7 Web Design Trends to avoid in 2020

Are you considering a website redesign? Whether you’ve made a large branding update, added new products or services or are just ready for a new, improved website – you’ll want to be up to date on what’s “in” and what’s “out” when it comes to design. Why should you care? Well, there is a reason why trends exist, especially in online marketing. The trends are the things that are currently grabbing attention and as those techniques become super common, it makes them stand out less. You always want your website to stand out to your ideal buyer, so it helps to keep track of what will make them click.

Here are 7 web design trends that you may currently be using or have considered in the past but should stay far away from with your website redesign in 2020!

1. Sliders & Large Images in Your Website Header

When it comes to your homepage, the key is to keep it simple! Many companies want to include a slider on the homepage header in order for them to speak to the visitor about multiple services and products. The slider is filled with buttons for calls to actions that get ignored and scrolled past by the visitor because it’s too much to digest!

A study by Nielsen Norman Group found that, “even when a user was looking for a specific piece of content, they couldn’t find it because of an auto-forwarding carousel.”

Our tip for using images and calls to actions in your website slider is the simpler, the better. A large image is distracting and also confusing for a visitor. It discourages scrolling down to the additional homepage information, which is likely of similar importance. The best practice is to keep the hero image on the top section of the screen but not to fill up the entire space. The size of this area will depend on the goal of your homepage. For example, companies like Spotify and Evernote have websites with singular purposes – to get new subscribers. But if you’re a local small to medium sized business you are typically using your website to inform visitors and may have multiple goals such as contact us, subscribe to the blog or download a guide. 

We recommend using one or two clear calls to action on your header with a concise value proposition about your company. Including an arrow at the bottom of the image to indicate that you are able to scroll down on the page is a great way to increase time on page and engagement with the lower parts of your homepage. 

2. Cluttered Graphics & Unnecessary Design Elements

In 2020, flat design is back! Designers are no longer spending time and effort utilizing larger buttons, 3D elements, gradients and shadows in order to make CTAs stand out. In order to create a fast loading website, utilizing simple two-dimensional illustrations as opposed to heavy, large, graphics. This type of design will increase site speed and decrease the clutter and unnecessary design so users can focus on the important parts of your website and CTAs. 

Using a flat design with clean, bright colors will help grab the attention of visitors and get them to where you want them to go on your website in a simple, undistracted manner. 

3. Unidentifiable Menus & Navigation

Avoid confusion when it comes to your website navigation and again, keep it as simple to navigate as possible. Some websites are even adding back “home” to their top navigation in order to get people to spend more time on your website engaging with content and stop spending time searching for what they need. 

For a while, it was all the rage to include hamburger menus or arrows that indicate a pull out menu on desktop. However, according to the Neilson Norman Group, “Navigation on mobile (whether hidden under a menu or partially visible) takes a larger proportion of the screen space than on the desktop, simply because the screen is smaller. Thus, people are more likely to notice it and use it.” 

4. Lame Stock Photos

Let’s face it – the super basic stock photos were never really “in”, since over a decade ago. In 2020 your website should stay far, far away from the stock photo download of the woman with the headset and the men shaking hands. It’s okay to use stock photos, but make sure they communicate what you’re really trying to say.

Some of the top marketing experts, such as Hubspot, are okay with the use of stock photos if you are doing it correctly. They recommend adding stock photos to the background behind text or other images to pull them deeper into the context of the page and make the photo unique to your brand and content. 

Whenever possible, we recommend using real images, including on blog articles and throughout your website pages. Simply taking a picture with your iPhone can work in most scenarios. Also, spending the effort to hire a photographer for team photos and candids to place throughout your website will show your company’s true authenticity and personality.

5. Crowded Content & Lack of White Space

In line with our first tip, websites in 2020 will be making the most of white space and keeping it simple! Instead of writing paragraphs of text before calls to action or to describe services, just 3 or 4 sentences sometimes even with bulleted content is proving to be the best way to hold a user’s attention and give them the information they need without losing their interest. 

The use of whitespace helps direct the flow of your website visitor’s journey and keep them navigating through the site. Cluttered and massive paragraphs of texts will come off as disorganized and will seem like you are trying to present too much at once. Your content will get passed over and users will navigate away from pages. If you have more to say, we recommend that you create a video or blog article that’s more easily digestible and allow the user to choose to “learn more”.

6. Oodles of Short Pages

Less is more is in full effect when it comes to your website’s page content. Users are running fast from websites with thousands of links and pages in their navigation. In the past, we created a ton of content in order to get found on search but because Google and other search engines are getting smarter – user readability and experience is a much bigger factor in search. Great websites are websites that utilize their pages effectively and are not linking out to multiple, lengthy pages of content. Users don’t mind scrolling when they are interested so utilize white space, GIF images, video and bullets to explain your company’s value throughout your website. Your page can continue to speak about your products or services instead of linking over to new pages making users click from page to page to get the info they need. 

7. Large Navigation Menus

Keeping in mind the above outdated web design trend, carefully organized content is in and a large, link filled menus are out. Stop giving your users SO many choices! Simplify your menu so that it presents the content they need in an easy way. Websites with a ton of options, linking out to multiple pages within the menu is an old design trend that will not be utilized as much in 2020. Smaller, simple menus are more suitable for smartphones and iPads – which are most likely how your users are accessing your website. 

Keeping up with the latest and greatest website design trends is a tough task, even for the most experienced marketer. Marketing and web design tactics and strategies are constantly evolving, and it’s important for your business to take advantage of opportunities for growth.

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