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Website fashions – part 1

The word ‘fashion’ conjures up images of models on catwalks. In fact, these associations are so strong, the clothing industry is usually referred to as the ‘fashion industry’.

Website navigation fashions

There have been a number of changes in website fashion – the use of menus and navigation, for example. A vertical menu on the left-hand side used to be much more common – now most navigation is horizontal. Multiple levels of drop-downs may have contributed to the change, but I suspect it was more to do with the design and look – key indicators of fashion.

Hamburgers with everything

A navigational change which has become fashionable is the use of the so-called ‘hamburger’ icon. These are mostly seen on the small screens of mobile devices, but some websites use them for all viewport widths.

However, this is where fashion can lead the unwary web designer onto trouble – there are website visitors who don’t notice the ‘hamburger’ icon, and don’t know what it means when they see it. This inevitably increases the website’s bounce rate. Perhaps these lost visitors are part of an older demographic, but their high disposable income shouldn’t be ignored.

Click here to enter

Another fashion, which has largely disappeared, is the Home page with a ‘Click here to enter’ button. It’s possible the subconscious analogy was with a shop door – all the treasures are hidden until you open the door and enter the establishment. Of course, this isn’t needed on the internet as having the door open all the time doesn’t lead to the weather and autumn leaves being blown in.

There’s also a practical reason for doing away with the ‘Click here to enter’ button – it is a wasted click, and one of the tenets of good web design is getting visitors to what they’re looking for in as few clicks as possible.

Changing website fashions

Fashion usually morphs into something else rather than disappearing completely. So, in the clothing industry hem lines go up and down, and green becomes the new black.

In website design, the information-free ‘Click here to enter’ home page has changed into the impressive opening graphic, sometimes with images sliding under text areas (parallax) or other movement. This new Home page is still often completely free of information. Most commonly now, instead of clicking, you have to scroll or swipe … but it can still be a wasted movement. For this to be justified the image must have a very powerful message about the company, and not just something generic.

WEB-right’s Pay-as-you-Go websites

We recognise that fashions change, and websites can look out of date. That’s why all our Pay-as-you-Go clients get a completely new website design every four years … at no extra cost.

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