How to Prevent a Web Design Shelf Life
The main thing I try my best to do, but nearly always struggle to do, is make my websites have longevity so that say in a year or two they don’t look out of date and well a bit pants. This I think is the biggest thing when it comes to partial mental breakdowns when developing a website for me, as sometimes even by the time I have finished designing it and then put it into code, it looks out of date and some what amateur.
With the trends in website changing on an almost bi-monthly basis at the moment with the integration of the newer techniques when you are designing a website it is almost certain to look out of date within the year if you are not careful! I’m not saying that you should build a website where it will look the same forever as this well just isn’t realistic, tastes change, people change its normal. But I don’t think that you should have to be redesigning a website as often as it seems we have to with the new fads that are coming out.
The first thing you could do that would help you design a website that fits the ideal that we are aiming for is research, lots and lots of research. Followed by lots of designs where you design, leave it a week and come back to it and see how you feel about it (lets face it if you aren’t sure after a week how will it last a year?). This will give you a solid basis where you can look around and see what trends have stuck from previous years as this will then also allow you to have some sort of idea about what trends might stick this time round.
Where I stand on the whole researching on sticking trends is I always try and look for anything that is actually progressing things within the world of web development. That’s why I am currently looking into responsive web design a lot more and then moving onto some standard and subtle CSS transitions as I feel at the moment these are the only ones that will actually stand the test of time. Word of caution though with CSS transitions you CAN overkill your site, having 10 things flipping in different directions for example….I would hunt you down for this. I really do believe that it is the art of being subtle that makes sites last and not “expire”.
The most important thing which I can’t stress enough for any website is content! You could have the most fancy website filled with all the bells and whistles that you can lay your hands on but if the content just isn’t there or isn’t relevant most times you will find visitors to your site aren’t looking for how you have made a lovely CSS ribbon at the top of your screen that moves with every breath you take…..they have come for the content! I know it is a fundamental thing but just thought I would state it again to get the point across.
This has been a pretty brief look at the problem when creating a website using trends but I just thought I would try and get what I was experiencing out there to vent some anger. So to conclude, look for trends that will last and wont start to annoy people and K.I.S.S!
This article was written by Harry Wiseman. Harry is a student currently studying for a BSc (Hons) Web Technologies at University of Portsmouth. Hoping to get a First class degree at the end of it currently on route for a 2:1. He is an experienced PHP developer, Front End Developer, with a range of other skills.
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