Just like clothing fashions, web fashions go in and out of style, even within a year. I remember when transparent iframes and HTML tables were all the rage back in the mid-2000s, for instance. Today’s super-sleek, Apple-Corporation-like webdesigns are on trend for the moment, but they may fall by the wayside soon. And, when they do fall out of fashion, most of us webdesigners will feel the pressure to “move with the times.”
I say, however, that we don’t necessarily have to throw out all of our “old” design practices with every new trend that comes along. Instead of “keeping up with the Joneses” (or the webmasters), how about some “timeless Internet fashion” blended in with new trends?
Timeless Webdesign Tip #1: Create a Design that’s Easy to Use
Whatever content you have, whether it’s text article, photos, videos, sound clips, etc., make sure your site is easy to read and browse:
- Design attractive but not distracting images
- Use just little strokes of bright color to accent new content
- Space out your content to break up “walls of text”
- Ensure that there’s a strong contrast between your text color and background color
A site that’s easy to look at and use is a site that will please visitors. Think about what you like to see when you visit a site–this will help you get the design process started.
Timeless Webdesign Tip #2: Keep your Site Organized
Group your pages together logically in your navigation structure, and create a sitemap for larger sites. You can also put in breadcrumb navigation if you have lots of subsections.
Having an organized site makes it easier for your visitors to find what they’re looking for on your site, which means they will more likely return for another visit. And isn’t that what all us webdesigners want?
Timeless Webdesign Tip #3: Interpret New Webdesign Trends for Yourself
Instead of copycatting what everyone else seems to be doing in webdesign, take time to study the new style, and figure out what you like about it. Use web trends as a way to inform and inspire your designs, not as a rigid rulebook for how you “ought to” make your sites look.
You might find, for instance, that you like that new color scheme everyone seems to be raving about, but you don’t like the layout it’s commonly used with. Instead of forcing yourself to use a layout you don’t like, just incorporate your most favorite parts of the color scheme into a layout of your own making. This keeps your site looking fresh and updated, without forcing it into a design cookie-cutter.
Since web trends are almost always changing, but there are definitely design concepts that never go out of style–and there are ways to personalize each trend for yourself as it comes along. After all, who wants to browse 10 different sites that all look the same? Help your site stand out with your own personal style!