Design Crimes from the 90’s

Published on October 30, 2012 by

Design Crimes from the 90'sI love web design and really anything web related. Our generation was the generation who were gifted the Internet as we know it. What happens when you give a child a new toy? They go mental with it for a short period of time, and then finally they lose interest. The same should be said about my generation of web designers and co. Yet, here we are a good sort of 15/20 years later and people still commit Design Crimes from the 90's. I'm not just talking about people who build sites as hobbies, or DIY websites for business's, but big companies and professional websites.

Lets look at some design crimes:

1. Pop ups.

How much did we hate pop up windows back in the day? I remember thinking they were great, but clearly I had designer blindness. Nowadays we still have them in various other forms, but essentially they are still annoying, they still get closed down as soon as possible and they are, in my opinion one of the great crimes of modern web design. People will argue that they see more likes on facebook etc because of them - I personally doubt it - How many of those people just click the first thing they see to get rid of the pop up? How many of you actually care what a pop up says and just go straight to the 'X' In my opinion, the biggest design crimes from the 90's.

2. Showing follower counts.

This is not that bad, but the one thing I always think of is horrendous counters from the 90s. Whilst it could be said that showing how many followers/likes etc you have offers a degree of trust, any big blue chip company wont need such positive reinforcement because the brand itself should bring that and it wont make much (if any) difference for small companies and new start up companies will more than likely have very little followers/likes etc - ergo rendering any form of counter - pointless.

3. Social Degeneration.

Okay, we get it, the world (and the internet) is now about social engagement, which is great, we never had that so much in the 90's. We get to share daft pictures or unusual, weird things or frankly anything - however, I strongly advise against putting share buttons on every-single-page-ever. Social buttons are great on blog posts, or product pages and things like that, but I ain't gonna lie - nobody really wants to share your "about us" page. Also, make your actual social accounts buttons prominent on the site, and clearly different from share buttons.

4. Overkill Ads.

Now, I clicked this link because I believe it has something I want to read - oh but hang on, I have to wait for the "close ad" text to appear, not ideal. Finally, I manage to get onto the site only to be overrun by ads in my face. I swear there was meant to be something of interest in here somewhere..if only I could find it under all these annoying ads. There is nothing wrong with having ads on your site, but use them sparingly!

So, those are just some of the things that wind me up, what about you? What are your most rage inducing design crimes from the 90's? Let me know!

Published in Design, News, Uncategorized
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  1. Courtney

    I love your blog and this article but I have a different set of thoughts based on my own personal experience marketing services online.

    1. Pop Ups. They are coming back with Javascript. Yeah, I know…

    That's the way it goes. You want to know something weird? My clients don't care if they're tacky because they know that they work. They get more leads…

    They make more sales.

    Yes, I hate pop ups too. But the numbers I see say that they are more effective than they ever were back in the day.

    2. Showing follower counts.

    It's bizarre, but it's one of those weird things that can really increase the response you're getting on your website.

    It's a sign that people like you.

    That you are relevant.

    3. Totally agree. We go overboard with this stuff. Haha. I think I have a share button on my own about me page. I need to figure out how to fix that.

    My WordPress widget seems to add them to every page and post.

    4. Yep, this really ticks me off. I have no idea if this actually works for some website but I have always thought it was a great way to lose customers…

    Then again, I don't do it myself so I could tell you if it's effective or not.

    In any event, solid post. It gave me something to think about. I don't necessarily agree with everything but hey people are allowed to disagree.

    Right? :)

    • admin

      Who can argue with more leads and sales? I certainly wont! :) Whilst the list are mainly things I try to avoid, we both know website management is not just about sticking to the already defined rules, but trying to find ways to break the rules in a positive way. I appreciate your opinion. Thanks for the reply and I really must get more blog posts out! haha.

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