In January, UX Mag and Mashable both published lists of web design elements that should be trashed once and for all. Interestingly, the list only agreed on 2 1/2 items: photo carousels, m dot sites, and the use of Flash. (I say 2 1/2 because Mashable only argues against Flash intros while UX Mag would abandon Flash altogether.)
And I have to say I agree.
Used sparingly, a photo carousel can provide a little variety to a site, calling attention to hot topics and giving it some visual interest. But the animation is problematic- carousels are always moving either too fast or slow for your site visitors, because everyone reads at a different rate. I’ve also seen carousels give rise to some very bad design decisions, such a links you can only access through the carousel or using multiple carousels on a single page. We almost need to kill this trend just so no one gets any bright ideas.
M dot sites
M dot sites are those alternate mobile versions of existing web sites. You know the ones – the URLs start with “m.” before the rest of the address.
I particularly dislike m dot sites. About a year ago, my personal laptop finally gave up the ghost. Since then, 90% of my internet is through my phone or tablet. The curator in me also loves to share interesting articles, pictures, and websites with my friends and colleagues. But trying to decipher an m dot URL to share with someone who isn’t using a mobile device irritates me. Okay, I’m sure there’s probably an easy way to do it, but I don’t have the time to figure that out right now.
Oh, Flash. It’s everywhere. Games, animation, eLearning… and yet, all it took was Apple saying no to bring this giant down to size. Sort of reminds me of the VHS/Betamax wars, or the subsequent HD-DVD/Blu-Ray battle. This is a hard one for me to bid farewell- my early career was built in Flash. But change is inevitable, and Flash is swiftly being replaced with other formats compatible with modern browsers. So bring on the HTML5 and the MP4s. I’ll catch up. Eventually.