Recent Web Designs that Don’t Follow Recent Trends

by Tom Kenny (@tkenny)

Last month I wrote an article on why design trends don’t have to completely disappear, explaining why design trends should live on beyond their acceptance. However, we are now starting to see designs that don’t follow any popular recent trends. What makes the following examples great is that they stand out from the crowd and are instantly memorable for being unique.

Carsonified

carsonified

As you can immediately see, Carsonified uses uses the simple concept of two colours. This really allows the content to stand out and become the centrepiece of the design.

carsonifiedRed

carsonifiedBlue

The dual colour is continued throughout the site with the background colour changing depending on what page you are view.

This is a very bold approach to design but one that works extremely because of the simplicity. There could have been much more content on there but it seems that they have done a good job of cutting that down to only what is necessary. This simplicity improves the usability because there is a much smaller chance of a user becoming frustrated at having too many options or too much content to wade through.

Elliot Jay Stocks

elliotJayStocks

The biggest thing that Elliot’s site does that certainly isn’t a trend is alignment, or in this case, misalignment. Alignment still exists, keeping the pages flowing nicely and making them easily scannable too.

elliotAlignment

elliotAlignment2

elliotAlignment3

The addition of misalignment adds an extra depth to the design, making it more interesting, without looking too messy and unorganised. Consistency is achieved across the whole site so elements don’t look out of place.

elliotBlog

Also, notice how the blog page is laid out with content spanning two columns much like a design of a newspaper of magazine.

Fudge

fudge

To almost all designers, it is clear where fudge has gained their inspiration from. The whole interface is a replication of a photoshop document window complete with working guides!

fudgeGuides

This is just their holding page while they get their new site up and running so should be one to look forward to.

Be

bethere

When I received an email from my ISP informing they had redesigned their site I was happy because their old site wasn’t anything special. Upon seeing the new design, I didn’t like it but for me it is definitely a ‘grower’ as I like it more and more every time I visit. I can understand that it might not be to everyone’s taste though.

bethereTypography

bethere2

bethere3

The bright colours do a good job of drawing the visitors’ attention even though it may be a bit garish for some.

I wondered why they had gone from a design that appeals more to a mainstream audience to this. They seem to be going for the geek crowd as it somewhat resembles a BBS.

Max Voltar

maxVoltar

A very simple but pleasing to the eye design using black and white with different shades of grey to add a touch of detail.

maxVolarSidebar

Scrolling down while viewing a blog post reveals the logo hidden underneath the header. Very clever technique of using the z-index property in CSS while fixing the sidebar in place. Certainly something you don’t see very often at all, if ever.

Simplicity is the Key

The main thing to take away from this is simplicity. There is a certain beauty about simplicity as well as making websites easier to read, use and navigate. Consider simplifying aspects of your next design as a means of improvement rather than adding more.

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by Tom Kenny

I’m a freelance web designer and front-end developer with 9 years of experience designing for the web. Follow me on Twitter here.