I’m “new” to web design [I’m a graphic designer]…studying it at a community college to get a “certification.” (I know, I know…I can hear the groans…). Anyhoo, I’ve had previous classes on HTML5/CSS3, etc. This semester we are researching “current trends” and we are being shown design styles that were in my previous classes…taboo! Things like intro pages (don’t do that, people want to get right to the nitty gritty), large images (takes too long to download), large videos (same, download time), etc. And also newer design trends like parallax and flat card design that you see all over the web. So it’s kind of confusing have spent so much time being told “don’t do that” and now its ok, “do that”!
So my question is…how important IS it as a web designer to follow “current trends?” I see tons of websites now using flat color card design. When websites start following certain trends, doesn’t it kind of take away from being unique to the company or personal image? Does using new trends apply more to large websites for corporations rather than the smaller website for individuals or small companies?
Are design trends changing so fast it’s not worth trying to keep with the Jones and just do your own thing? Or do you keep redesigning web sites to keep current with changing times so you are always reflecting contemporary tastes?
I do understand that things with the web are ALWAYS changing as technology and code standards evolve. But is it a good idea to jump on current trends and ride the wave or try to stand out by NOT looking like other web sites?