With programming languages, frameworks, design trends, and other things changing so fast, it feels inevitable that the websites we spend so much time and resources on will be old and outdated by the time we finish making them. Of course, change and innovation are good, but they can cause essential long-term thinking to be overshadowed by more short-term priorities

WHAT IS DISPOSABLE DESIGN?

Using some basic knowledge, you can probably make a pretty good guess on what disposable design is. Think of single-use plastic, used a couple of times and then done away with. Disposable design is web design built with a narrow, short-term thinking model.

CAUSES OF DISPOSABLE DESIGN

There are so many potential factors that can lead to disposable design, and understanding them can help you avoid making these mistakes.

CAUSES OF DISPOSABLE DESIGN

There are so many potential factors that can lead to disposable design, and understanding them can help you avoid making these mistakes.

POOR PLANNING

Like always, fail to prepare, prepare to fail. Whether you are building an ecommerce store, a blog website, a car rental website, or anything else in the digital world, you can count on one thing; poor planning will always lead to poor design. So, if you don’t know what you need or your goals, don’t expect to pick the correct answer by pure luck.

Design is purpose, and we need to know the purpose of your design before you start the building process.

FOLLOWING FADS

The digital world is constantly evolving at an even faster rate than the natural world. There are new standards, new ideas, new frameworks, and new opportunities with every new day. As exciting as this does sound, it is important to understand the very fine line between progress and fads.

A full-page video loop or even parallax scrolling can give your website a certain wow factor. First, however, you need to consider if these elements are really helping to serve your users. The answer isn’t always no but, in most cases, gives users the impression your website is attempting to overcompensate for lack of substance.

Let’s talk about another example. CSS and HTML are the basis for everything web designers do, and most projects that are more than a couple of pages will typically utilize monopolies like React or Vue. These are established, supported frameworks and are usually the most sensible option to serve your client well. Of course, you can look into the new, revolutionary framework, but it’s best to make a choice based on what is best for the project, not what everyone else is doing this week.

POOR DOCUMENTATION

Good documentation is essential for clarifying your own thoughts and allowing other people to understand what you have done with your website. When you have a website design, you need to make sure that your client can use it to post blog content or update content. Usage and handover documentation help your client understand the inner workings of your website but are also essential for collaboration. To keep projects alive and growing, focus on better documentation.

OUTSOURCING

The temptation to embed third-party platforms on your website may seem totally worth the saved time or effort, but it is bound to age poorly in reality. Sure, putting your Twitter feed on your website instead of a blog may appear genius, but the issue with this kind of approach is all about the content. Unless the content is on your own website, you don’t own it. You are instilling your trust and content to a third party and following their rules which could potentially cause issues if this is your only approach.

BUILD TO LAST

The ability to alter and delete websites and elements at the snap of the finger is something so amazing and unique about the design world. There are no landfills piled high with waste or beaches filled with trash; when you press delete, it is gone. However, designing a site with longevity and sustainability in mind proves to be successful. You must understand what your site is and the direction it is going in to evaluate what things need to stay constant and which things leave room for flexibility and change.

Here are some of the areas that should remain consistent:

  • URL Structure: You don’t want to mess around when it comes to your page slugs; put time and effort into them to avoid bad SEO and avoid unenjoyable UX.
  • Branding: Making constant changes to your layout and navigation of your online store can frustrate your customers, and they will eventually tire of your website’s reinventions.
  • Content Strategy and Tone: The content you post and how you say it gives the site its character. Inconsistent content and tone can come across as lazy and amateurish.
  • Design Best Practices: A website that follows the basics of color pallets, navigation, typography, and grid systems is setting itself up for longevity.

Now, we’re not telling you that your website should be exactly as it was 30 years ago. However, finding a balance between durability and flexibility is key to the longevity and success of your website. By utilizing modular design and long-term thinking, you can create a website that will change organically over time.

Every website has different needs but laying solid foundations for your website allows you, your peers, and successors to improve your website rather than fixes.

With offices in Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles, Ca., New Target provides digital strategy, digital marketing, web design, web development, branding, website hosting, and creative services for prominent nonprofits, companies, and government.