New year, new trends. What was happening in 2015 that will not happen in 2016?
Website design from mobile to desktop
Designing websites for desktop only is no longer a viable proposition. The Web is increasingly being consumed on mobile devices, phones, pads and notebooks. Over 52% of visitors are on a hand held device and growing.
Of the three ways to get a mobile-friendly website, responsive website, dynamic delivery and dedicated mobile website (see our blog post Mobile friendly-What are your choices?), the responsive website design (RWD) is the one of choice. A responsive website adjusts its page display to accommodate the width of the viewing platform. The website being consistent in the various devices gives the visitor an improved experience and a positive impression. It is also the preferred method by Google; it only has to crawl one website. In the same way, there is only one website to update.
To be done correctly, today’s website design should start with the mobile phone layout and work its way towards the desktop monitor, not the other way around.
Less is more
Or should we say less is about just right. Trying to display too much information on the page, particularly on the website home page, means that there is no focal point and the visitor cannot find the information he/she is looking for.
Consequently, none of the messages in the clutter are communicated properly and the website is a missed opportunity.
Flat Design (see below) is helping to simplify and give a hierarchy to the messages on the pages.
3-D design is using three dimensional (3-D) effects to recreate on a two dimensional surface such as the monitor or other screen, what the item looks like in real life with the use of shadows, highlights and details.
With the advent of Flat Design, 3-D design is dying out; it is replaced by Flat Design, a two dimensional design for a two dimensional support. The consequence has been to simplify the design not only by removing the clutter of the 3-D effects for an improved user experience, but also to make the design scalable for responsive design. Flat design helps to provide a seamless user experience whatever the screen size used.
Images on webpages illustrate and complement the content. Bad stock photography, that is seen over and over again, does not inspire confidence in the visitor, especially not a B2B one. New vendors are coming to the market with a new and fresh range of products widening the choice and frequently improved quality. Some of the big suppliers have understood the growing competition and have improved their offerings. Furthermore, photographers are increasingly shooting with the web in mind.
The famous Fold
In the days of designing webpages for monitors, it was essential to have the main information in the area of the page above the Fold. The Fold is the virtual line on the page marked by the bottom of the computer screen.
Hand held devices have changed this, it would not work well on a mobile device. Would you put the fold in a portrait configuration or a landscape one? Visitors are now familiar with swipe up and down, which has made them less resistant to scrolling up and down.
Scrolling down takes the visitor on a controlled journey, directing him/her to the call to action as he/she discovers the content.
Videos, ads and media
Just because a new technology has been developed does not mean it should be used willy-nilly. Auto play advertising, or videos, or other requests popping on top of the copy you want to read as you open the page or shortly thereafter are a nuisance and is being abandoned by most website design agencies.
Such unrequested interventions in the users’ experience can increase the bounce rate as the visitors leave the page probably never to return again as the website is mentally marked as being at best annoying, at worst untrustworthy.
Properly placed videos and other media certainly have their place in web pages, but should be there to complement and enhance the page content. They can play an increasingly important role in getting the message across.
The shift, quite rightly, from what the company wants to what the consumer wants has dramatically developed in 2015 and should continue improving consumer experience and loyalty.
Our mission is to help companies grow by leveraging the power of the Internet.
We believe in challenging the established order and preconceived ideas, we keep asking ‘why’ and thinking outside of the box.
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