Like most industries, the web design industry is affected by fashions and trends. As soon as one website tries something and coincidentally happens to be successful, people instantly presume the design was the key factor and update their websites accordingly.

Google introduced the minimalist website at a time when most websites were cluttered and suddenly everyone wanted to pull in the Digital Feng Shui experts and de-clutter their websites.

Blogs looked like the future once, and big corporate websites not only needed blogs written in a casual way by the Managing Director Press Office, but this expanded to making the whole website look like a blog, and in some cases putting out key financial information in in blog postings rather than in the investors or financial news section.

Now there is a new trend – the analogue clock.

I am not sure where it started, but the first version of it I saw was on the relaunched UK Parliament website, which apart from being full of bugs had suddenly acquired an animated clock at the top of the page. Despite being fairly universally disliked in the comments section, the website designer was adamant that it would remain.

Recently,  the BBC website received one of its periodic evolutions and gained a clock at the top of the page. Semi-tolerable in that it is in the style of the BBC clock from about two-decades ago, so old people will like it, but I still wonder what functionality it adds to the website.

Recently I noted that the Chinese website, Xinhua had gained a clock – although it looks suspiciously like the BBC clock and even had the same animated seconds hand. The file name is different though, so they have at least tried to cover their tracks if plagiarism has occurred.

This morning, my attention was drawn to a website promoting a course about tea tasting (nice idea, ouch price tag) and it has a clock on the top of the website. Are people timing their tea making process by website clocks I wondered?

These are just the websites I could recall this morning – I’ve seen clocks sprouting up all over the place over the past couple of months.

The clocks are taking over!

As quite a fan of both the art and the science of Horology, and at one time had about a dozen different clocks in my living room, I love clocks – but not on websites.

If I want to see clocks, I’ll go here. I don’t need to be reminded of the time every time I visit a website though.

Please, let the fashion for putting analogue clocks on the tops of websites be a short-lived one.

Update:

It’s been drawn to my attention that the beta version of the new BBC website has dropped the clock. It seems the era of website clocks may indeed be a short-lived one. Hurruh!

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3 Comments

  1. Don’t forget http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/ Analogue clock added on their recent redesign. Oh the whimsy!

    • IanVisits

      Ahh, yes that was another one I had seen recently. Thanks

  2. M

    They’re a complete waste of time (fnar fnar). Doesn’t everyone using their computer/laptop/smart phone have a clock on display already anyway?

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