Out with the old, in with the new! This saying has never been truer for all things online. Like those nifty bell-bottom jeans your mom sported back in the 70s (or maybe even you for that matter), not all online trends stay cool. Sometimes you need to know when to hang stuff in the closet for good. Below is a list of website trends or fads that are best left in the past – they were really cool for their time, but they have no business on your site anymore.
1) Desktop Hamburger Menus
While you should be focusing on making a killer mobile experience, that doesn’t mean taking what works for mobile and plopping it on your desktop site. The desktop hamburger has been a controversial topic for the past few years, as we enter 2018, tons of desktop websites still rely on it. To be fair, some sites do a decent job of implementing hamburger menus on their desktop, but that doesn’t mean you should cram everything your site offers into one menu.
This is an actual burger at a local restaurant in South Florida. In this instance, this burger is considered ambitious, eye-catching, and some would even argue captivating. However, this is in no way what your desktop hamburger should look like if you choose to have one on your site.
2) Auto-play Videos
There’s no reason even one of your users should have to interrupt their experience by trying to pause the video you just forced on them. Users usually respond well to videos, but most find this feature intrusive and annoying. Despite that, there are many sites that still do this. Fortunately, browsers like Google Chrome are making strides to mitigate the adverse effects of auto-play videos. Bottom line: remember that users generally respond well to videos in any case, so you shouldn’t have to force them to watch.
3) Videos as a background
Speaking of videos, this video-based trend is heavily debated, and for good reason! If done well, a page with a background video playing can be a great way to sell an experience. If not done well, there are two things that will most likely occur: for one, the page’s speed will suffer if too much loading is required. Secondly, you have to worry about the page’s content in terms of contrasting. A video playing in the background can make it difficult for a user to find something on that page and can potentially disrupt the user experience. If this happens on one of your landing pages, you’ve potentially just lost a conversion or two because of the video.
If as you’re reading this you realize that you have one or maybe all of these outdated features on your site today, you don’t necessarily need to rush to your IT team with a work order to remove them immediately Instead, be smart about any changes you make to your site by using A/B testing to determine what’s working and not working based on real data. Because, at the end of the day, a trend may seem dead in the water, but if your users respond well to it and it’s driving revenue for your business, who cares? I’d rather you write a scathing email telling me I was wrong about all of these things and have some awesome results to back it up than hold on to out-dated digital trends just because it’s “what you’ve always done.”If you need any help or advice with the idea of testing or updating your site, feel free to hit us up at firstname.lastname@example.org.