16 Oct Web Design Trends 2015: What You Can Do Now To Keep Your Website Current
In less than 3 months time, 2014 will be over. Crazy, huh? Before we all get lost in the frenzy of the holiday season, we thought now is a pretty good time to take a look at web designs trends that have emerged this year, and place predictions for the possible trends that lie ahead for 2015. This year we’ve seen many advancements in technology which have allowed web designers more versatility with their approach. We can only expect these advancements to compound in 2015, which will open up even more significant doors for businesses to present themselves in fresh and unique ways. With that in mind, it’s wise to anticipate those opportunities so your brand can begin positioning itself to take advantage of these innovations.
Responsive Web Design
Responsive web design has been around for several years now. However, with the increased use of mobile devices, this trend still tops our list because of how foundational it is to any business’ online success. Responsive web design allows your website to display perfectly for all users regardless of the device they use to access your site. This is absolutely essential given that in 2014 more people accessed the internet from a mobile device than laptops and desktops combined. If your website is still neglecting its mobile audience, it’s long past time to get on board. Alienating this audience will mean a continued drop in conversion for your website. Let’s face it, it’s hard enough to drive traffic to your website, so when they’ve finally landed, it’s foolish to lose them over such an easily resolved issue as this.
Use of Large Background Images And Videos
Use of large background images and videos is a trend that emerged this year and will continue into 2015. With faster internet speeds, and advanced technology, it’s become possible to display large images and videos without significantly affecting website load speed. Large and beautiful image content is one of the best ways to make your website stand out. You’re now able to creatively captivate your audience with fast loading and subtle video backgrounds that increase visitor retention and conversion. If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video is worth ten thousand. However, it’s important to balance all this media content with compelling website copy. Yes, you still need to use words. Not only is it essential to provide your visitors with the information they seek, it’s also critical if you have any hopes of Google placing your website at or near the top of their search results.
Scrolling vs. Clicking
Today’s web design is continually enhancing user experience by providing an interactive experience between the user and the device. For this reason, scrolling is gradually dominating clicking because it is seen more intuitive, easy to use, and in many cases reduces load time. When introducing a visitor to your website, it’s best that all the relevant information be streamlined on the home page so the user can get a solid overview of your products, services, and how your company stands out among the rest. However, it’s also important to allow that visitor to click into deeper information on a subject of interest. Not only will this provide the best user experience, it will also allow you to rank for additional search phrases, since trying to cram all your keywords on your home page violates Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.
Combining the elegance of scrolling home pages with the functionality & power of multi-page navigation, will give you the best as it relates to user experience and search engine exposure alike.
When it comes to marketing your website, content is king. We know that. However, when someone visits your website to learn more about what your business offers, are they met with worn-out and boring fonts, or are you engaging your user with something that shows off a bit more personality?
It used to be that creatively displaying your content with engaging fonts was expensive. However, these days, there are hundreds of options available for free. One word of caution here… You want to make sure that the font choice you select is something that is compatible among various browsers. The last thing you want is a percentage of your users being served up a default font that does not blend well with the rest of your website because a certain browser or device can’t display the font correctly. In order to avoid this, your best bet is to choose a Google font. You’ll certainly find one that is both unique and also displays correctly among all current devices.
Over the past year or so Flat Design has changed the way we experience both print and digital media. Gone are the gradients and bubble-like glossy icons of yesteryear. Today, flat and minimal design has taken over. One of the major influences of this influx of mobile users accessing the web. Flat design loads faster and displays more elegantly on hand held devices than their counterpart. Additionally, with wearable devices becoming more popular, flat design actually displays more realistically on curved surfaces than 3D images – as counter-intuitive as that sounds.
Pictures are worth a thousand words… But not really.
More and more emphasis is being placed on saying more with pictures. When you land on a website, the first thing your eyes are drawn to are the images, right? Of course. However, if you don’t provide text content to elaborate on those graphics, you’re shooting yourself in the foot.
We’ve talked in previous posts about Google’s Panda algorithm which deals directly with the amount & quality of content on your website. If you try to get away with detailed graphics and a few bullet points to quickly convey your message, the angry Panda will slap you down for “thin content,” and you won’t be rewarded with the search engine rankings you’d otherwise enjoy. Your webpages should have absolutely no less than 300 words of text if you want that page to rank in Google. However, although most designers will tell you that text-heavy websites are on their way out, Google is saying the opposite. There are many studies that show that web pages with a thousand words or more (all other things being equal) far outrank websites with less content.
With that said, the last thing you want to do is lose your visitor by having massive blocks of text that go on and on. However, by breaking up this text with images and a well-designed layout, you can both keep your visitor engaged, and avoid missing opportunities in the search results.
In conclusion, many of the web design trends of 2014 will carry on into 2015. However, the most important aspects of these trends deal directly with the mobile user’s experience. Trends come and go, but at the end of the day, people are looking for a website that is fast, visually appealing, and informative.
If you’re website is in need of a face lift, use this post as your guide to avoid common oversights and inspire your creativity. If you’d like to consult with us on your project, we’re always here to help.