Web Design Trends to Leave in 2020

At the intersection of art and technology, web design presents an exciting new range of opportunities for creatives to showcase ideas, play with different effects, and turn concepts into interactive experiences. Web design is constantly evolving and playing with new trends – but not all web design trends are a good idea. Below are the web design trends that need to stay behind in 2020.

Web Browser Push Notifications

Advertising is becoming more intrusive and obnoxious, but it doesn’t have to be that way! In fact, most people do not hate all ads – just the bad ones. One study concluded that over 75% of people would like to ad-filter instead of ad-block.

Unfortunately, push notifications perfectly embody both the intrusive and obnoxious elements that people hate. The constant interruptions lead to consumers feeling overwhelmed and harassed by bad, lazy advertising. In turn, this leads consumers to resent your website and leave, which does not drive sales. One study showed that over 80% of people think worse of a website that allows obnoxious or intrusive ads. While there are exceptions to the rule – like notifications about finances and weather, or e-mail notifications –the data seems to show is that push notifications are most effective at pushing your audience away.

Pop-Up Advertisements

Intrusive, jarring, and persistent, pop-up ads should have been left long before 2020. And yet… this trend seemingly cannot die. Pop-up ads are reviled because they interrupt the user experience, which makes them effective at forcing the user to pay attention to it – but without positive results. Pop-ups ads have an impressive 73% disapproval rating and even Google penalizes advertisers for using them. Over 80% of people have closed a web page because of a pop-up!

What is worse is when the exit button is difficult to close – if it exists at all. How many times have you hit the X button only to still be dragged, perhaps kicking and screaming, to another page? How many times have you been insulted by a pop-up ad, either asked to subscribe to endless e-mails or be forced to click “no, I don’t like sunshine and world peace?”

There are alternative, effective ways to convert a visitor into a real customer. Irritating them before you even get the chance is not the way to do it.

Too Much Animation

Animations are good in moderation. When used effectively, they can bring a static, boring website to life. In fact, it can even be essential to increasing user interaction with your website. But like any tool, it is important to be mindful about the quality and quantity of the animation on your website.

Unfortunately, animations are often overused, which contributes to a negative user experience. Animations that are too lengthy or too large slow down your website. Animations that are too fast or too flashy (think strobe light effects) can be distracting and contribute to sensory overload – which may make your audience bounce from your website. Animation that is too frequent or seemingly without purpose can be confusing and also contribute to a poor user experience, all of which reflect on your brand or business.


Even if you don’t know the term, you definitely have seen parallax in use on a website. It refers to the effect of having a background image moving at a different speed from the rest o the content to create the illusion of depth on a website. When done correctly, parallax is a beautiful design element. However, when done incorrectly, it can make the user experience disorienting and even inhibit functionality.

Parallax, when used sparingly, can be done beautifully. Unfortunately, when it was introduced about a decade ago, it exploded in popularity. As a result, it seemed that every website felt it was necessary to have this feature. And, like every trend that becomes too popular, it begins to deteriorate, whether in quality or simply due to oversaturation. Myspace became too trendy and fell to give way to Facebook; memes rise and fall (and, occasionally, rise again); even fashion trends come and go. And, like the clog, it is time for the parallax to go. Maybe like fashion and memes, it will come back again as part of the ebb and flow of web design trends. But for now, can we please try something different?

Anything That Hinders Accessibility and Inclusion

This one almost feels like cheating, but truly: in 2021, we can do better when it comes to web design. Not only is accessibility crucial to the user experience, but it is a no-brainer! Good design means that your content is accessible to everyone.

Consider integrating alternative ways to navigate through your site. If having a horizontal scroll is important for your website, that is fine, but allow users other options to navigate, like arrow buttons. If there is content that begins automatically, like a video, provide options that allow the user to easily control that content.

This means considering how your website functions across multiple platforms – both on desktop and mobile. Are the interactive elements easy to identify? What about the navigation options? Is the spacing appropriate?

This also means considering how your site “reads” to diverse audiences. Are your complex design elements inhibiting the experience of those who have visual impairments or physical disabilities? Are certain web design features making your content less accessible to those individuals who struggle with computer literacy? Is your content potentially triggering sensory overload or even seizures in your audience? If your design elements are not for everyone, then they should not be integrated into your website, full stop.

What Web Design Trends Are You Tired Of?

Comment below to share what web design trends you are tired of seeing. Which ones are you sick of? Even better, share which design trends you would like to see more of! If you are looking to rethink some of the design trends on your website, I invite you to schedule a consultation so we can make sure the user experience of your audience is the best it can be.

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