With how advanced technology has become, people searching the web don’t want to visit websites that aren’t as engaging and modern as the world around them. A well-designed website can keep traffic flowing in and make users happy. Staying current with new trends and technology is a great approach to excel in web design. Here are a few tips to keep your web design current and exciting:
Have an edge
The web design world is jumping on the edgy train. Adding bold colors or symbols is one new trend. People enjoy things that are out of the box and fun to look at. Adding some colorful flare to your website may keep people on your site longer and make their experience more enjoyable than looking at a dull and outdated site. This is a really good tactic to make your business stand out amongst the crowd. One example of how we applied this was to a website project for a new law firm. They didn’t want to look like the traditional, stuffy law firm but still wanted to be professional. The results of using blacks and golds along with bold imagery turned out to be very effective. You can check that site out here. But remember to not go overboard, too many colors can look unprofessional.
Everyone wants their website to stand out from the others. Using some of your own photography and illustrations instead of stock images is one way to making your site stand out. In doing so, you can be sure that no other site will have the same images you do. Staying away from template sites will also make your site design one of a kind. This approach allows for unique features in the design and allows users to see something new and different. We always preach to our customers that they don’t have cookie-cutter businesses, so they shouldn’t have cookie-cutter websites. We never recommend using templates and using your own photography on your site can help keep the cost down and have your site look more unique. Fun fact: the picture that we used on our About page was actually taken by Joel Mathew, our President, the day he proposed to his wife while driving up a mountain in Colorado.
Animation is a fresh and modern aspect of web design. If a site is very still, users might just glance over material or pictures that you wanted them to notice and interact with. Animation is a way to engage users’ eyes. Animation grabs focus and ensures that users will see what you want them to see. This feature is a fun and creative way to keep users engaged and can lead to a more positive experience. This can be accomplished by buttons moving when hovered over, by images lightening when clicked or even with shapes and graphics changes when interacted with.
Similar to animation, micro-interactions can help users get more involved with the site. Micro-interactions allow users to feel more in control and make it easier for them to navigate the site. Users are familiar with micro-interactions on a daily basis, whether it’s setting an alarm, posting a status or hitting the “Like” button on social media. Adding them to your site will make users more familiar with your website.
Have a scrolling website
A tall site that doesn’t have tabs but instead displays all information in sections for the user to scroll through is an easy and hassle-free way to navigate through the content. Although this isn’t brand new for 2017, it has been a web design trend as of late. The concept behind why this is popular is simple: think mobile first. Mobile first is a design philosophy that means that designers and UX people design for the mobile device first. The tall scrolling website is great for viewing a lot of information from your phone. We’ve used several versions of the tall scrolling site design and really like a hybrid of the tall scroll and tabbed site design like we did for Just Train, a celebrity personal trainer client of ours. Similar to micro-interactions, users are familiar with the scrolling website layout because it is the layout used for popular social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.
Have a custom Google map
Make sure to include a custom Google map of your location so users can find you. With a custom Google map, you can highlight your location or add color to the map to make your location pop. This tends to fit the overall design aesthetic better than the standard Google Maps colors. One tool that we love that helps create custom maps is called Snazzy Maps. They are pretty snazzy.
Putting real people and stories on your site that users can connect with is more appealing than stock imagery and generic text. Having an “About Us” or “Meet Our Team” section that tells a story about your business allows users to get a feel for who your brand is and the people behind it. It may take coming out of your comfort zone a little bit, but the results are often positive and give a personal connection to the brand. Knight Capital Partners is a client of ours that focuses on mergers and acquisitions which is typically a very traditional industry. By including headshots and bios on their team, as seen here, we were able to help forge a personal connection with their customers instead of looking like a traditional investment firm.