7 potentially annoying design trends in 2014

With 2014 fully upon us, I expect new trends to rise and fall. Among them, there are some that I really do not wish to see becoming popular as they serve no purpose other than being a design fad. These trends mostly started through some inspiration piece done by a well know designer that is posted on his or her own blog or at popular design showcase sites such as dribble.com. Within the context of that particular design, it might make sense. However, other designers saw the effects and started to use them everywhere, regardless of whether it achieves the design objectives. This is how annoying trends starts and below are a few that I do not want to see becoming the latest fad.

annoying web design trends for 2014


#1: Long form shadows

Within some designs, long form shadows can add some texture to an otherwise flat UI. However, some went aboard and started to add long shadows to almost everything icon that they see. Looking at some recent examples of long form shadows have convinced me that it has been abused and I hope it doesn’t becoming a new UI design trend like the flat design.


#2: Heavy video background

There is a trend of using video background to replace big image background.  This is generally ok until the designer goes overboard and uses a heavy video. This makes the user experience lousy as the visitors need to wait for the video to load. I hope in 2014, we don’t see slow loading sites caused by the heavy video background. Remember the good old Flash introduction days?


#3: Pop up message

I don’t know if you have noticed it but the number of sites using pop ups is increasing. Whether it is to prompt you to join their membership, or to get your email or to get you to like their Facebook page, it has grown quite a bit. This is very annoying to me, especially when I am a first time visitor to your site and doesn’t trust you yet.


#4: Continuous scrolling

The biggest annoyance for this never ending page design is the refresh part. Imagine you saw something you like and click on it after already viewing through several extension refresh of the page. When you come back to it, some websites will force you to reload everything again as it cannot remember where you left off. This is super frustrating as a user and I hope less websites use it.


#5: Horizontal Scrolling

I am beginning to see more horizontal scrolling in web design and I am not sure if I liked it.  Horizontal scrolling means you can’t use your mouse for scrolling the page and it is annoying as hell to use the keypad instead. This is not intuitive and will force your users to hate you.


#6: Hidden navigation

In attempts to make their sites look more minimalistic, designers have started to hide their navigation and only revealing them when a mouse over occurs. This has to the worst design decision ever. Without proper navigation, a user is forced to use the back button. He or she will not remember where to mouse over to trigger the navigation. Bad bad design decision. One that I hope will not be present in 2014.


#7: Parallax Scrolling

I have already written on why parallax scrolling may be bad for your website. I still feel there is nothing special about this design style. It is like the 3D of website design. All gimmicks but nothing really solid to change user experience.  I hope the hype over parallax scrolling will die and we will see some real innovation of user navigation.

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  1. Usama Siddiqui says:

    Long form shadows and pop up messages are the most annoying things. Although endless scrolling or continuous scrolling is not that much annoying.

  2. Michael Meininger says:

    I think you meant 2013? :p

    I think a lot of these have been implemented for the past couple years. However, I think a lot of these elements can be over used.

    I am personally annoyed with overly “flat” designs- they can look so collegiate.

    I am however, a fan of long vertical pages and parallax elements as long as they are used in a clever and creative manner.

    Thanks for the article

  3. Alexa says:

    So, I can’t believe what i’m reading.. really? I mean i prefer scrolling and Paralax as the normal basic navigation where you have to click and click and click and click until you get where you want.. and the hide navigation has also standars icons that everyone recognize them and even more if she/he has an iPhone/Android/oder one new generation Telephone.. coz all the Apps use it! ex. Facebook whit the three bars icon where you know u get the menu… so WTF?

  4. Carla Strong says:

    Amen! I couldn’t agree more with this list. Thanks for writing it.