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Design Trends of Old

by Brandon Welch
Web Designer/Developer & Web Expert
Connect with me: | Facebook | LinkedIn

I was just thinking about this today, looking at some different website. What are some of the old design styles web designers used to use. These are styles you might find on websites that are 3 to 7 years old. If a site is older than 7 years old, and has not received any sort of new look, it is pretty much not going to follow any trend. Websites older than that, were more about slapping stuff on there, than focusing on design feel and usability. (Basically, just having a website and no thought beyond that)

Things Change…

Many don’t realize that just like design styles change with clothing, cars & homes, website styles are evolving as well. I find that many people settle for a site simply being up and functional, even though they can tell it just looks old. Read the points below, and see if you agree.

1. Tiny Text: It used to be the trend to have small text. This is text that is under 11px. For some reason it was used to give websites a sharp a feel. It was also at a time when monitor resolution was lower, and everything looked bigger on the screen.

2. Dark Drop Shadows: These are horrible looking now. Very out of date. A drop shadow would be a shadow behind an image, or box of text for example. Drop shadows are still used, but very lightly now.

3. Gradients in Navigation: Gradients (Fades from one color to another) are still used quite a bit, but you have to be careful with them. There was a time when designers would use strong gradients in navigation, like a dark blue to bright white fade.

4. Bevels: Bevels on anything pretty much are just old. A bevel is when an item, be it navigation or button has a sort of inner shadow trying to make it look like a glob on the screen.

The Situation…

The situation many users on the web find themselves in, is that they are constantly going to old websites. But again, consumers are just used to it.

For example, compare these two websites. They are just boring old credit card companies. But compare the overall style, and use the bullets mentioned above.

Old Look: https://www.chase.com/
Newer Look: https://www.discover.com/

What did you notice? What were the font sizes like? How did the page seem to fit on your monitor?


Those are just a few things I noticed today. I will update this list as I remember others, and come across examples.