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Outdated site elements, i.e. what is no longer done?

How to remove unwanted elements from the site


The fact that in almost every aspect of our lives there is a certain seasonality does not surprise anyone. Some tendencies fade into the past, and new ones take their place.

This is what the Wirtualna Polska website looked like at the end of 1998. This view is taken from the Wayback Machine database, where we can find out what a particular site looked like on a particular day.

If I wanted to point out any deprecated elements in the above view, it would take a very long time to describe them. Now you can't find such sites anymore, the style is completely archaic, although at that time it was very much in line with modern trends and was absolutely "relevant".

However, I don't know if you are aware of this, but many sites still have obsolete elements that are actually no longer relevant.

Below you will find a list of them. It can sometimes make good sense to deviate from some of them, but in general they should not be used anymore.

Here are outdated elements of the site that are already "gone" (or at least should have gone)

1. Background music

This has been talked about for many, many years. Putting any songs (and even autoplay ones) in the background of a website is a shot in the leg.

First of all, today many people browse the Internet while listening to their own music. There is nothing worse than panicking about "stop" or "pause" after visiting a certain website when the sounds coming from the speakers start to get annoying.

Secondly, we have different musical tastes.

Thirdly, some people may have headphones on their ears while browsing the Internet (from which there is no sound at that time). Going to a site where the user does not expect to hear a single sound at all can be an unpleasant surprise.

Fourth, let's agree - this is extremely unprofessional. Just like using Comic Sans font on the menu of a famous restaurant.

Interestingly, such reasons can be multiplied ad infinitum. Background music should be avoided at all costs unless its use is justified in some way (e.g. on a band's website, perhaps at a music event), although even in such cases the move should be justified.

In any case, in all cases, the user should be able to immediately find the buttons responsible for full control over such content.

2. Innovative navigation

Over time, we get used to certain standards.

Some decisions are so ordinary that they become habitual for us. On the other hand, any deviation from the accepted rules violates the established order and can confuse us.

This may be due to navigation, which:

  • looks different on different pages
  • contains a lot of content in addition to links
  • has a link overlaid on the logo that leads not to the main page, but to a place, which the user does not expect to see at all
  • has a completely illogical hierarchy in terms of the order in which the individual menu items appear
  • is animated in an annoying manner

Moreover, just recently I came across a site that "distributed" traffic between different subpages using. .. animated cube. It can be rotated with the mouse and select specific tabs.

Of course, it all depends on the context, because if the specifics of a particular environment somehow allows a certain "anomaly" to occur, there are times when such an action may be justified.

Otherwise, unfortunately, this is a certain excess of form over content, which serves absolutely no one. Well, except perhaps for the owner of the site in question, who doesn't care about the opinions of other users.

3. Marquee

Marquee is something that the list showcasing the most outdated web elements could not do without.

What is it?

Think back to what websites looked like in the 1990s. They were full of automatically scrolling bars from right to left. They contained information about the name day, greeted visitors, showed the time...

Yes, these are tents.

They are somewhat reminiscent of the Fiat Multipla, but in the world of web design - they should never have been created.

However, I know cases when people ordering certain projects wanted to have such bars on their own sites. They are still achievable - with CSS or jQuery, so technically there is no problem.

However, the bottom line is that the use of such a solution must be justified. Just like using background music during autoplay.

4. Custom Cursors

Custom Cursors are also legacy items that are not currently in use.

They are in the same league as the "falling snow effect" during the winter months. A league that has long lost respect among the whole society.

However, I would not be myself if I did not find a certain exception in this case.

Check out the Flock of Siegel website. As you can see, it is quite specific. Of course, it cannot be denied that it has a special atmosphere. It is characterized by unusual navigation and various cursors on the site.

In a certain environment and in a certain climate, such treatment is justified, since everything forms a single whole.

MTV has also used this in the past by placing huge cursors on the pages of some of their programs.

However, on an official, serious business site, this is a shot in the leg.

5. Too many fonts

In a text containing typography tips for web designers, I mentioned that choosing fonts is extremely important.

The use of multiple types is currently avoided. Most often they rely on the first font, which is responsible for "plain text", and the second, whose task is to highlight headings.

Introducing a few extra styles works against this for two reasons.

First of all, it breaks the consistency, because it's much easier to create an image of a particular site (or just an entire company) using a limited font palette.

Secondly, the more fonts, the longer the page loads.

Therefore, do not forget to rely only on the most necessary ones.

6. Flash elements

Outdated flash elements are something that started to be abandoned a few years ago.

They delighted us because they were responsible for various unusual actions, animations and so on.

However, for some time now, the creator of this technology, Adobe, has been urging everyone to stop using it.

Flash lost in two areas: performance and security. It is ineffective on mobile devices and is sometimes vulnerable to various types of attacks. The role of Steve Jobs, who was not too fond of Flash, was also important in all of this.

7. Input counters

I bet every developer working in the 1990s has come across public counters.

"You are 123456 visitors to my site!". - who is not familiar with this kind of information?

Visitor counters died of natural causes for two reasons.

The first is usefulness. They used to be equal to the number of people who like a fan page on Facebook. Some people believe that the higher the number, the more respect and reverence the fan page earns. Hence the popularity of various not very ethical actions related to the purchase of likes.

The second is the possibility of manipulation. Literally after some time, such a counter can be "increased" or a script is inserted that simply shows false information.

View counting still exists and works well, only now it is carried out using external services (for example, Google Analytics) or the corresponding tool in the hosting administration panel.

However, these public counters are definitely obsolete website elements.

8. Splashes

Splashes is a kind that is a kind of "gateway".

Surely you have come across a website more than once that had only text like: "Welcome to my site! Click the button below to move on!" and a button below it.

Or you may have seen a page that "splits" traffic into two others, for example, a company website and an online store, while only links are placed on them without any additional content.

No more typical outpost pages. Their role has shifted to landing pages - pages that are more elaborate, but still focused on a specific action. They don't greet or invite anyone, click to go.They "persuade" us to perform a certain task.

Remember also that content is extremely important right now. A subpage like this that only has two image links and one sentence of text is useless from an SEO standpoint.

9. Too much centering

Some people have a habit of centering as much text as possible. This may not be the case for very detailed blog posts or tutorials, but for fairly large blocks of text it is.

This is great as I understand that the site owner may have such preferences, but in terms of usability, this is unfortunately a shot in the leg.

We read from left to right. Best of all, we read texts in which each subsequent line begins just below the previous one.

Centering is only suitable for headings or very small blocks of text. Forcing users to read multiple lines of centered text is unfortunately useless and just inconvenient for readers.

10. "Click here" anchors without context.

Of course, anchors (text with subscripts) like "click here" or "read more" still exist, and that's not always a bad thing. Therefore, in the title of this section, you can find the phrase "out of context".

The main thing is that users know where this or that link leads. By the way, look at this text, the link in this example will be in bold:

"Recently I saw a wonderful tutorial. Click HERE to open it."

Except that "click here" doesn't tell us anything. We don't know what the textbook is about.

Using a descriptive anchor makes everything look completely different:

"Recently I saw a great weight loss guide. Check it out at your leisure."

This is good for usability because the author tells us what the link is about even before the user uses it.

11. Justification of the text

Highlighting the text makes sense only where the technology allows you to fairly evenly distribute spaces between words.

On the Internet, unfortunately, things are different. In the age of responsiveness, we use thousands of different devices, each with a different screen width. Therefore, a line of text has a different length on different devices. One time it can fit four words, another six, and a third twenty.

Because of this, gaps of different lengths are formed between words, which, on the one hand, is very ugly, and on the other hand, makes it difficult to read the text, since the eyes have to deal with different arrangements of words.

So Adobe InDesign and books - yes. Sites are not available at the moment.

Outdated website elements gone forever?

There are times when the context of a particular site favors the use of something that is usually considered "extinct".

Sometimes it happens that turning to an outdated solution in certain situations is simply beneficial.

Although I hope that some outdated elements, such as "falling snow" on websites during the winter months, will not come back into fashion under any circumstances.

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