All aboard the trend train!

Why you shouldn’t fall for the glitter

Design Trends
By Ferdinand Vogler 16.12.2015 6 min read

Usability and responsive design mark the fundamentals of good design and aren’t a trend to adopt. Many thoughts are correct but still I’d like to comment on some areas.

4. Hidden menus

“Hidden navigations that appear out of nowhere depending on the user’s actions will soon be the norm.”

Stuff that “appears out of nowhere“ is never good. If you’re running a portfolio website with four navigation items, there’s also no need to hide them in that fancy “off-canvas SVG transform” template you found on Codrops.

6. Modular and infinite scrolling

“What is the latest move in the whole modular trend? Modular scrolling. Meaning every module on a website may scroll on its own, independently from the other modules.”

I’m only begging you to do one thing: ask yourself three times if this really serves your content or if you’re trying to polish something with sandpaper. Just don’t mess with the native scroll behaviour of my trackpad and we’ll be friends. Look up scroll hijacking. Some of the most popular sites on the world today, like Pinterest, Twitter or Facebook already use it, so why shouldn’t everybody else? Depends on what kind of webpage you are designing for. For large newsfeeds where information just doesn’t stop dripping in it might make sense (Twitter). I personally enjoy the contentment that comes with having gotten to the end of an article and not loading the next article automatically which has got nothing to do with what I just read.

7. Material design

“So expect to see those long, solid shadows virtually everywhere.”

Please no.

8. Flat design

“With a lot of big brands adopting flat design in the last few years, mass audiences are more and more aware of the fact that less is better when it comes to visual style.”

Flat was a necessary evolution of webdesign and is more or less a recollection of the very fundamentals of design. But with redesigns such as Google or Verizon logos are also becoming less unique and memorable. I must add though that I really admire the engineering thoughts that went into Googles logo — they managed to shrink the file size down from 14,000 bytes to roughly 300 bytes. But, these developer background infos don’t reach the normal consumer and therefore impress only a small percentage. What’s more, flat web design has another UX advantage: image files weigh less and do not add an unnecessary burden to page load time. What has flat design got to do with image file sizes? Are you referencing to the fact that flat design doesn’t try to mimic real life surfaces such as wood or leather and therefore you can spare redundant background images?

11. Cool Typography

“One thing that a good infographic almost always has is one or two cool fonts.”

How do you come to that conclusion? Typography has to serve a purpose. Here you’re better off choosing a typeface that does this through great legibility and a clear display of numerals. If you’re making a illustration — fine, go crazy on typefaces. But infographics already have their purpose built in their name.

“[…] since Google Fonts is a big reason more people have ditched Arial for cooler and newer fonts (though Lobster is already overused; please stop it now, thanks).”

Typefaces like Garamond, Baskerville or Caslon go back until the 16th century and still work today. Just because a font is “cooler and newer” doesn’t make it better. If the typeface Lobster serves your content and the emotion you want to convey best, then go with that. But don’t ditch it because it’s subjectively overused.

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