3 Web Design Principles That Are Making A Comeback

The popular 'Dancing Banana' GIF

If you have even a remote interest in design, looking back through the past 15 or so years of websites that have been designed is more than a little interesting.

You can clearly distinguish an old website from a new one and in many instances, can pick out the period from which a website was built, whether that’s by the tables and iFrames of mid-to-late 1990s web design or the Flash-based designs of the early 2000s.

But whilst there are clear differences – and improvements, for the most part – many of the principles, techniques and aspects have often gone out of fashion and been hated by designers, only to come back around a couple of years later.

And these three are perfect examples of principles that are doing just that.

1.  GIFs

Essentially mini videos, GIFs are small, low-res animations.  Extremely popular in the early 2000s, some of the most notable were the ‘Dancing Banana‘ and the ‘More Cowbell‘ GIFs and you couldn’t pass by many websites without finding a GIF of some variety.

Going out of favour with designers in the mid-2000s as they were believed to look amateurish, they’re making a comeback now, largely because they add something new to the user experience – not only are there millions of people who simply haven’t had the chance to watch a dancing banana before, but designers are coming up with new, fresh and intuitive ways to use GIFs, helping to increase engagement and ultimately, conversions.

2.  Pop Ups

Once a popular way of practically guaranteeing your visitors would see whatever you wanted them to, pop ups developed a huge amount of hatred towards them as they became known as being completely and utterly annoying.

In recent times, however, designers have adapted to what users appreciate and don’t find too intrusive.  As a result, they’ve managed to develop pop ups that although get across the message from the company’s point of view, don’t result in visitors instantly clicking off the pop up – and the website.

3.  Unusual Navigation

We aren’t talking about choosing between a top nav bar or side nav bar here, but instead the whole navigation of the website; how a user gets from one section to another.

Going from there being no real set format originally to designers sticking to very rigid layouts, today navigation is changing once more.  Now, we have more unusual things such as scrolling pages, where there are very few buttons to click on to get you from A to B and instead, you scroll up and down or left and right.

Just an overview of some of the most notable web design principles that are now making a comeback, are there any you can’t wait to see make a return?  Or conversely, what about some you aren’t looking forward to seeing again?