10 outdated web design trends

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web design

Website design trends move at neck-breaking speed. This is due to the rapid advancement of technology, and a new generation of users who are extremely web savvy, described by some as having short attention spans and evolved expectations of instant gratification. The truth is, we are all becoming conditioned to function this way in an attempt to keep up with our fast-paced world. This evolution has greatly influenced our website design strategies.

Additionally, as the eternally restless creative types, website designers like to try new things and go where no man has gone before. Sometimes it works, sometimes not.

To better connect with our users, we've had to make a huge shift from "look at these cool effects" to masterfully blending technology, psychology, art and science. This new design strategy is at the core of "User Centered Design" and "User Experience". Both focus on the users' expectations and quality of website experience, and strive to come up with new and innovative methods for capturing and maintaining a visitor's interest and loyalty.

While much can be said about the myriad of design elements required to produce a compelling website, there are a few really easy tell-tale signs that your website is out-dated and ready for a refreshing makeover.

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The website development process

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The website development process varies from project to project depending on the customers needs and the web development company. The following is a general overview of some of the steps you may encounter while developing your own online presence.

puzzle

Initial Consultation (s)

  • Get a good feeling for if you'd like to work with this web development company. Just because you meet with them for an initial consultation doesn't mean you are obligated to hire them.
  • Discuss your marketing needs. You may want to read Website cost and pre-quote questions to determine your website requirements.
  • Ask questions, and also for recommendations and feedback on your marketing requirement needs and possible solutions.

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How to choose a website designer

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Hiring a website designer can be a daunting task.

Either everyone you know calls themselves a website designer, or you don't know of anyone at all! Both have a way of leaving you wondering which way to turn.

Choosing the right Website Designer

Here's a little something I wrote to help clear the path a bit for you…

The challenge…
Because the Internet is relatively new, most people experience variable amounts of uncertainty as they tread into this foreign territory – creating a feeling of vulnerability.

Without previous experience in the website design process, much trust is being placed in the website design company that you've chosen – so you want to be sure they will listen to you, treat you with respect, and deliver a professional product.

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Website cost and pre-quote questions

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Planning your website development journey

Congratulations! You've decided your company would greatly benefit from a website. You've joined the ranks of those who know that an ad in the local phone book or newspaper just doesn't cut it anymore – on so many levels.

But now what?

You'd think that the next step would be to jump in the saddle, find a website designer and ask how much a website will cost. That's what I would do.

This grab-the-bull-by-the-horns enthusiasm is often good, however, an important step has just been overlooked: asking yourself - and answering - pre-quote questions. Details uncovered by specifically targeted pre-quote questions (below) are essential in determining what your website needs to be, and ultimately the investment required. Without these details, it's difficult to determine your website's requirements and cost.

If you'd like to maximize your initial website development consultation, take some time to prepare yourself by having a real close look at your company and its website marketing needs. I'd recommend grabbing a pen and paper, and jotting your answers down so you may discuss them with your potential designer. Doing this will start your journey off with clear directives.

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Artisteer - automated web designer?

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This week I was contacted by a business owner who wanted me to make their Joomla website template responsive. I took one look at the code to realize that it had been made with Artisteer. What gave it away? Code-bloat... and the fact that the original creator had used his name in the CSS tags.

And then today, a question was raised on Linkedin: Who uses Artisteer to build templates? - the responses have been interesting to say the least, and prompted this post.

Artister: "...Web design automation product blah blah blah..."

The Artisteer website boasts the following:

"With Artisteer YOU immediately become a Web design expert, editing and slicing graphics, coding XHTML and CSS, and creating Web Design Templates, Joomla templates, Drupal themes, WordPress themes, DotNetNuke skins, and Blogger templates all in minutes, without Photoshop or Dreamweaver, and no technical skills."

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A rant about web developers

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That was the title of a facebook message I'd received this morning from a friend and respectable professional businessman.

website development - you get what you pay for

While the details were different, the story was sadly TOO familiar... people who claim to be professional website developers fall unimpressively and sometimes horribly short.

You get what you pay for

Out of respect for this gentleman as a friend and local businessman I took some time to share some thoughts on this prevalent experience.

As I concluded the message I stated that professional website development companies need to educate consumers, thus the reason for this blog post.

Note: while I've not included all the details of my response, this is the crux of the message...

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