These days it is no secret that staying ahead of the competition by incorporating state of the art web design is fundamental to the success of your website. Change is a constant when discussing web design and technology, where subtle but significant alterations occur that can drastically affect the vibrancy of your website and company. Change can come in many forms from the aesthetic and visual appeal, to algorithm updates and changes. Not to mention staying well informed with the best practices to perform to ensure optimisation for your website.
Just look back at some well-known websites from a decade ago, due to the engagement we now all use our smart phones and devices without paying real attention to the subtle changes the occur overtime. A website that looks fresh, shiny and modern today, could look outdated with glaring weaknesses in a few months’ time. This is one of the main reasons it is vital to stay in the know with the latest trends and technology, knowing what the difference is between a fad and a trend is paramount to designing your website. Ensuring your website will stand the test of time is something that is ongoing, ensuring you stay fresh with the latest designs and concepts will allow you to remain modern and trendy, staying ahead of the competition. An aging website is a glaring insight into the state of your business, should your content remain stagnant and a decade old then what does this say about your business and your aspirations moving forward? Some people may even assume you are no longer in business due to an outdated design that is evident when scrolling through your website. Even issues involving the loading speed which will cause your pages to lag due to neglect and improper management is enough these days to make the average scroller click off.
The future for web design will inevitably deliver higher speed for all devices that allows state of the art designs which involve interactive video/sounds to run smoothly and efficiently. Today it is becoming more common to see interactive video almost everywhere. Websites introduce video content right from the start of their website experience. Prioritising speed and design on mobile devices will allow all the latest state of art eye catching video content appear effortlessly and fluently. With more mobile devices in use now more than ever before, it is good practice to focus on delivering effective state of the art websites that run with ease on these formats.
Recent studies have shown how fundamentally important the speed of your website is for retaining the interest of the browsing potential client. To make that initial first impression, and interact with users online, you have around 3-5 seconds before they lose interest.
Arguably a downside to all these wonderful fast gleaming devices these days is people’s patience, and lack of it. The faster the online world gets, the higher the demand for this kind of service in the real world. Speed and interaction with multiple video, games, pages of any kind are relatively new to us, and some of the behaviours that this can encourage is currently unfolding before our very eyes.
A website may look gleamy and impressive from the start to users engaging with your website, however, should the pages contain an abundance of data you run the risk of falling into the category of lagging content. This will defer customers away from your business which is the exact opposite of what your trying to accomplish. Google encourage high performing websites and even goes as far as to rank them higher because of this. The main reason is to ensure that their users get the best possible results for their search, which involves websites using the latest up to date tools that allows for as pleasant user experience as possible.
In simple terms, as websites need to be faster to meet with the demand of the current user, this means that web designers need to make speed and functionality a priority. Relying on designers to perform this can be seen as a big mistake, as the process of ensuring a high-ranking site covers many parameters and measuring your performance will definitely highlight areas to work on.
Initially web designers and developers used to create simple clean websites for an enhanced mobile performance. Due to the demand and use of mobile phones these days, mobile friendly websites aren’t just an option but a necessity. As previously discussed, most websites bulging from the seams with image and video content that will load slowly and ultimately frustrate the savvy mobile user of today.
Clean and minimalist designs are well known for their loading speeds and are popular and trendy two main reasons. Firstly, mobile and desktop browsers will experience fast-loading websites. Secondly, the SEO importance to a website is phenomenal. As search engines lean towards speed and efficiency as criteria for their ranking in the search results then it makes total sense to incorporate this into your website. These are the main reasons business owners are leaning towards clean functioning websites as this trend is likely to remain a constant in the years to come.
It is important to note that a ‘clean design’ doesn’t mean everything is reduced down to the very basics, instead try to think of it as minimalism and usability. It’s all in the design when creating clean and efficient websites, focusing on eliminating the clutter that will lag your website, incorporating aesthetically pleasing colours, clean and smooth edges with lots of space that’s cleansing to the eye. This design incorporates the idea that the main focal points of your business will be highlighted rather than an abundance of material that is likely to slow down the loading times due to slow loading high resolution image focused design.
Initially people don’t like change, particularly business owners. When it comes to staying ahead of the times it is vital to pay special attention to what is hot and what is not. Minimalist doesn’t mean boring, utilising vibrant colours with some simple imagery and elegant fonts forms an ideal user experience that is pleasing to the eye and engaging traffic to your business.
This kind of design doesn’t rely solely on imagery to be captivating, the main bonus here is the user doesn’t have to wait for large amounts of data to load causing lagging and frustration. Incorporating the best possible user experience to your website is vital these days, and one that will pay in dividends in the future for your business. Data-light, fast-loading designs ensure your page speed and optimization will run much faster, which isn’t just favourable to your user but also to Google, Yahoo, Bing, and every other search engine. As faster load times means your site is more likely to rank well, as well as the benefits of a clean design, users are apt to stay longer scrolling through your site, resulting in more conversions.
In recent years mobile searches has overtaken desktop searches resulting in making mobile search the highest search form worldwide. In relation to this fact Google and other search engines change the way they choose what sites they index first. Now they tend to prioritise mobile friendly sites over ones which don’t have this capability.
Since the emergence of this game changing trend, mobile web design has changed the way that websites are fundamentally created. Gone are the days where the standard website design would be implemented for desktop or a laptop computer, with additional add on features that will include mobile friendly design for your website. Mobile design starts with designing the site for the mobile user first and foremost before designing a version that also works for the desktop user.
As previously mentioned the mobile friendly design favours your SEO efforts as search engines rank mobile friendly websites as opposed to ones which don’t, this has pushed the industry in creating the best possible designs for mobile usage first, which inevitably enhances the user’s experience with the website on the device they will most likely be searching from. Until a new design replaces the way we know the mobile phone, it is safe to assume that this trend is going to last for a long while yet.
For web designers to stay ahead of the curve it is important to visualise the key components of today and envisage how this will help drive the websites of tomorrow. This alternative design layout has gained some leverage in popularity over recent years and stands to make a larger footprint on the industry in years to come. Layouts that are staggered/ broken in design is the minimalistic approach to modern web design that was mentioned earlier, combined with the sleek, impressive appeal of the split/ broken layouts allow for this combination.
Grid systems have been used for decades in a variety of ways, from web pages to magazines and newspapers, print and outdoor adverts. Knowing your grid system helps the designer know the structure and consistency scheduled throughout the website. Keeping within this structure allows for user friendly engagement as well as a system that’s easy to add and amend when adding content such as images, video, headlines, calls-to-action buttons etc.
Asymmetrical and split grids have risen in popularity gaining more and more exposure. The use of unusual placements, layering with alternative colours and textures, encouraging irregular patterns, selective use of typography creates a sense of depth not usually associated with grid-based layouts. These designs are visually striking and helps engage users by referring them towards the most important parts of your website.
Shapes can help the sense of flow between flat and the split grid system because of how easily they can be integrated to your design. From the simplest of shapes with a variant in eye catching colours can develop intriguing edges that load quickly, whilst being engaging. Shapes can allow for versatility and one of the main reasons behind this trend is just that. Like colours, shapes have been proven to ignite certain emotions subconsciously, for example the colour red is associated with an action, instruction, or anger. The square is associated with stability and balance, and these slight subliminal messages are not to be ignored as you have the chance to encourage an emotion from your visitors.
Shapes are ideal for drawing attention to a particular area of the page, or a message that you would like your visitors to notice. Depending on the initial design of your website the options are limitless as they can be used sparingly or consistently, the point is the creative use of shapes and colours can help move your website beyond its traditional design and draw in focus to areas you want to promote.
As mentioned earlier speed and minimalism are trends that are showing themselves to become popular in the years to come. This has also encouraged the single page design, which refers to websites that have only one page instead of multiple service pages or even blog articles tucked away in sub sections or alternative pages on the website.
Ironically SEO efforts traditionally shy away from this type of design as you are limited with key words and volume which help with your local SEO efforts to stay on top of the search engines. However, speed and a simple design are being favoured by the search engines as they can quickly and easily be downloaded on mobile devices. This is achieved by having a lot less of everything that can slow your website down.
One-page websites are ideal here as they look great on all browsing devices and automatically fall into a mobile-first-style site. Being this simple also allows for easy management, updates are often quick as there is little to no changes needed due to the size meaning its easier to conduct everyday business with little or no interruption. A single page website also has large conversion rates, usually traditional websites will have focus on their SEO funnelling in people through the use of keywords and then referring them subtly towards a contact number/ form. One-page sites hasn’t any areas for the user to be distracted, meaning the page is pointing them straight towards the end goal of converting, meaning more business.
Micro-animations are a useful way to provide an informing and satisfying experience to your user as they browse through your website. Small animations can help the user understand the site and give validity when they enquire over or click on an icon, this can be performed by changing the colour of a button when the cursor moves over it, or an options icon expanding into more information when they click on a product or service.
These animations guide users to know that they’re doing the right actions as they manoeuvre through your site. Correct use of micro-animations drives visitors toward your conversion points and then rewards them for filling this out.
It may come as no surprise to realise the popularity in video backgrounds is at an all-time high today. Despite the trends of the minimalistic approach and faster loading sites video remains a must for most inspiring business owners. Videos are more compelling than traditional text or images and are making their way to the social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook. Auto play has allowed this type of media production to be easily viewed making it the most engaging way to connect with your audience.
Today we see more and more videos on websites for the main reason being that they are attention grabbing and making people want to watch it. The simple rule of ‘the longer people stay on your site the more likely they are to be a customer’ applies very much to video as so much can be portrayed visually with audio tools, text within the video, all allowing a little story or engaging content to grasp your viewers interest. This ultimately raises your on-time site metric, the higher your average the better the SEO.
What text can only dream of doing in paragraphs or pages, video can do in a matter of seconds. This remains the go to tool for explaining any in depth content in the form of a message that you want to portray to your users, as you can do so in a relatively short period of time. The sleek modern appeal of video on your website providing it is short, muted with high definition quality can result in doing wonders for your Branding efforts.
In recent years, the interaction with bots has become more mainstream and considered more of a normality. Bots/chatbots, are becoming more common on websites and ways of interacting throughout the digital world.
The sophistication of this technology has developed a lot since the early days where they came across as more of a hindrance than a help. As the state of artificial intelligence has evolved, so too has this technology allowing for more sophisticated and intricate commands to be administered.
With platforms such as Facebook knowing our every habit, this has allowed this platform to learn what we look like and asks for permission should we want to tag ourselves in a photo. Location data has learned our reading habits, knowing exactly what adverts, events, or information to show us in order to get us to hit the all-encompassing “like” button.
This technology allows business owners to get a head start with the relationship process you’re your potential customers, ensuring you get off on the right foot whilst gathering information for your sales process before they even begin interacting with the potential customer.
It is important to note that as trends change, industry follows. Staying on top of those trends will ensure you keep your website fresh, attractive, and optimised for making conversions.
Should you have any questions or need help with any of the information discussed in this article then please get in touch via our telephone number or email contact information. Alternatively fill in our online query form and we will get back to you.