Tip Tuesday: Buck Stale Trends for Innovation in Web Design

If you run a search for “the top design trends of [insert any year here],” you’ll be unsurprised to learn that each year has its own distinct look and feel to it.

Don’t Just Play Follow the Leader

In web design, this is especially true since the internet is a highly competitive space where boundaries are constantly being probed and adjusted to give new sites the appearance of something fresh and exciting. The ability to share ideas globally through the internet has accelerated the process of digital art movements in all directions, and the pieces of web design that stick tend to be quickly overused and lose its appeal before very long.

If You’re Not Innovating, You’re Stale and Derivative

You don’t need an art critic to tell you which sites look dated and which are trying too hard to be different. We’ve all seen them in abundance, and the ones which sit within the comfort zone of what’s already familiar are the most forgettable.

The problem is that creative design can be a double-edged sword because staying within the parameters of what’s expected of your site will keep navigation intuitive for users, but you’ll have nothing to make you stand out and bring people to the site in the first place. It’s also important to remember that a design layout that works for one industry won’t necessarily carry over into another, but each industry would still have its own design trend that people are used to navigating.

Find a Balance Between Innovation and Familiarity

The key is in finding the right balance of creative design applications that don’t get in the way of the user experience, or better yet that will enhance it. The reality is that if you have a beautiful website that doesn’t matter in the least if users don’t know how to navigate it. But as web layout trends take hold for long enough and their use becomes intuitive for users, designers gain more creative freedom and can cut out the clutter in favor of a cleaner and more modern design.

Adam Weaver is a designer and developer for Commexis. He is fascinated by the intersection of art and creativity.

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