In the vast realm of web design, cliches abound. These tired and overused elements have become all too familiar to both designers and users alike. In this blog post, we will shed light on these cliches, discussing why it is crucial to break free from their predictable grasp.
Visual cliches are elements that are overused or stereotyped in web design, such as overly enthusiastic stock photos, gradients, drop shadows, sliders, etc. These elements may seem attractive or convenient at first, but they can also make your website look generic, cluttered or outdated. Here are some tips to avoid visual cliches:
- Imagery: There are lots of ways to go wrong here. For one, hero images, i.e., oversized header images dominating the webpage. There are also way too many stock photos of smiling people. They come off as way too artificial and corporate. There is no need to use them at all.
- Mixing too much: Use colors and fonts that are consistent and appropriate for your website theme and audience. Avoid using too many colors or fonts that clash or distract from your content. Choose colors and fonts that are easy to read and match your brand personality.
- Minimalism: Obviously minimalism done well is appealing, but most companies have started to just make everything bland and generic nowadays. Almost everything looks like a Supreme logo with different colors. Minimalism is great when it helps accentuate the core aspects of design. It is not an end in itself.
Content cliches are phrases or expressions that are overused or meaningless in web design, such as "Welcome to our website", "We are the best", "Click here", etc. These phrases may seem friendly or persuasive to managers, but they also make your website look completely unoriginal, vague and spammy. Here are some things to keep in mind:
- Clarity: Use clear and specific headlines that capture your purpose and value proposition. Avoid using generic or vague headlines that act as clickbait. Focus on what points specifically are addressed under the title.
- Strong Language: The prevalence of generic buzzwords in web content diminishes its impact and fails to resonate with the audience. These buzzwords, often devoid of substance, fail to communicate a clear message or convey the unique value of a product or service. Instead, they create a sense of sameness and dilute the overall quality of the content.
- Cookies: The proliferation of these consent prompts often leads to frustration and diminishes the seamless browsing flow. Users are bombarded with repetitive requests. That in turn can impede website loading times, causing delays and hindering navigation. Plus, if they do not want your cookies, they are not likely to change their mind. So, consider an ethical workaround that does not harass them every-time they visit your website.
Marketing cliches are all over the place. To cover even 10% of them we would need a separate blog entirely. So, we will just focus on a few that are especially frustrating for the audience.
- Pop-ups: Avoid using pop-ups that interrupt your website user experience or annoy your audience. Their reputation is simply way to gone for you to salvage anything actually worthwhile. Just give them up for now at least.
- Endless Testimonials: When testimonials are abundant and lack specific details or verifiable information, they just take up space - that is all. Without concrete examples or relatable stories, they lose their persuasive power and fail to resonate with the audience. In order to make any of them work you have to curate a select few that provide genuine insights, specific outcomes, or somewhat relatable experiences.
- Timed Discounts: Customers may perceive such offers as manipulative tactics employed solely for short-term gains, eroding trust and credibility. The constant bombardment of time-limited promotions can also lead to artificial scarcity, casting doubt on the true value of the product or service. Plus, an overreliance on limited time offers likely will eventually condition customers to anticipate discounts, potentially undermining regular sales and long-term profitability.
Branding cliches are aspects that are overused or unoriginal in web design, such as logos, slogans, icons, etc. These aspects may seem important or distinctive at first, but they can also make your website look dull, confusing or forgettable. Here are some tips to avoid branding cliches:
- The One-Size-Fits-All Approach: By trying to cater to a wide audience, businesses end up diluting brand uniqueness and fail to connect with any of the specific target markets. Successful branding requires understanding the distinct needs and preferences of the intended audience and tailoring the brand message accordingly.
- Virtue Signaling: This is pretty straightforward. Bunch of corps noticed that treating people well seems to be popular on its surface, so why not make bank on it? This may not be cliche to people who do not care about ethical issues, but it is a surefire way to completely trash your reputation for those who do.