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Web Design Trends - TOP 7 outdated elements

With the advent of the mobile era, yesterday’s web design trends have become a disaster for daily users. Even though 60% of total internet access happens on mobiles in 2019 (as per infront webworks), the majority of web designers across the world are in no hurry to leave behind the design techniques that work so effectively on large screens. But what about responsive design? Today, I’ll try look into web design elements, which are outdated and should be archived as soon as in 2020.

1. Password field encryption

According to a popular columnist Julia Blake, one of the most annoying relics of the past, applicable to both wide screen and mobile user experience, is covering one’s password with dots in the password field. I can bet that in 99% of cases, no one is standing behind us while we’re filling out the registration form, which means there is no one to hide our password from.

Of course, when developing a website you should not completely abandon the password encryption option, but in 2020 users should always have the opportunity to use the "Show" button. A great example from MailChimp:

2. Automatic slide show

The once fashionable trend of web design - spontaneously activated slide shows/parallax, today simply annoys users (and web developers too!). It’s been proved that people don’t like when site management gets out of their control. If the content begins to behave unpredictably, a significant part of the audience immediately leaves it. Below is a perfect example. The presence of bright pictures and small text on them causes flickering in the eyes and a desire to close the slider.

For demonstrating discounts and promotions on a purely e-commerce site, the automatic slider will be probably still relevant, but the speed of the pictures’ rotation should be slow so that the user has time to evaluate the information, and the buttons to return to any picture of the slider should be noticeable and understandable.

3. Overloaded slider carousel

Even 3 years ago, carousels were very popular among web designers and web developers and were an essential part of web design. However, due to its anti-mobile nature, such sliders were quickly dragged onto the black list. Carousels do not want to shrink in line with the rest of the responsive design elements. The majority of front-end developers simply hate them, since they are usually randomly cut and cropped, and as a result, the website looks simply horrific on mobile phones and tablets.

In all fairness, we can say that for a simple carousel, which is usually used for e-commerce solutions, the above does not apply. However, in the case of a fancy, custom, 3d carousels things can get really bad really quick.

4. Dropdown menu

The horizontal drop-down menu is another once-popular usability trend, risking getting straight into the blacklist in 2020. This style of navigation is very tricky to adapt to the small touch screen of a mobile device. It takes skills to expand the menu by clicking on the microscopic button, and an even bigger disaster for the mobile user experience is the hover menu, which simply doesn’t work without a mouse.

So, either you create a separate mobile version of the site, or forget about this style of navigation all together.

5. Captcha

Everybody hates captcha, agree? A more repulsive means of protecting a site from spam has not yet been invented. Let’s be honest, CAPTCHA does not protect the website from bots at all and at the same time gives a lot of inconvenience to real users.


6. Online consultant pop-up

Another trend of web development over the past two years has been the window with online consultants, which pops up during the first minute of a user’s stay on the site. By Global UX standards, this is a serious usability error. What question can users possibly ask if they have just come to the website and haven’t even had time to navigate what your company offers?!

World-wide experts recommend using click-through online consultants. Following the instructions of foreign colleagues, you need to create eye-catching support buttons on a side panel. If the user needs a consultant, he will open the chat and ask a question himself, not the other way around. Competent example can be seen below:

Pic 6

7. Deceiving “X” button

I bet all of us have faced cases of “X” button being used for other purposes. Among the modern web solutions (who actually try to care about their users) the most unpleasant example of an incorrect usage of this button is to reduce the web application / page window when you are actually trying to close it. Some extreme scenarios of careless web designers (not so modern web solutions) are when clicking on “X” button leads you to another website, most often some promotional landing page with plethora of spammy pop-ups. Meh.

And what web design trends do you know? Which of them do you think are outdated?