5 Out of Date Web Design Practices and the Better Alternatives

discovering web design as a team
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    Your website is a visual representation of your company.

    First impressions matter, and you only have a few seconds to make a positive one. You have about 10 seconds to make a great first impression with your website, which is important because 75% of people say website design is the number one factor in determining a brand’s credibility.

    Ouch. This can really hurt if you’re stuck in a web design rut. Unfortunately, you might be turning off visitors without even realizing it. Preferences and web design trends are constantly changing, and what might have been a killer design just a couple of years ago could easily be stale today.

    Are “stale” and “outdated” words you want to be associated with your brand? So it’s time to take a long, hard look at your web design, and discover which outdated web practices you might be guilty of and how to solve the problem.

    It’s important to do this even if you’re convinced that your site is already awesome. Let’s face it, nobody is perfect and sometimes even a small change can make a powerful impact.

    Here are five web design practices that are growing old, and the alternatives that will instantly perk up your site.

    You Haven’t Invested in Mobile-Friendly Design

    Once upon a time, it didn’t matter if you had a mobile-friendly site, but those days are far in the past. Today, a mobile-friendly design isn’t just a good idea; it’s a necessity.

    Let’s begin by talking about Google. Google is the superpower that we all have to accommodate when promoting our brands in the digital world. If you want to be found, what Google says matters, and right now they’re talking a lot about mobile-first indexing.

    Mobile-first indexing means that Google is going to crawl and analyze mobile sites before heading to those that aren’t mobile-friendly. If you don’t have a mobile-friendly web design, expect to be left in the dust.

    The user experience is another huge deal to Google, and mobile accessibility is a significant player in this. Mobile design is so important that 57% of users say that wouldn’t recommend a business with a poorly designed mobile site.

    The solution? Jump on the mobile bandwagon right now. Invest in a responsive design that allows your website to be accessed and viewed seamlessly across any device, including mobile.

    Your Website is All About Being Calm and Subdued

    Ok, there’s a lot that can be said for clean web design, and this isn’t necessarily a hit against neutral, clean sites. The thing is that so many brands are doing it that after a while, every website a user visits starts to look the same. How are you going to stand out when you look just like everyone else?

    other website examples

    Clean design that’s easy on the eyes is still essential, but a splash of color is a welcome and refreshing change. Look at this example. The design is still perfect and straightforward, but the contrast of color instantly makes it visually exciting and memorable.

    Systemic Symmetry

    We’ve all seen sites where everything is placed in a perfectly symmetrical fashion. The entire section is balanced and beautiful.

    website example

    This looks nice on the surface, but it adds nothing of value to your site, at least not anymore. During the past few years, as we’ve all been adapting to mobile design, symmetry was beautiful because it made it easy to learn where everything was.

    Now, that we’ve grown accustomed to site layout and navigation, it’s time for website design to mature.

    Playing around with layouts and using graphic design elements that are a little off-center will keep your site looking fresh and relevant. We tend to follow a specific visual path, and believe it or not; it isn’t straight down. Instead, our eyes roam around the page in a side to side or circular path. Asymmetry provides a nice visual flow and instantly elevates the design.

    The top of the page is perfectly symmetrical. But notice how the prominent piece of jewelry is placed off-center. The contrasting color elements are also asymmetrical but only add more visual appeal to the page.

    You Aren’t Leveraging Video Content

    High performing websites are no longer static pages, filled with bland stock photography. They’re becoming more engaging and interactive. One tool that’s proven to be an insanely useful element on web pages is video. In fact, just one video on a landing page will increase conversions by 80%.

    That’s a lot of revenue you might be missing out on if you aren’t using video on your web pages.

    You can quickly change this by adding a video to your website. Use it as a chance to tell the audience about your brand, or your signature product. Just 1ome minute of video is worth more words than you can imagine.

    You’re Overly Invested in Flat Web Design

    Flat web design is style defined by a more simplistic design and absence of specific design elements, especially those that appear to be realistic or 3-dimensional.

    Here’s the thing about flat web design. A lot of designers are going to say it isn’t going anywhere. Users love the look of the flat design, and that isn’t changing. The problem is that while it might look nice, flat design doesn’t always provide the best user experience.

    One study in 2017 showed that ultra-flat designs took 22% longer to navigate. This is a real problem.

    flat website design

    The solution is to start reconsidering the value of flat design and making sure that we’re testing and measuring for UX with every plan.

    The Solution for a High Performing Modern Website

    You don’t need to figure all this out on your own, that’s what our web design agency is here for. When you’re ready to look at how to bring your site design into the future, we’re prepared to roll up our sleeves. Contact the digital marketing team here at Direction Inc. to learn more about how we can create a dazzling, up-to-date website design for your business.

    About The Author:

    Chris Kirksey

    Chris Kirksey

    Chris Kirksey is the CEO of Direction, a digital marketing agency reflecting the culmination of a 15+ year obsession with digital marketing. It all started with an eBay business at 9 years old, then transitioning from domain investing and website building. After a 6-year US Army career leading intelligence collection teams both in the US and overseas, Chris now brings a sophisticated approach from cryptologic language and adversary data intelligence to digital marketing intelligence. His precision and planning of military campaigns, now reflected in digital marketing campaigns, have proven successful for clients in industries ranging from law firms to technology startups.