Modern website design has its own set of rules – from
mobile-responsive web design, to parallax pages where the background scrolls at a different speed to create a sense of the third dimension.
But good web design is inescapably linked with the technology we use to view the web, and with our collective habits when finding and viewing websites – and that has brought these old-school web design tips back into the limelight in the 2010s.
1. A thousand words to paint a picture
Slow download speeds meant the early web was largely text-based, and while all kinds of multimedia have been incorporated into web standards over the years, text still leads the way.
Well-written, detailed text is still the best way to rank highly in Google Search results, and still the fastest to load, with compatibility on all web-enabled computers and mobile devices – and it probably always will be.
2. In a .gif
It doesn’t get much more old-school than an animated gif, yet these 256-colour monstrosities have always had a place in our hearts.
After years in the shadows of certain discussion forums and social networks, animated gifs are rediscovering the limelight, particularly since their addition to Twitter as an emoticon-like way of sending a wordless reaction.
3. A game of frames
Frames were huge when they were first introduced as a way to section off parts of your page and load individual HTML files into each.
They survive in lots of different ways, including span and div tags that allow CSS to style only one section of the page, and their direct descendant, iframes, which are still used to embed multimedia content from the main social media platforms.
4. Make the logo smaller!
There is a joke among designers that clients always want their logo to be bigger – but recent trends have made a smaller logo a better idea than ever.
More sites than ever before are now viewed on tablets and even on smartphones, and that means screen ‘real estate’ is at a premium; even if only in your mobile template, a smaller logo frees up valuable pixels to use for your actual content.
5. Turn over a new leaf
And finally, love them or hate them, so-called clickbait sites have proved that a simple HTML slideshow festooned with ads can work as a monetized model for web content.
The user experience angle is more questionable, but the success of those sites show that there are still new uses for old-school web design, even alongside the most modern of responsive websites.