1. Hamburger Menus
Hamburger menus have become extremely popular. As more sites move to unify the desktop and mobile experience, design elements that used to be mobile-only have become universal. The hamburger menu is an example of this. You can hide away a lot of navigational info behind those three lines, which saves you real estate that you can use for something else. But be careful: anytime you force the user to take an action to get something done, you risk losing some of them. You might be better off if at least some of that info is visible and clickable without needing to open the burger.
You’ve seen lots of these. They are very trendy, especially for landing pages. They look pretty cool when you see them for the first time. But there’s a lot of reasons not to depend on them too much. They suffer in functionality: they can be hard to use, they load slowly, they are bad for SEO, and it pushes real content down the page. They are pretty, but that’s it. Ditch carousels for something that has a better ability to showcase actual content. They are just getting in the way. At this point, the fact that they used to be so popular also means they are starting to get tacky and dated.
3. Parallax Scrolling
This is another trend that has a lot of visual appeal, but not much else. Again, it is really bad for load times. It takes so long to load that you risk losing a lot of users who leave out of frustration. The fact that it is graphic-heavy also means it isn’t that good for SEO, either. Even worse, some people get sick when they scroll through a page and the elements move at different speeds. Come up with a different way to catch the eye. This one is too likely to backfire. You also don’t want to rely on a lot of scrolling, because this is another case of content that users will miss because it takes too much interaction for not enough payoff.
4. Crazy Load Screens
Pages should not be taking so long to load that you need a long, fancy animation to keep users amused. Furthermore, these are often annoying or uninformative. Try having elements of the real site pop in one at a time. Don’t have a long animation that wastes the user’s time. They want to know what your site is and use it immediately, and fancy load screens get in the way of that. That is not to say you should not have a dedicated load screen, but make it informative and simple without being boring. Ideally, it will have some information about the purpose of the site and show the bare bones of its layout so users have a head start on navigation before loading is complete. That’s a great way to make good use of the user’s wait time.
6. Diverse Typefaces
Having too many fonts is almost always confusing and irritating. Yes, you can use different fonts to demarcate different kinds of content, but there are better ways to do that, like position, spacing, bullets, and so on. Don’t bother using a new font for every field. Most people won’t know the purpose of every font and it will be distracting. A few fonts is OK because it lets you differentiate between, say, headers and paragraphs. But more than three on a page tends to obscure meaning rather than enhance it. It is very tempting to want to pull out lots of fun fonts, but in 2017 users won’t have the patience for that. You also need to be very careful that all your fonts look good on mobile screens. The more fonts you use, the more likely you are to accidentally pick one that gets blurry for mobile users.
The big overarching theme here is that a focus on visual appeal over content and functionality leads to bad web design. It is hard to balance, because you want to show off and use your skills. As a designer, you see sites from a design viewpoint. Try to put yourself in the shoes of the user instead and think about how you can make the site easier for them to use. A clean, fast, and easy to read site is much better than a slow and confusing one, even if the second site looks stunning.