meet some dangerous design trends and learn how to avoid mistakes! – WAU

As a good content marketer, I know how important a website or blog is to a new product or brand. And in a market where more and more competitors are entering from different sides, many companies try to innovate in different areas, including design. As a good designer, too, I always pay attention to […]

As a good content marketer, I know how important a website or blog is to a new product or brand. And in a market where more and more competitors are entering from different sides, many companies try to innovate in different areas, including design.

As a good designer, too, I always pay attention to design trends (and, by the way, I highly recommend reading this article about it).

As it is a very changeable area, it is important to always keep up with the news. 2017 came up with many new trends for interface design, just like every year.

But it is important to keep your attention because some of them can be good dangerous to the usability of your website.

So, in this post I will talk about the dangers that some of these trends carry and how you can avoid them.

Vibrant colors

Strong colors have been used very strategically by companies. They tend to get our attention because they are so energetic and positive, as opposed to dark colors or pastels.

This makes them ideal for turning all attention to your product or brand, since, when entering the site, the user is already surprised by colors that “jump” from the device’s screen.

You must be thinking: “Uh, but it looks great for my product! What’s the danger in that? ”

Dangers

Strong colors can to disturb users. I’m not saying that in the sense that some people don’t like the color you used, physically uncomfortable.

For example, I will use two images with the same shapes and using very vibrant colors. However, one uses a more aggressive color combination than the other. I ask you to imagine yourself on a website whose interface was in two ways:

Purple and green

Orange and yellow

The second combination (red and yellow) bothered you more, didn’t it?

Large areas with very vibrant colors or areas with many strong colors together make the eye very uncomfortable, and troubled eyes tend to leave your page. And we don’t want that.

Another danger of this trend is the lack of reading that it can entail. Vibrant colors behind or even close to text can make reading difficult and irritating. This in addition to creating considerable visual fatigue and even generating a headache.

Because they reflect a lot of light with a lot of intensity, these colors create a great visual stimulus in users while they try to read, which can lead to them giving up reading your text. In other words, everything you wrote is basically disregarded.

What to do

There are some recommendations that you can follow to use the vibrant palette in your interfaces without any problems:

  • Always try to keep the balance vibrant colors with darker or neutral colors;
  • Use strong colors in Details to help guide the user through your website;
  • Use your palette in texts with a large font, functioning as decorative;
  • Use vibrant colors to underline or indicate content and interactions for the user to browse more facility.

What no do

Just as there are good practices, there are also bad ones:

  • Do not use these vibrant colors over very large areas or as the background for your entire interface;
  • Avoid using too many strong colors next to each other;
  • Do not use vibrant colors behind or near your main text;
  • Do not use bold colors on small elements that have functionality, such as navigation icons.

Experimental layouts

Always trying to highlight their work from others, designers often find themselves experimenting with the layout and usability of the interfaces. What has grown a lot this year is the tendency to unbalance the elements and create a certain “chaos” on the page.

Experimental layouts are of great importance for breaking the standard of other sites and standing out over them, bringing art and variety to the interface design scene.

But even so, its use is risky if you don’t use it carefully.

Dangers

As the name implies, layouts are experimental. This implies that, many times, it can happen that users do not know very well how to navigate the site since it is completely different from everything they have ever seen.

Therefore, it is very important to maintain a well-defined structure when there are more loaded texts, to facilitate and speed up access to information.

The visual hierarchy is also very important for the page as a whole, as experimental layouts bet on chaotic, with misaligned and overlapping elements. This can cause users to be lost or do not understand how to access areas of your website.

What to do

  • Use experimental layouts when the main purpose of your site no for a reading content;
  • Use unbalanced layouts as a different interaction between well-structured and defined blocks of elements;
  • Keep close grouped elements each other and separate well the blocks of different contents;
  • Only use overlapping elements when there is a good contrast and texts with guys big enough.

What no do

  • As already said, no use experimental layouts on pages with a lot of content;
  • Do not experiment with layouts if your users have a limit time to find the information on your website;
  • Don’t throw elements at random, keep ever a basic alignment between them;
  • As already said, do not overlap elements arbitrarily. Light ever taking into account the contrast between parts of your site.

Small elements

Minimalism has been a very popular design trend for a long time, and is still widely used. However, its extreme simplicity made it difficult to differentiate through more complex and detailed compositions, since it did not offer this opportunity.

Nowadays the focus on the small details is important again. These small ornaments scattered throughout the site serve to guide the user’s look through space, whether in navigational icons or in forms without functionality.

More and more these small illustrations are more common, as they add an interesting touch to any design. They can act as dividers, pointers to the content or as elements to balance the visual balance on the page.

Danger

It is important to be aware of the use of these details on your website. Their presence can entertain the user and be very pleasant to see, but can compromise the final experience.

Accidentally, there may be a visual dispute between the details and the navigation elements of the page and, instead of helping, the small adornments will only further complicate the user’s path. Small elements that have no function become just visual interferences.

In addition, some sites are programmed so that the small elements move along with the cursor movement.

Care must be taken that this does not become too distracting to the point that the user does not pay attention to the message you want to send or even so that it does not overlap the text and impair legibility.

What to do

  • Use these details with attention to content of your page, so that they do not hinder legibility anywhere on the site;
  • Use the small elements to separate blocks content or to draw the user’s attention to a specific part of the page;
  • Leave well balanced common clean layout and minimalist;
  • Try it give some meaning or context for the elements so that they are relevant and match your content.

What no do

  • Do not use details on pages that have a lot of content;
  • Try to avoid elements that have no function or meaning, so that they do not add anything to their content;
  • Try it distinguish as much as possible the small ornaments without function of the other navigation elements;
  • Do not consider the small details as main component of your design.

Another examples

Some trends have dangers that are simpler to explain, but that they are still risky to use. So, therefore, I will address some more of them:

Small fonts

Something that has been growing a lot is the use of small typography. This gives the site a modern, minimalist look and makes it cleaner. In addition, it makes the user’s eye wander the page and allows you to create interesting contrasts without competing for space with other elements. Finally, it is still possible to pass on more information with a smaller area.

However, you must be very careful that this does not hinder usability. Small fonts can impair reading in large blocks of text and decrease scannability of your page.

So look for do not use fonts smaller than size 13 and only use this feature in short paragraphs, which will not be affected by the type size.

Experimental navigation

In the search to differentiate their work, some designers bet on experimental navigation. It is innovative and allows small sites to become more interesting to navigate, in addition to helping the user to use the page in a specific way.

But, although they are very fun to use and attract a lot of attention, it is necessary that navigation is intuitive. Otherwise, it will eventually become too confusing and the user will get lost on the page and leave it without absorbing its content.

You need to understand that it it will not be the best solution for some types of sites and that not everyone will know how to use. That is why, always test with real users before and learn when to experiment or not.

Animations

Animations give the final touch to an interface, in addition to bringing endless possibilities in the way of positioning the elements of the site.

They can be quite creative and improve usability, guiding the user to the places he needs to go and enriching minimalist layouts. That is, they are the cake icing!

But nothing in excess is good, including the icing on the cake. Using too many animations can make your page look slow to load, testing the patience of the user. In addition, navigation can be distracting or confused too much if the animations are used in the wrong way.

Animations should have the ultimate goal of assist the route user interface and guide your attention for the most important elements at the moment.

Conclusion

With a growing market in the digital scene, it is more than expected that companies try to improve the user experience with innovations in the design of their websites, differentiating themselves from the competition (which also leads to competition between the designers themselves, who try to stand out from the rest and attract the attention of companies).

This competition is not only expected but necessary for the market. However, when trying to always keep its design updated and recent, many professionals end up following the trends leaving some points aside and, as we saw, this is very dangerous.

When creating a website for your product or brand, you need to think good your audience, your content and your goals with that page on the internet. That way, you are able to avoid the mistakes covered in this post.

With all the examples, it is also possible to take common good practice advice for everyone: excess is never good.

Be it vibrant colors, layouts that are too experimental, too many small elements on your page, too small fonts, too innovative navigation or too much animation.

And the most important: never sacrifice the user experience for a beautiful, contemporary look. This goes for any design product, not just websites and interfaces.

Then that’s it. I hope I can help!

This post was taken as a reference of great post written by designer Eleana Gkogka. Be sure to check him and other articles published by her! See you next time!