The 8 Worst Web Design Trends of 2016

Here’s your listicle.

1. Hey! Sign Up For Our Fucking Mailing List!

It’s a popup ad. In 2016. It’s a fucking popup ad, in fucking 2016. I mean, it’s… fuck. Just fuck.

What is the matter with you people? I don’t fucking want that. If I did I’d fucking find it–probably in the fucking sidebar, where I still don’t fucking want it. I’ve been on your site for three seconds and now you think I want fucking email updates? Aren’t we getting along nicely. I don’t even know what your fucking site is about yet.

Oh, did she say that–that it’d increase engagement, or some equally vague drivel?  You need to turn the firehose on your SEO person. She needs to feel that pain that we have felt.

I mean… In 2016… Just fuck!

(And yes, I realize your SEO person hadn’t even been born when we won the first holy war against popups, but… just…)

2. Fuck Your Back Button

We live in a Dark Age of the back button. Shitty things happen when AJAX is given to children.

To wit: Ooh, that looks interesting. Click. Oh, no, it isn’t. Click back.

Wait, why am I at the top of the page again? I just scrolled through half a mile of posts! How am I supposed to find where I was again? Why am I supposed to find where I was again? If only I had a computer to automate this sort of manual labor for me.

It’s one thing when a Tumblr skin does it, because we don’t expect much from MySpace 2.0 (and we probably shouldn’t be looking at porn at work anyway) but the official WordPress themes gallery? Get it together.

And on a related note…

3. IJSF — It Just Scrolls Forever

Hyperlinks are so Gopher. OMG. So is saying OMG. (I’m just doing it ironically. I’m also being ironic totally ironically. So grunge!)

And the best part is, since everyone will expect the different pages to be on, like, different pages, I’ll put a little animated “down” arrow in, so that they know they have to scroll down. And I’ll slow down the scrolling with acceleration/deceleration animation for no good reason. It’ll be so klinkenborg!

What, you don’t know what klinkenborg means?

Gawd, Dad! This is why Mom left you.

4. Parallax Scrolling

This was cute for about 5 minutes. Along with the whole neat little razor nicks in the nylons thing. For about the same length of time. In about the same year.

5. The Hamburger Menu

Yes, we have devised an entirely self-referential skeuomorph. It’s a menu that references… a menu. Clap for we. One more thing for your mom not to understand to click on. One more thing for you to click on, because some waxed beard didn’t want his precious 10th free stock photo cluttered with anything even remotely useful. Web design for people with their heads entirely up their asses.

6. Video Ads/Background Video/Autoplaying Video

I’m wasting your bandwidth, la lala la lala! Woo! Oh, you’re on your phone? I’m grandfathered into Verizon! I’m in Europe! I’m an overpaid marketing prick–I don’t care how much I spend on mobile data! Peons gonna peon!

It was bad enough when sites started loading 5MB of useless JavaScript. (Oh, did you minify it? Thanks kid.) Now they’re expecting us to pull down ten times as much crap per pageload. Advertising wankers (sorry, “marketing wankers”) bitch and moan about us all installing ad blockers, without taking responsibility for their own shitty decisions that make it de rigueur. We didn’t start this war, but if we have to win on casualties, we will.

7. Image Rotators

Face it: The web is a pull technology, like a book, not a push technology, like television. Pithier? The web is not tv. A website is a place that invites a visitor to explore it, not an active entity that pushes the experience at her. (Hence “site.”) I know you want to highlight more content in the same space but–and this is very hard to accept–the image rotator simply makes the site busier and more distracting, discouraging the user from exploring it. Counter-intuitive? Welcome to reality.

Try it yourself, as an end-user. You’ll understand. I’m not even swearing at you.

8. It Must Be Flatter!

By 2020 will come victory. Every website will be a single bold, subtle, surprising, retro, professional, unusual or dick pic-sampled color. You will read sites by copying at random and pasting into a text editor.


Find a half-decent WordPress theme that doesn’t commit any, or indeed most of these sins. Feel free to make a rudimentary Bingo card. The relaunched STP runs on Lavish, which is the closest I could get.

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