Over the years, web design has become quite beautiful. Simple and attractive sites have become the standard, compared to the chaos that was web design in the first twenty years of the Internet.
We should be proud of how far we have come in web design. While working toward more streamlined designs, we have also reaped the benefits of ease of navigation (when done correctly), standardization in building techniques, ease of prototyping, and strict grid layouts lending themselves to responsive design.
The one downfall is that websites are all starting to look the same. Where has all of our creativity gone? There are several factors that are leading to this cookie cutter trend, including the following:
Responsive design: The simplicity of sites has increased in correlation with mobile usage and the need for responsive design. The layouts need to be basic in order for the grid to collapse for a streamlined look on any device.
Layouts: When you take away all the personality from most websites that you see today, you will notice there are only about five common website layouts.
Free Photography: There are several free or cheap stock photography websites that make beautiful photos easily accessible to website designers. Photography makes or breaks a website, so having these attractive, high-resolution assets readily available can be a huge benefit. However, have you noticed there are some pictures that are so attractive and so easily attainable that they are used everywhere?
In most circumstances, a more standard design is the better choice, whether it is due to time or budget constraints. But just because the framework is standard, doesn’t mean it can’t be fun or clever! Let’s get weird. Let’s get out of our web design box. One way we can do this, while keeping the overall design simple and responsive, is to get funky with the layout. Instead of going straight to a template, draw a design on a piece of paper and do something you have never done. When we said think outside the box, we meant literally. Often you see portals or call outs on a website in simple square blocks. Think geometric! And lastly, use stock photography as an idea, not an end product. Add your own spin to the image to make it unique to you and your brand.
Though it seems the majority of sites are all starting to look the same, there are still some incredible designs out there. Follow this link to see some great examples of web designers thinking outside the box.