Trendy Web Design — I’m not a fan. This shouldn’t surprise anyone who has looked at this site. Plain text designs. Usually blue. Few images. Pretty basic stuff. Sometimes I’ll change the font.
But I’m a professional web guy, can’t I do better? So why don’t I do a better job with my site? If I am capable of knowing what is trendy, and making a trendy web design, why do I not do it?
Because trendiness is fleeting. And what is trendy today is dated in a year. If you look like the most sophisticated site on the web, using the latest design trends today, that same site will look old next spring. And while some web designers do enjoy updating their sites every few months to stay up with trends, that does not make sense for a business. You need to make your web site fit your branding. And your branding is not going to change every 6 months. It is not going to change when web designers come up with new tricks. And you aren’t going make your branding follow web design trends.
On the contrary, your business brand is going to last. It may undergo a design face-lift on occasion. But it will happen every few years, on your timeline, and when it happens, your web presence will follow your lead.
Think about this if a web designer tells you a site looks dated. While they may be correct, is that such a terrible thing? Classic cars look dated. My antique furniture looks dated. Victorian houses look dated. There are bad ways of looking dated, and there are simple, elegant classic looks that still carry your message and style to your audience. If your brand looks dated, that is a problem — but it is a problem with your brand, not your web site.
On the other hand, trendy web design can be compared to other trends. Think of the 1980s fashion disasters that we are all just as happy to have gone away. Think of midwestern teenagers with 8″ bangs hair-sprayed straight up. Slap Bracelets? Hypercolor T-shirts? Pick your least favorite trend ever — and now think again about trendy web design. Flat buttons. Drop-shadow buttons. Blinking text? Flash Animations! Animated gifs that say “Under Construction” were trendy once.
The web has come a long way, but the trends of today will be the nightmares of tomorrow. So don’t bother with them. Think about your brand first. Define your own style. Define the user experience you want for your visitors. And make THAT happen.
And call me if you want some help.
(BTW, to answer the question of why I don’t do a more sophisticated design on my site? Because my brand is about simplicity and performance. And I design my site on those principles. I focus on the content within each page, not the design that wraps the content. So there actually is deliberate thought behind the lack of design on this site.)