Web Design All Looks the Same Now

New research explains why.

Much like midcentury modern has overtaken the American home, design homogeneity has descended upon the web. It comes in the form of particular typefaces, notably Georgia and Arial; the use of white and off-white as default background colors; and certain design elements, such as hamburger menus and flat design, that are common enough to be ubiquitous.

This design homogenization has…

It’s Not Just You: Websites Really Do All Look the Same Now | by Angela Lashbrook | OneZero

This is my biggest disappointment with the current crop of block themes available on WordPress.com, but it seems this issue has a much broader scope.

Having started my online life in the late 1990’s (yes, on geocities) the web at that time was a “worldwide wild west” of design, and certainly not all of it was wonderful even by the standards of the time. But there were websites where whimsy and fun, not to mention interactive elements, played a big part. Heck, not that long ago even here on WordPress.com there were off-the-rack themes that were fun or had interesting components, like “Something Fishy” or even the long-lived “Altofocus.” And, yes, I can understand that meeting accessibility standards for these features is a concern. With the web technologies available today, I hope there would be a way to include everyone and still introduce some fun. It might take a bit more work, but wouldn’t it be worth it?


Over the next week or two, I’ll be sharing posts from around the web testing the currently available sharing options of reblogging, sharing and PressThis and posting the results below.


How was this post shared and what happened: Shared through the PressThis javascript browser bookmarklet. I highlighted a portion of the original text I wanted to share and after clicking the browser bookmarklet, a pop-up editor window opened with the highlighted content in it, including the post title, my highlighted text and a link back to the original post, which is hosted on Medium.

Images: Although I also highlighted the image that appears at the beginning of the original post, it does not appear here in the post, nor does it appear in my site’s Media Library.

Additional Notes: The current PressThis browser bookmarklet is keyed to share to a single site. If you have more than one WordPress.com website and want to share via the bookmarklet, you’ll need to grab the bookmarklet for each of your sites in the Default/WPcom Settings>Writing Settings dashboard .

Published by JenT

Retired dotcom forum moderator (2016-2021) helping WordPress.com bloggers since 2006, one answer at a time. Find me at wpcommaven.com.

4 thoughts on “Web Design All Looks the Same Now

  1. It is true, it is true – and I think the ‘grid’ architecture and a fear of using graphics to highlight parts of a site (betaworks-studios website uses odd shapes) is the reason why. Drupal sites look ‘different’.

    1. Thanks David. TBH, I had a quick look at the Drupal case study pages and it feels like there’s not much there that can’t be done with the WordPress Site Editor. There’s another thing, in the original article I linked to it mentions user expectation about how a site should work. Given WordPress’ large CMS market share, it’s a chicken and egg situation. I hope that when the Site Editor is fully formed, there will be much more variety than there is today.

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