As website design continues to evolve, we’re seeing a gradual conformity in the form of many features, layouts and styles. Full-width websites, hamburger menus, parallax effects and big hero images are among the popular design choices and unlike a vast amount of other web design trends, I believe that these ones are here to stay.
Ultimately, I’m writing this article to entertain the question – Is the ongoing conformity to conventional web design a good, or bad thing? I’d like to start off by addressing the one true positive;
The Positive – Intuitive User Experience
As mentioned before, features such as the hamburger menu are now universally understood in the internet realm. When you see a hamburger menu on a website, without having to think you already know what that button is going to do when you press it. This makes the user experience intuitive and therefore, more streamlined.
Being able to understand a feature because of its consistent usage is incredibly powerful and therefore, millions of websites have been designed to include as many of these features as possible.
An intuitive UX (user experience) isn’t just limited to specific features, however. The layout and structure of a website is also commonly tailored to the pre-defined standards of web design. For example, you’ll likely notice that the most prominent menu structure begins with Home (this one is a no brainer), then services, blog and finally contact.
These web design “traditions” have been around for a long time. The ongoing conformity to conventional web design is not a new thing at all, however it’s only recently that it’s seen such a massive shift in that direction. This leads me nicely onto the negative of this conformity.
The Negative – Reduced Variety, Creativity and Innovation
Go back a few years and the variety of website styles were much more vast than that of today. We were seeing numerous different types of website that each had their own quirks and styles that made them unique.
Layouts, colours, animations, features. Each was a powerful tool in really making your business stand out with a beautiful and unique website. Website design was an empty canvas, ready to be painted upon.
It was this variety that made the web such an interesting place to explore. Instead of visiting these modern full-width websites that all look the same, you’d bound from website to website, each with their own design story to portray.
That being said, it was also more difficult to produce beautiful websites back then without the various tools now available to web designers, such as WordPress.
Of course, the quality range of websites was a lot more diverse, but I believe this just made the great website designs stand out more.
When the majority of websites essentially wear the same suit, it becomes difficult to tell which ones stand out. With that being said, there are still thousands of websites that innovate in their design consistently and this makes me an incredibly happy website designer.
An intuitive UX is a great positive and has a lot of power in enabling everyone to feel comfortable while using a multitude of different websites. However, the ongoing conformity to conventional web design is in my honest opinion, a bad thing. This is because it has brought upon us a never-ending stream of lifeless websites that don’t portray the passion of the businesses behind them.
What’s your opinion on the current state of web design? We’d be very much interested in hearing it! Leave us a comment or interact with us on our social platforms.