Your Website Looks Outdated Because

Clip art – no longer a thing to do

Here is a summary of a dozen web design trends that are thought to be “outdated” in 2020 according to Web Design Relief.

Clip Art: Instead take original photos (even with your phone), purchase stock photos, or hire a freelance artist to create custom artwork.

Multiple Font Combinations: A mix of serif, sans serif, and decorative fonts looks busy and amateurish. Instead, stay with one font or font family.

Infinite Scrolling: This recent trend of having one multi-leveled page burned out quickly. there is value to having distinct pages (for linking, printing and other reasosn). The trend came because of mobile devices but can lead to slower loading time and cause visitors to give up on scrolling and never see the bottom content.

Autoplay: Users like control.

Separate Locations for main website content and mobile sites and blogs. An all-in-one website is more efficient and establishes a stronger brand identity.

Widgets: helpful, but can make it harder to navigate and can interfere with its functionality.

Splash Pages with a a logo, image, or message that launches your website but without content can cause visitors to leave before they even see your content.

Color Palettes with too many colors or even monochromatic (black and white and others).

Animations: are often not mobile-friendly and they just look old.

Default Themes are a good starting place but you don’t want your site to look like other sites (especially in your industry). A custom website is more expensive but a good designer can also hack a default theme to make it look more unique.

Contact: Giving out your email is a security risk and invites spam, so the newer trend is to use a contact form.

Customized Cursors And Scroll Bars that look like objects were a trend 20 years ago. Stick to the ones everyone is used to seeing..

Web Design for Non-Designers

Not everyone needs a web designer to design their website. There are many personal websites that can be built and maintained by individuals who are not trained in web design.

The caveat to that statement is that if your site is for a business or requires an online store, credit card handling and other more sophisticated tools, you would be wise to hire an experienced designer to build it and possibly to maintain it.

For the non-designer creating a website, WordPress offers this good infographic starter along with an article of explanation.

These 8 design dos and don’ts will help you create a site that looks good and is functional.

Use hierarchy to order content sounds so obvious – put the first information that you want people to read first. But that’s not as easy on a webpage as it is on a document. Position, font types, sizes, colors, headings and subheadings affect viewers’ attention.

Limit fonts and colors  Rule of thumb: use a maximum of three colors in your site design. Rule of thumb 2: use fonts in the same family (Arial, Times, Courier)

Consider legibility/readability and (not mentioned in the article) accessibility. A highly decorative font (Curlz MT) can hurt any viewer’s ability to quickly read, and many colors of text (especially on colored backgrounds) can be hard to read or even “invisible” to people with vision problems.

(even if it looks nice with your theme). Be sure to periodically take a step back and consider the legibility of your design.

The article’s “Don’ts” can also be seen as things to do. Don’t forget about images is do use images wisely. Some basic photo-editing skills (cropping, resizing, exposures) are definitely required.

Don’t be afraid to experiment  Every website is “under construction” to some degree. In, you can easily try new themes, change your header, or play with the color scheme. You may want to give the site a fresh look periodically without really changing the content.

I agree that you shouldn’t prioritize aesthetics at the expense of functionality, and that feedback from users or friends or other people working with websites is important. Keep an open mind. No matter how much you like a design feature, if users have a problem with it, change it. 

You don’t need to be a UX expert to know that if people have trouble finding a section of your site, then the navigation needs some revision.