Building a Website That Never Goes Out of Style

Web design standards and trends change constantly, but your website is going to be around for a while. Learn how to ensure your site’s style will stand the test of time.

When you see pictures of yourself from highschool, stylish probably isn’t the first word that comes to mind. That’s because some trends-- most of them, actually-- just don’t age well. You’ve put too much time and effort into your company’s website to let it go out of style like mullets and overalls. So how do you develop a site design that will look just as nice next month or next year as it does today?

Here are a couple of key points to keep in mind:

  • Figure out what already is not working using web analytics
  • Not every trend is an instant classic
  • Intuitive design is timeless
  • Clutter is never in style
  • Pictures are worth a thousand words

Confusing Your Visitors is Never a Good Idea

Whether you created your website in 1995 or just last week, you did it for a reason: you wanted to share information with your visitors. In order for your website to accomplish this task, your visitors have to be able to navigate the site. If it’s confusing, breaks with convention, or is otherwise uninviting, they won’t think twice about going elsewhere to find what they want.

ion360
‍Ion360’s website makes navigation easy.


Ion360
’s home page is a great example of intuitive navigation. The site relies on some very basic web design conventions-- like the company logo being at the top of the page and a navigation bar along one of the page’s edges. This site also does a great job of guiding the visitor’s eye to important buttons using color. Notice that the items Ion360 wants you to click on are red, which separate them from the cool tones used in the rest of the page. Keeping these strategies in mind will help you ensure that your users are able to navigate your site easily today and for a long time to come.

It Doesn’t Hurt to Keep It Clean

Imagine that you’re visiting a friend’s house for the first time, and when you arrive, everything is a mess. There are dishes on all of the tables, papers on the floor, and there is just general clutter everywhere you turn. Do you think you’ll stay at that friend’s house long? Probably not. Think of your website the same way-- keeping things tidy will make it much more inviting.

schenley
‍Schenley’s landing page is simple but effective.

Schenley’s website is a great example of clean design. Like any other company, Schenley has a lot of information to share with its visitors, but it doesn’t throw too much at the viewer at once. Instead, Schenley focuses on making an impression and drawing the visitor in with a few simple but extremely effective elements-- a little bit of text, a few buttons, some high quality images. When it comes to designing websites that are functional and will remain that way, less truly is more.

High Quality Images Will Always Make an Impression

We’ve all been there: you open up a website, and all of the images on the page are tiny, pixelated squares. It’s not particularly impressive, is it? If your site has photographs that look like they were taken with your flip phone camera way back in 2005, it’s going to feel old and out of date. This can be easily avoided by opting for the highest quality photographs you possibly can.

Brushee
‍Brushee’s site relies on a high-quality image to capture visitors’ attention.

Brushee’s website is a great example of using images wisely. The image on their home page is dynamic, compelling, and high resolution. Of course, cameras will always be advancing and at some point even the best photos we take now will look like our grainy old MySpace selfies, but using high-quality images like this one is a great way to delay that and keep your website looking sharp for a long time.

Get Rid of Anything That Already Isn’t Working

There might already be elements of your website that aren’t working quite the way they should be. Maybe the software you used to create a web app is no longer supported. Maybe the navigation bar you designed isn’t laid out the way your users would expect it to be. A great way to keep your site’s style from going stale is by pinpointing and eliminating components of your site that have already lost your visitors’ interest.

It’s important to find the right session recording software that will allow you to see how visitors are actually engaging with your site. You’ll be able to see where they spend the most time looking, where they click, and how they navigate page to page. All of this data will help you determine if there’s anything on your site that just hasn’t translated well as time has gone on.

Overall, building a website that never goes out of style just requires a little bit of thought. Do you have any other tips for making sure your site’s style will always be fresh? Let us know in the comments!