3 Ideas That Buck Website Trends

This week, we’re taking a look a look at website choices that go against the grain. If these seem a bit radical, remember that every standard-ish feature on today’s websites once started as a wild idea. Will these three design choices go from fringe to mainstream? Only time will tell.

1. Remove Social Media Buttons

The Case For: Share! Share! Share! Now that content has once again regained the crown as SEO King, the cry for sharing said content on social media is more deafening than ever. Social media buttons provide that easy access for users to instantly share all your amazing insights with the click of a button.

The Case Against: The typical arguments for deleting social media icons is that it slows website speed, adds additional clutter to the page, and users ignore them. Designer Oliver Reichenstein muses why anyone would provide free advertising for Twitter and Facebook in this article:

The user doesn’t come out of nowhere. We don’t land on your page and then head happily to those social networks to promote you, just because you have a button on your site. We find content through Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest etc., not the other way around.

2. Take Down That Content Slider

The Case For: A picture says a thousand words — and a rotating content carousel sums up your company ideals and mission with just an image and a few words. Nothing speaks more to a user than those high quality pictures

The Case Against: Thijs de Valk lit a small Internet brushfire when he stated that Yoast.com doesn’t use a carousel “because sliders suck”. But then he proceeded to back up that inflammatory statement with science facts like banner blindness, nobody clicks on slides, and they don’t work well on mobile devices. But his main point aginst sliders is that they have no focus:

Basically, what you’re saying with a slider is: “I really don’t know which product or picture I should put on display on my homepage, so I’ll just grab 10 of them!” If you don’t know what to choose, how should your visitors or clients? You should know what your own business is about and what product or picture deserves that front page “shine”.

3. Lose the Comments Section

The Case For: Since the birth of the modern web, the bottom half of the Internet has provided a lively area for discourse and helps build an audience to your website through participation. Users add content to your articles and help with pagerank.

The Case Against: Your typical comments section has turned into not much more than a haven for trolls, spam, and negativity. Both the New York Times and Popular Science have turned off comments on their sites, but perhaps the best argument can be found by writer Matt Gemmell. He turned off comments years ago and has never looked back. His reasoning included unconsidered responses from the anonymous masses don’t add to the conversation, and add moderation headaches for the content creator.

Comments encourage unconsidered responses. You’ve just read an article, you feel strongly about it, and you have a text field just waiting there. When disagreeing, people tend to be at their very worst when writing comments. They use language and tones which they’d never use in email, much less in person. If your blog allows comments, you’re inviting people into your house – but sadly, some of them don’t conduct themselves appropriately.

Since we love hearing from our users, the 190west team is keeping the lights on our comments section below. Have you tried any of these ideas on your website yet? Sound off down below.