outdated web design trends

10 Outdated Web Design Trends that don’t work in 2020

Are you using outdated web design trends? Many of us cringe when we look back at what we use to wear back in the day, our old hairstyles, or even that we thought lime-green was a great color for a kitchen. What do you think of a used car salesman wearing a 1970s polyester leisure suit? Your website’s visitors are probably thinking something similar if you have an outdated web design.

Businesses need to think of their website’s look and feel like their wardrobe. As much as you love that fringed leather jacket from the 1980s, that look is not coming back… ever! Also, consider your site’s usability and functionality. Just think of it in terms of a car and what comes standard today compared to even 10 years ago. Ultimately, the point is if you are not moving forward, you are moving backward. Therefore, here are 10 outdated web design trends you should stop using.

Desktop-only Websites

If your website only looks good on Desktops and Laptops, you are missing out on a huge amount of potential visitors.  Not only does Google look for mobile-friendly sites for it’s top rankings, but your visitors will also immediately exit if they can’t easily access your content on their mobile device.


Autoplay Videos

Those websites that are using autoplay to increase video views are discouraging visitors from engaging with content on their terms. People don’t like that and you are only inviting a high bounce rate.

Corney Stock Photos

There was a time when the web design mantra was any photo is better than no photo. This is no longer true. Stock photos have become so commonplace that users can easily identify them and know they don’t represent your brand. Use real photos of your business.


The easiest method for driving away visitors is with cluttered web design. You need a streamlined look with easy navigation and the right balance of text, images, and videos. Visitors don’t want to spend times picking through the clutter to find information.

Multiple Popups

In the not so distant past, automated popups were all the rage to build email lists or show off special offers. However, harassing visitors with multiple popups every time they visit your site is more of a turn-off than a turn-on. A better option is to limit your popups to only appear on certain pages (not the homepage).

Enormous Banners

Extra large banners on your homepage are the bell-bottoms of web design. Yes, it works for some, but most of us just can’t pull it off. Moreover, these oversized banners are taking up valuable real estate. Don’t waste valuable content space.

Outdated Fonts and Styles

Your web design conveys a lot of information. If part of that message is “it is 1999” then users are going to seek out more current information. Outdated fonts and design elements scream that you are behind the times.


You want to focus your visitor’s attention on your core content and sidebars are a distraction. Moreover, they don’t really translate to mobile devices anyway. However, if you really want a sidebar, do something different to stand out.


Slideshows seem to be the answer to, “But there are so many things my customer might want to know!”, but they are not only the lazy way to provide users information, they are seldom seen by visitors.  Instead of slideshows choose the most relevant topic your ideal customer would be interested in and write a compelling headline with bullet points.

Do you have several products that they might be interested in?  Sum them up in the top part of your page and feature them individually in sections underneath that.  Users are much more likely to take action off of a compelling, focused headline, and then scroll through to see your offerings, than they are to sit and watch a slideshow.

Long Winded Content

It is true that the search engines still love long-form content, and today that content needs to be well-written and reliable. However, content must also appeal to your visitors. Break up longer articles using subheading every 300 words or use bullet points as an alternative to paragraphs.

In Conclusion

What haven’t we covered that is important to you? If you would like to talk about outdated web design trends, or need more information, please contact us.