design Trends That Need To Die

By August 22, 2017Design

Working in web design and development in Iowa I get to see a lot of interesting things when it comes to websites that need serious work. A lot of which are just dated websites with dated layouts, and terrible user experiences due to something just outright annoying. So here a few web design trends that need to die.

1: Autoplaying Music & Video


Nothing screams “leave this website” like a sound suddenly blasting through your speakers as you begin to load a page. Whenever something like this is asked about, I often recommend that you do not do it. Think of it this way, say it’s very late at night and you’re in bed with your significant other. You can’t sleep so you’re browsing the web on your phone or laptop looking for something. You begin to load a web page and lo and behold you have your volume turned up all the way and suddenly the web page is blasting music or auto-playing a video. You hit the back button faster than the flash but it’s too late, you have woken up aforementioned significant other. If you want media on your site; you should instead give your users the option to play it if they would like. This will keep your bounce rates low and keep you from causing an awkward situation when you’re browsing in a quiet place.

2: Websites Laid Out With Tables

I am actually surprised I still run into these; usually on really old websites or sites that were built on an old platform. Tables are meant to do one thing and one thing only: Organize data! Someone out of their mind decided that they should make it so the tables would have the ability to have an invisible border, and this spawned the to use tables as a tool for layouts. The reason why this is a horrible idea is typically these sites are not mobile-friendly and therefore mobile users are likely to just leave the site. You need to have a website that provides a great experience to mobile users (responsive design should be standard these days). In fact, this is so important that its worth mentioning mobile internet users surpassed desktops. That is very important fact, which brings me onto my next point.


3: Websites That Were Designed In Flash

This is another one that is related to mobile but also is as old as dust. It’s worth mentioning that most smartphones these days do not run flash. Not only that but Adobe themselves announced that they will no longer be supporting it. Hence it will become deprecated. The reason being is because modern web technologies like HTML5, CSS3, and Javascript are replacing it. Yes, Flash used to be awesome for displaying cool animations but these days it’s dated and easier to replace with lightweight alternatives. Another painful reality about Flash is the fact that many dated websites are still vulnerable to attack from a security hole Adobe patched years ago. Reason being is these Flash sites are probably still Flash sites because they have yet to be updated.

4: Way Too Many Gifs



Ok, gifs are awesome when you need to describe what you have to say on social media, and they are really making a comeback. However, a million animated gifs on one page is a terrible idea. Not only does it look horrible, but it distracts the visitors from the main content on the website. Assuming they didn’t smash the back button already. You can already assume that this can hurt the effectiveness of the site. Yes, websites like this do still, unfortunately, exist.



5: Sites With Separate Mobile Versions

Alright so you guys might burn me at the stake for this but I think we should evolve past having 2 separate websites. Us programmers have a few acronyms for when we do work. Some of them are KISS (Keep it simple stupid), YAGNI (You Ain’t Gonna Need It), and finally, DRY (Don’t Repeat Yourself). Why would you have two versions of a website if you could just simply make a single mobile-friendly version? There is no point in developing what is essentially two websites. I consider it to be inefficient and of course, breaks the DRY principle. You are indeed, repeating yourself with two sites.

Overall when you go to make a site you need to keep a few things in mind. User experience, design, and effectiveness. Those are the basics. Not all sites are future proof and many go neglected. Don’t let your site be one of those. Take care of your site with one of our care plans.


Ervin Sabic

Author Ervin Sabic

Lead developer and president at GearSite.

More posts by Ervin Sabic

Join the discussion 2 Comments

  • Fingerprint says:

    Thanks for the great tips! I do have a question however
    that I think you could probably answer. I was wondering,
    Do web development freelancers host the website
    and database locally while they’re making the website?
    Or is it better to host it live? Any insight would be greatly

    • Ervin Sabic says:

      Hi Fingerprint! Thanks for the question!

      There are a couple of things that could determine whether or not you would want to host the site locally or do development live. Both of which also have several options available to streamline your development process. One of these factors would be if you are working with a team or on your own. If you are working with a team you have the option of configuring it on your server but not pointing the domain towards the site. That way it is not technically live but still accessible if you modify your hosts file on your machine. Another option if the site happens to be running WordPress would be to install the “All In One WP Security plugin” from here. This plugin has an option in it called “Maintenance” that allows you to hide the website from everyone except for admins on the website. That way you can configure your domain name as well and get an easier deployment down the road when you’re done putting the site together.

      If you are working on your own then it might be easier to host the site locally. That way you can develop anywhere you want which is convenient if you want to go to your favorite coffee shop and write some code. Maybe even a park. Not only that but you have quick and easy access to the files via your file system without having to go through an intermediary like FTP or SFTP.

      What we do is we have a local server here that we host work in progress projects on that we connect to via our hosts files. That way we can get as close to our production environment as possible. So its like the best of both worlds although you can’t take it to a coffee shop. So it’s like the first idea of hosting it on a development server. But ours is local to our network so our team can work on the sites.


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