As we step into fourth quarter, much thought is given to finding opportunities for standing out (or simply staying relevant) in the coming year. Savvy marketers are reviewing web trends and analyzing traffic patterns to gain insight on how to better reach, inform, engage and convert their visitors. Much of the focus of this analysis is on the website, the hub of your marketing efforts, so it is critical that your website is leveraging the latest marketing trends. We put together this list of web design trends for you to incorporate into your websites for the upcoming year.
Due to the increase in mobile usage responsive website design has become the new standard. Responsive design makes a website easy to view for its reader to read the content and use the site even from a mobile phone.
Use techniques like card design (see recommendation #4) and adaptive delivery that will help it load faster. There are many additional ways to make a site responsive, including utilizing a device’s sensors to cater to a visitor’s activities.
If your website is not responsive be sure to contact us for a quote. We will ensure you are not missing opportunities engaging and converting your visitor traffic. Our focus is not only how it will look on a mobile screen and work up to how it will look on a desktop screen but also ensuring that it converts your visitors to your intended purpose.
2. Large Impactful Image & Video Backgrounds
You probably noticed websites turning to video backgrounds in 2014, as well as large background images, in place of bulky text. This trend should continue in 2015. With faster computers and internet speeds, large background images and videos are now feasible options, whereas they would have bogged down the user’s experience in the past.
This trend involves prominent pictures or videos that capture the visitor’s attention. Images can highlight a product, the company or a feeling, while videos can create a story or an interaction. The best way to use this trend is to incorporate it into your entire design style for the website.
Many sites combine an image or a video with other popular trends. They might use just a call to action or a simple statement instead of sharing large blocks of texts, or they might position the blocks of text below the image or video so you can scroll down to keep reading. This ties in with the next trend…
3. Clicking Gives Way to Scrolling
We see the trend of clicking from one number of a list to the next or one section of a site to another related section going out of style as scrolling takes the place of clicking. Clicking makes the user experience longer and more difficult. Scrolling, on the other hand, will make your website easier to use for your visitors. They will find the reading and interactions with your website a more intuitive and pleasant process.
With a scrolling design, you can put all related information about a product, service or topic on one page, so the visitor can find everything they are looking for easily without needing to navigate the website. This method keeps them on topic and prevents them from losing their way. You also have the opportunity to guide the visitor, instead of letting them choose which parts of the website they will click next. In this way, scrolling can create a more effective website.
4. Card Design
Card design is one method that contributes to a responsive website. Card design gives numerous cards across a page that entice the visitor to click. Each one can include a visually-appealing image and copy that will convert to a click. Cards give you a way to provide snippets of information, and the visitor can click to learn more.
Using cards also provides a way to organize your site, allowing you to move your information around and include a lot of information on one page. Cards also make it easy for visitors to browse through your offerings and home in on the ones they are interested in.
Sites like Google and Twitter are moving to cards, and it is becoming more popular and common across the web. Your site will fit right in with current design trends if you utilize this technique. With a website, you can also play with the cards to make them flip, increase or decrease in size, stack and many other options. Cards also transfer extremely well from desktop screens to mobile devices, which is one of their main benefits and uses.
5. Flat Style Is Evolving
Over the last couple of years, websites have followed the flat design trend, which involves design choices that create a completely flat appearance instead of making a three-dimensional look. This flat trend is sticking around for 2015, but it will be evolving into material design, which was created by Google. This design style compromises between flat design and three-dimensional design in a modern way. It gives flat design with just a hint of texture and animation.
The idea is to keep the flat style while adding some of the dimension of our everyday lives. Google plans to use this new style for websites and mobile design, so keep an eye on Google to see the direction your web design should head.
6. Prominent Calls to Action / Microinteractions
An effective website needs to guide your visitors toward an intended action. The way to achieve this in 2015 is through prominent calls to action and microinteractions. While calls to action are not new, many websites have not been effective at using them. The visitor is left not knowing what to do next or not knowing how to carry out the intended action. Microinteractions are the way websites will be putting calls to action front and center in 2015, which is a trend that has already started.
This trend focuses on a particular experience or case. You might see a home page that only gives a call to action over a prominent image or video, or that highlights a call to action at the top of the page with more text below that you can scroll down to read. Another example of a microinteraction is a pop-up box asking for your email or encouraging you to click, using a call to action to elicit the desired response. Microinteractions draw attention, create engagement and guide the visitor.
We have seen the internet move toward personalization, which will continue into 2015. This technique is changing to become more intuitive and less spammy for the visitor. To personalize a website, you need to rely on cookies to give each person a unique experience on your site that caters to his or her particular tastes and preferences.
You can use this technique to customize the products that are shown to each person and to customize the content to match up with each person’s interests. Sites can show visitors what they recently bought, read, watched or commented on. The site can also make suggestions on what the person should engage with next. When used correctly, this technique can help each visitor have an enjoyable experience that brings them to the exact content they are looking for or to a surprise that they are likely to enjoy based on their previous actions.
8. Immersive Advocacy
The surge in popularity of social advocacy has been evident in 2014 with various social media advocacy tools springing up, such as Surrounds.Me, which activates your fans to help with your marketing efforts. We believe this technology integrated directly into your website is the next big evolution of web design. If you would like to be a pioneer in this space contact us for more information!
Following these trends can help your website stay on par with popular websites or even distinguish your site as a front runner in 2015. Remember that it is important to make a current website responsive, interactive, personalized and easy to use. And don’t forget to integrate your website design with mobile devices, since many visitors will be viewing it on their smartphone or tablet. Keeping up with these trends will help you continue to connect with your audience as their needs and wants change with the times.
Bertholf Consulting can help your company refresh your website and ensure it is optimized to help you reach your business objectives. Contact us for a quote.