The 10 Worst Web Design Trends in the Last 20 Years!

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— Want to learn UI/UX?
— Today, I’m going to give you my personal list of the 10 worst web design trends of the last 20 years in UI/UX design. I admit, I’m *probably* leaving out a bunch of others, but if you agree or disagree, let me know in the comments. If you have other trends that I’m sure I forgot about, let me know too!

0:00 – Introduction
1:01 – An awesome offer from Scrimba
1:31 – Busy Backgrounds
2:46 – Tiny Text
3:46 – Splash Pages
4:21 – Hit Counters
5:14 – Borders
5:54 – Cheesy Effects
8:22 – Web 2.0 Gloss & Gradients
9:38 – Blobs
10:25 – Particle Backgrounds
11:19 – Portfolio Progress Bars
12:22 – Outrooo

Let’s get started!

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Who is Gary Simon? Well, I’m a full stack developer with 2+ decades experience and I teach people how to design and code. I’ve created around 100+ courses for big brands like LinkedIn,, Pluralsight and Envato Network.

Now, I focus all of my time and energy on this channel and my website

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  1. Damn…. You can tell how old a web designer is by what trend she followed when first getting started! I missed the whole busy backgrounds thing but I was IN LOVE with tiny text. Hmmm and now I wonder how I and if tiny text can be adapted with modern design…. hmmmm :))))

  2. Blobs are bad? I like them! In fact, I'm improving my pen tool skills, got the inspiration from scrimba.

  3. Personally I really liked the "Web 2.0 Gloss & Gradients" design. Today I feel the internet feels too flat and boring.

  4. Gotta love the '90s… :')

    And for the nillies: at least there was design lol. You had the "futuristic" stuff, the action movie stuff, come to think of it that era was probably just inspired by movies of the time. :')

    Lol at the particle backgrounds… That thing that was cool for 5 minutes lol. Implemented it once, because I was asked to, but it got ditched quite rapidly.

    Yeah, those progress bars, never really understood how you'd quantify your skill level like that in the first place (I mean you have no idea yourself of how good or bad you are at something unless you got tested by some kind of authority) or why you'd want to advertise that you suck at something. If you suck at something don't advertise for it until you get better… ¯_(ツ)_/¯

    To call them bad though (except for the '90s where there was no design to speak of)? They made sense back then (apart from the particles and progress bars). It's only when looking from today's perspective that they look bad. Pretty sure everyone of your design videos will be laughed at in 20 years time lol. Things evolve, likes change, new ideas form every day.

  5. The fact that nowadays 90% of the sites simply will not run at all if you disable javascript is definitely the worse trend of modern internet.

  6. Regarding tiny texts, I think it's because most monitors/screen resolutions then were 800×600. I recall only a few were using 1024×768. So small texts like Verdana 12px was a thing then.

  7. Personally, I HATE the use of the basic colour, overly exaggerated cartoon characters that represent a diverse team of people. Very similar to 10:08

  8. The worst ui that I have seen is the default desktop environment of most Linux or BSD distros. Ugh!

  9. Looking at these I am having a severe case of nostalgia, these are making me smile, especially the D&D website even thought I was born in 1998 and didn't have access to internet till 2008. 😀

  10. I think particle backgrounds are only used for artistic purposes, not for implementing it on a website or something.

  11. OH MY GEOCITIES! 😀 With rainbow text baby! This was such a cool trip down memory lane. I remember these times like it was yesterday! ps. blobs are coming back behind vectors.

    Love your videos Gary!

  12. I think "progress" bars might be more interesting and fun if you'll put them in a bit different perspective.

    Let's say it's not about knowledge with X% of some language , but as example

    Interested in :

    language – %
    language – %
    language – %
    language – %

    From 0 to 100% , but we can add some little fun things like over 100% value to 1 language and making it glowy-red showing like it's overcharged or something 😀

    I mean…it's not like serious professional thing to show off your portfolio , but we can make it at least more fun and informative – to show what you're most interested in.

    I even want to use it now just for fun.
    I mean…my website was never serious thing anyway while it existed and I don't want to be this way , I wanted site to be interesting technologically and ideologically…
    But it doesn't need to be all this boring strict nonsense.

    If I'm all about fun little things , my site probably should be too ^^

    Okay , now when I'm done with my monologue – time to go back to work with all other's people boring sites.

  13. Let's take a moment to appreciate the effort they had put in and the creativity that designer had all these years. The kind of flexibility they had with css and js back then was so less. Truly great to see how the design has evolved over these years.

  14. "You don't want people to have to unnecessarily click this button just to get to the main site" ( 3:45 ), Websites now: "CLICK HERE TO ACCEPT COOKIES"

  15. I started teaching HTML this semester and it is amazing to look back on how much stuff we can do in CSS when it used to have to be a graphic or JavaScript (or both).

  16. looking back on the internet archive at the last 20+ years for the main sites i administer I cringe. I tried or implemented many of the things you cover in this video. I just hope my sites look better now than they did then. (Although I thought they were pretty good then.)

  17. "Assuming they are gonna click on the background to enter my site" Ahah love that! It's actually very healthy and smart to take the time to observe how trends come and go.

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