The fashion world may be known for its cutting-edge style discoveries, but many of the trends in past decades have a tendency to resurface. Some of the fashion styles today may have been rehashed from things that were considered trendy back in the ‘80s (or even older than that!).
The same is true with Web design. Although a new batch of Web design trends rise to popularity every few years, some of the functionalities and page browsing styles were merely given a new lease on life and brought back to fame once again.
Take the case of the ‘90s, a time when many of today’s top websites started taking up space on the World Wide Web. Aside from using online resources to get what they want, people visited websites because they enjoyed the user experience (UX). A lot of website style elements for Web design started during this decade, and some of them stayed on for good. Meanwhile, other design elements died a natural death either due to code deprecation or simply because they looked archaic and obsolete design-wise.
And then there were some Web design trends that supposedly went black after the ‘90s but are now resurfacing as the current decade’s design staples.
Here are three Web design trends from the ‘90s that are making a comeback in 2015:
The computer mouse has a scroll wheel for a reason, but this reason was supposed to have been trashed post-2000s. Back in the day, website developers wanted the front page to contain practically everything that the visitor needs. Whether it’s for the sake of SEO (particularly in terms of dwell time) or simplicity in site navigation, it was customary for a website to display all of their tricks on the main page. As a result, the front page of many websites during the ‘90s were lengthy, hence the need for a mouse with a scroll wheel.
The Web design world shifted gears during the mid-2000s, focusing more on simple landing pages with efficient navigational guides or menus. The minimalist era of website design arrived during those years, paving the way for smaller page sizes.
These days, minimalist and typography-based websites remain, but with the re-introduction of scrolling as a way to improve UX. The recent rebirth of this old trend comes in the form of infinite scrolling and the beautiful parallax scrolling.
Flash websites were all the rage during the ‘90s, but the huge file size meant that the website developer had to put up a “Loading…” screen. Sure, the content may be worth the wait, but an average site visitor would have pressed the Back button as soon as they saw the loading page.
You might not think that this trend would return, but the faster browsing speeds and highly upgraded computer processors allowed videos and big files to load quickly. Nowadays, loading screens are used for sliders and video content.
Of course, if you’re thinking about putting up a loading page or screen, better think twice and assess if your website really needs one.
The first batch of websites back in the ‘90s were focused on function rather than form, and so the flat design that we see in many sites today hark back to the simplistic design of the past. Remember that after the flat design of early websites, well-meaning site designers made beveled logos, rotating images, and flaming text (!) in order to inject excitement in website pages. After more than two decades, we’re now (thankfully) back to a cleaner and more relaxed flat design.
As with any fad, expect these Web design trends to be replaced by other style updates, some of which may be breathtakingly new and others merely a rehash of Web design trends from years past.