Overused elements in content and design

Overused elements in content and design
18 July 2023     992

Overused elements in content and design

When it comes to web design, it is no secret that certain elements can become overused and all too familiar. These repetitive design choices and content clichés have a way of infiltrating our digital landscape, making it difficult for websites to stand out from the crowd. However, some web-designers still tend to rely on outdated or overused elements that can harm the user experience and the credibility of the website. In this blog post, we will discuss four common web-design elements that you should avoid or use sparingly in your content and design.


Pop-ups are annoying and intrusive for the user, as they interrupt the flow of browsing and force the user to take an action. They can also slow down the loading speed of the website and affect its performance.

Moreover, they can be seen as spammy and unprofessional, as they show that the website is desperate for attention or revenue. As such, you should avoid using pop-ups in your web-design, unless they are absolutely necessary and relevant for the user. If you do use pop-ups, make sure they are easy to close and do not cover the entire screen.

Even if your pop-ups are generally useful, try to let other things carry its functions. The reputation is simply gone.

a picture of a person writing

Skeuomorphic Design

Skeuomorphic design is a style of web-design that mimics the appearance and functionality of real-world objects, such as buttons, switches, knobs, or books. It was popular in the early days of web-design, as it helped users to understand and interact with unfamiliar digital interfaces. However, it is now pretty outdated and overused, though some designers are still trying to bring it back in newer forms.

The problem is it can make the website look cluttered and heavy, as it adds unnecessary details and textures that do not enhance the user experience. Furthermore, skeuomorphic design can be inconsistent and confusing across different devices and platforms. Sometimes it simply looks off - especially on mobile.

So, you should avoid using skeuomorphic design in your web-design, unless it serves a specific purpose or somehow adds value in a specific context. If you do use skeuomorphic design, make sure it is simple and elegant, and does not interfere with the functionality or usability of the website.

a photo of an office


Sound and video that auto-play are, similar to pop-ups, annoying and distracting for the user, as they create unwanted noise and movement on the webpage. It is just an unnecessary risk. If they wanna click on play, they will.

That stuff can also consume a lot of bandwidth and data, which can affect the loading speed and performance of the website. It also throws the user off in the moment, as they usually immediately beeline to stop the player.

As such, it is better to refrain from them. Even if you think the video/audio is very important. Just heavily guide the users towards them in that case. No need to assume or force them into it.

a pic of a laptop and a website

Writing Style That Sounds Like an Ad

Writing style that sounds like an ad is a way of writing content that uses exaggerated or hyperbolic language, such as "the best", "the most", "the ultimate", "guaranteed", "amazing", "incredible", etc. It does not convey any meaningful or credible information to the user, it sounds desperate, it is for the most part completely dishonest and comes off arrogant even if it is honest.

Your reputation will very likely take a hit, even if most users get a whiff of it. So qualify your sentences, rein in the superlatives and try to be more explicit when giving value statements.


Web design, a realm of challenge and reward, demands perpetual learning and growth. However, many designers stumble into the trap of outdated and overused elements, detrimental to user experience and website credibility.

In this blog post, we explored four common web design elements that should be avoided or used sparingly: pop-ups, skeuomorphic design, auto-playing sound and video, and ad-like writing style. There are a lot more, but avoiding these 4 is a start.