Communicative design
for quandaries in business

Web design patterns we’re fed up with (and what to do instead)

Posted by Megan Seely in Interactive

Some web design trends and current marketing strategies are fine. Others are frustrating to web users and designers alike. I’m sure every web designer can list some current trends they’re tired of seeing! Here’s some of mine:


Pop up modals to subscribe/follow/like/comment

Many blogs and news websites automatically pop up a message or form to encourage sharing the article, following the author on social media, or subscribing to a newsletter. Don’t harass your site’s visitors and block their screen!

What to do instead: There are gentler ways to encourage subscribing or sharing. For example, you can embed a subscription form at the bottom of each article to encourage sign ups. Or, craft a concluding sentence for your article that mentions your mailing list.


Carousels and sliders

It’s been documented that when slideshows, carousels, and sliders feature text, visitors will only focus on the first slide. Often, the slideshow moves too quickly for viewers to read the entire thing. Carousels are a poor choice for SEO and usability alike… so why are we still using them?

What to do instead: Don’t use a carousel for content you want visitors to pay attention to! Narrow your focus to a single, effective message instead.


Hamburger menus on desktop websites

hamburgerThe hamburger icon is becoming more common, not just on mobile-optimized websites but on desktop layouts as well. By hiding your navigation in a sliding drawer, you can free up more visual real estate on your website. However, your visitors now have to click twice to find anything: once on the burger, and once within the navigation. Why make folks work harder to find what they’re looking for on your website?

What to do instead: Simplify and streamline your navigation so your website’s content has a clear hierarchy.


The hero image with three columns below


By using this kind of website template, you’re adjusting your content and strategy to a one-size-fits-all web design. (You can only showcase products or services that can be represented by line art icons… you’ll need a great stock photo for your hero image… etc.)

What to do instead: The web presence for your business or organization should be tailored to your needs. Collaborate with a professional designer to develop a website that’s true to your brand.