New Web Trends: Just Because You Can, Should You?

I came across a well-written article in Smashing Magazine a few days ago: Responsive Design Frameworks: Just Because You Can, Should You?

In web and UX design our ultimate goal is to make users’ web experience easier, but apparently, many of us have forgotten this primary goal.

Take flat design for example – flat design is supposed to make the UI simpler. I see many websites in which all UI elements have solid background colors, trying to be “flat”, but there are tons of elements mixed and blended together, with various opacity. It just makes the UI a lot more confusing. I’m a fan of flat design, but I believe it’s not necessarily better than realistic design for every website. (Check out Flat vs. Realism, if you haven’t already!)


Thanks to CSS3 transitions, we don’t see any sudden change in color or opacity anymore! It’s all smooth and transitioned. But is it always a good thing?
Almost every website has different hover color for links than default link color (a:hover in CSS). Why is it so? Basically, because when user rolls over that text, you want to let him (or her) know it’s a link. Many websites now change the link color on hover with a transition, which defeats the whole purpose. because it’s not easily perceived anymore! I usually prefer to set my CSS3 transition (if there is any) like this:

a:not(:hover) {
	-webkit-transition: color 0.7s;
	-moz-transition: color 0.7s;
	-o-transition: color 0.7s;
	transition: color 0.7s;

Furthermore, most new websites use a CSS responsive design framework, like Bootstrap. They usually use the full package, and then use 20-50% of it, while overwriting half of what they actually use. So it just increases page size and load times. 😐 I used to work for someone who really liked Bootstrap, so I used it a lot. But now I use it only in projects that have a tight deadline and usually customize the package so that it only includes the stuff I need.

It’s a blessing that web coding languages are improving so fast and browsers are more consistent now (I opened one of my recent web projects in IE and it worked smoother than Chrome! How crazy is that!), but we need to pay more attention to UX now. As they say, “with great power, comes great responsibility”!


Author: Ardalan Naghshineh

Ardalan started web designing and front-end development when he was only 8 years old, and 5 years later began server-side programming. He has built over 100 websites/web apps ever since.