I bet you already forgot about some of these trends. On the other hand, not all of them are dead- there are still I-frame layouts, grunge images and even left scrollbars. It is important to understand that most of them were just a fashion, nothing more. On the other hand, some were really harmful, such as using tables for coding layouts. Here are some pretty overused things in the past few years:
Past trends in layout coding
About five or more years ago, what was considered a great layout, was, in most of the cases, coded using tables. Thankfully, people don’t use them much anymore. Then, about three years ago, people were crazy about I-frames. They are handy little things, but the key word is “little”. They’re not suitable for large content, and it’s almost impossible to put more than a few paragraphs of text in them without scrolling. I think that’s how coloured scrollbars became really popular, because default scrollbars looked really ugly in the middle of a screen, not matching layout. Sure, you could make I-frame longer, you could make them reeeealy long, but you could never predict when scrollbars will appear. So, a few years ago a new “technology” became a great trend: DIV layer layouts! Those layouts were more practical than I-frames, they didn’t scroll, but they were almost never centered, because position: absolute was used to glue it to the left side of the screen.
Past trends in layout design
The most aggressive trends were vectors and grunge layouts. Vectors are not made of real vector graphics. Those are, in fact, an image manipulation called vexel, I believe. Vectors are, in 99% of the cases made of a stolen celebrity picture, and celebrity is usually a female, preferably Britney Spears, Jennifer Lopez or Xtina. Now, I am not saying it’s easy to make a vexel. It takes many hours and not everybody are skilled to do that right… But hey, does everybody who is “talented” enough to spend 15 hours in vectoring a stolen graphic have to put that graphic as a layout? And to do that in PNG format? Thankfully, there are less and less vectors out there.
On the other hand, grunge layouts featured at least 23156452 brushes (grungy brushes, of course!), and they were dark, with a picture of a depressed emo celebrity, such as Avril Lavigne or Amy Lee (of “Evansecence”). The goal was to produce a dark, mysterious atmosphere, with a little bit of egocentrism and “artistic” touch to over manipulated image.
“Hover images” effect is another story. Hover images effect is that damn thing that lowers transparency of an image when it’s hovered. It worked for IE only (of course!) and obviously many people thought it’s really unique and cool. I believe 99.9% people used that crap, sometimes with a horrible TV snow effect before picture was hovered. Another pretty annoying thing is line stretch for a background. And not just for a background! In most of the cases, it just hurts the eye, and it’s really ugly.
Other past trends. Including: coding, layouts and general popular things.
Warning: Some of these are still alive.
In no particular order:
- Fanlistings (hatelistings, namelistings…)
- .nu domains
- Ask me a question
- No right click script
- Splash pages (including no splash, just enter)
- Left scrollbars
- Usual generic content
There are also things that aren’t really trends, but were (are?) pretty overused. For example, “This is my site, and if you don’t like it then fuck off” messages located at splash pages, “steal my work and I will hunt you and kill you” featuring in disclaimers or rude messages in source code. Same goes for links in a sentence for forum signatures (example: The eternal love is music I feel).
Some of these trends are dead now, some still live. And in some cases, they’re replaced with fresh and new trendy stuff. What is considered trendy these days? I believe you can think of a few things. Full article here.