Girly web designs – then and now 12/16/14


Just like fashion, web design tends to change a lot, though major trends don’t occur exactly every season. Website design elements that were considered beautiful or user-intuitive five years ago are almost without exception now obsolete, so it’s quite interesting to compare then and now website versions and see what was changed and what was kept. As a general rule, the tendency is to strip down designs of all unnecessary elements and make the page load faster, providing a more streamlined user experience. When looking at these changes, most people analyze business websites and corporate designs. But these only represent a small fraction of the web and it’s also important to see how major web design trends impact personal blogs. Girly websites are interesting to compare and if you have an eye for pastel colors and feminine accents, you should read about the evolution of these websites.

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Whether they’re made for online journals, beauty blogs, fashion sites or online stores for feminine products, girly web designs are a pleasure to look out. There’s no denying that they used to be quite heavy in the past, with plenty of elements added at the same time. In the early 2000s, designers would focus on pastel backgrounds, complemented by elements such as lacy details, swirls, floral patterns, polka dots and hearts. Cursive fonts were also really popular, as were girly banners and even custom sparkly cursors. While some of these could have been pleasant on their own, together they made a mish-mash that compromised on readability. Nowadays, things are quite different. With the advent of minimal web design, websites can address the feminine audience without looking like the virtual version of a baby doll outfit. Heavy elements have been replaced with simplicity and subtle feminine accents that don’t affect readability or loading time.

 

Beauty blogs are some of the most relevant examples in terms of classy and girly website design. Since the content of such websites can be photo-heavy, it’s important to opt for simplicity. A plain white background with a minimal banner and typewriter font might seem too plain at first, but if consider the dynamics between content and design, you’ll see that these go really well together. To spice things up, you can add ribbon accents in the design or use these ribbons as separators between page columns. Look at websites such as theribbonroom.co.uk to get inspiration for page elements. If you really don’t want a plain white background, you can ask your designer to use small black ribbons to spice it up. To add a touch of color without bothering the reader, you can create a cute mouseover effect for article titles. Last, but not least, animations are not as common as they were several years ago. Although these might be adorable, they can really affect the user experience, making the page more difficult to load and scroll through. To sum up the evolution of girly designs in one world, that word would be minimalism. The use of small, yet suggestive feminine symbols creates the desired effect, without going over the top.