Here’s Why All Website Designs Look the Same Now

If you have been around on the internet, you have probably noticed that most websites in their particular niche — in almost all categories, from news media sites to eCommerce platform — tend to look the same. They have very similar formats as well as aesthetics, and this might seem jarring to you at first. However, over the years as these websites have established themselves, this genericization of how websites tend to look has become widely accepted. Still, you might be wondering why all of these diverse websites look so similar to one another, and the answer to your question is actually a little complicated.

According to a study conducted by researchers at Indiana University, about 12 years ago a lot of diversity started to show up in web design. Designers now had better screens that they could use to add a bit of artistic flair to their websites, and they took full advantage of this. As a result of the fact that this is was the case, between the years of 2008 and 2010 websites were found to have the largest amount of diversity. Whether it was fonts or background color choices or any of the various design elements that are put in place, diversity was found to be the norm.

Between 2010 and 2016, however, websites started to look quite similar to one another. A big part of the reason why that is the case has to do with the fact that early websites had to be built from scratch (probably because most content management platforms were evolving), which meant that the developer in question had to come up with aesthetic choices that would be implemented in every aspect of the website. Now, on the other hand, code libraries have become commonplace and there are a number of presets, themes as well as default settings that you can opt for, and the emergence of these easy ways out has lead to websites starting to look more similar.

With the rise of platforms like WordPress and Blogger template based web design started to become a lot more common. Services like WordPress also ended up making web design much easier than it was before, which meant that people that did not have the kind of aesthetic expertise of early web developers ended up getting into web development and using templates to try and create websites of their own.

That said, another big reason why websites look the same is because this standard look is optimal for engaging users and driving traffic to a site. This means that it’s not necessarily a bad thing, although some might say that a more diverse web would be a better thing for everyone. Still, the attention that is being drawn to this might result in more diversity arising in the near future.

Read next: Analysis of 450K Websites Reveals How World's Most Popular Websites Acquire Their Visitors
Previous Post Next Post