Each year, people in website mode look for the latest trends so they can be sure to be on the cutting edge. The only problem is, it’s kind of a moving target. Many of the web design trends that were really taking shape back in 2011 are really still in play now for 2013 and even next year.
As we look back through our own portfolio, some of the sites we built ‘back then’ might look okay, but a shift in technology and the way sites are technically built today leave us shaking our collective heads.
Here are some of the big ones we think you will appreciate, we do!
Use of More White Space & Typography
Heard the old adage “less is more”? We are seeing (and designing) a lot of sites that feature a lot of nothing! That is, a lot of white space. Don’t be afraid of it. You don’t have to have a zillion pictures and tons of text for your site to be attractive. In fact, the opposite can be true. Tons of “stuff” is tough on the eye and will make your visitor run. Clean bright designs with a minimalistic approach using fonts as design not only are visually soothing, but load faster too!
If your site is text rich, then embrace that too! Text itself can be a design element if used correctly. Plus it is vital for search engine optimization. Plus, most people hate writing so if you have too much of it, consider yourself lucky!
Wider Websites For Higher Screen Resolutions
One of the easiest website refreshes is widening your site to accommodate larger / higher resolution monitors and browser settings which can open up a lot more real estate for design. Check your analytics to see if wider is the way to go. If 46% of your audience is still stuck at 1024 x 768 or even 800 x 600 (gasp!) then you simply cannot ignore them. While you can wish that they would upgrade their equipment or adjust their browser settings, some are just happily oblivious. Luckily there are ways to design a site that will look good on all resolutions. Just know that the trend will always move toward wider with larger flat screen monitors with higher resolution capabilities.
Responsive Design For Mobile Screens
From wide to tiny! Did you know that in the world today there are more than 2.4 billion mobile phone users, and a thousand more are added every minute! About 30% of these mobile phone owners (more than 700 million and growing) have browsed the Internet through their mobile phones. This is the reason why mobile Web browsing is predicted to become the next predominant Internet platform. As phones increase in speed of loading and ease of use, more people will use them to mobile . A website geared toward phone viewing is a trend that will only grow.
Looking at stats for THIS website in August, about %20 of our own visitors were using mobile devices (tablets or smart phones). In fact, by 2014, mobile internet is predicted to take over desktop internet usage. It really depends on the industry as to the exact percentage, but one thing is for sure. It’s time to start making sure your business site is ‘okay’ for those with tablet and smart phone screens!
Blogs, Social Media, etc…
Of course this has been the big thing of the past two years, and it will only continue to get bigger. Linking to them, from them, using them and keeping them updated can help keep in touch with your clients. Blogs are easy to set-up and a super way to keep relevant topics out there for resource and can even be helpful in searches. Facebook and Twitter and the like are fun, but are probably not going to be your source for that next big customer. So why are they important? Anything you can to do get your name out there and relay information easily to your potential audience is a good thing.