Since most people head to the Internet to browse for services or find new products, it’s more important than ever to have a working website. Doing so will at least keep you in the game. Websites, however, are not something that you should create and then forget about. Each year the trends change as people’s buying habits evolve and new ways of catching their attention emerge. Thus, web design needs to be a dynamic part of your website management plan to ensure you’re staying up to date with what’s working and what’s not.
The way your web design is structured can help you tell a story, sell a product and/or, or even get to know your visitors. It all depends on the elements that you use in your web design and using outdated methods will get you nowhere. That’s why you need to make sure that your web design stays up to date. To help you, we’ve put together our top 10 ways to make your web design more modern.
1. Full Screen Design
Most web designers understand the importance of white space, but you can get the same effect of an airy webpage using full screen design. Full screen design creates a background images or enticing design that occupy the entire screen rather than being separated into boxes with hard-cut borders.
To get the most out of this effect, create an image or a design that resonates with your company that will occupy the entire background space. Keep in mind that you need to do this without making your site feel cramped. Find a simple image that doesn’t have complicated details covering the entire screen. For example, maybe the image runs from top to bottom, but only occupies one complete side of your page. The other is then available for free floating text and responsive design. This helps to create an immersive feel that will captivate your audience without making them feel overloaded.
2. Responsive Images
Staying in line with full screen design, make sure that your images are responsive to your user’s behaviors. It’s important that any images you use load the same regardless of the device your visitor is using. Responsive web design is essential to user experience.
Some of the most popular responsive images are hero images. These are large images that occupy the first fold of your page and oftentimes have text overlaid on top. As your customers scroll, the images will remain static and reveal your content. Using hero images can help encourage users to continue scrolling, without requiring them to click or navigate through your menu.
3. Include Variety
Most people are on the Internet for a decent portion of their day. They visit website after website in search of different products, services, or mere entertainment. If you want to stand out from the crowd, it’s important to include variety in your site’s layout. People get bored with seeing cookie-cutter websites that boast left-aligned text and predictable “about me” pages.
Instead, be bold. Create an interesting layout that showcases your content in a unique, yet effective way. Play around with asymmetry, borders, and interactive design while keeping an overarching balance to your page. What does this mean? It’s simple. Step away from the cookie-cutter websites and give your design a little bit of personality. As long as you don’t create some sort of Pablo Picasso web page that leaves people running for the hills, you’ll be more likely to increase user retention and experience. Keep a flow going that creates a desired eye movement for your visitors using angles and asymmetry in a dynamic way.
4. Subtle Animations
With increasingly virtual technology and shorter attention spans, animated design is on the rise. Animated movement catches the attention of your visitors and makes your overall site stand out, especially when you want to emphasize certain areas. However, animation doesn’t always mean GIFs and constant videos—it can be subtle and thus, more effective for your overall approach.
Consider adding in a few different techniques such as hover effects, fading, and animation that occurs when a user starts to scroll down your site. Think interactive, yet simultaneously discrete. You don’t want to suddenly alarm your visitors using intense animation that causes them to close out of your site or scroll past important information. Instead, focus on creating smooth and seamless transitions that increases the user’s experience as they navigate your web page. Doing so will also help you combat an increase in loading times for more serious animation.
Another thing that is on the rise is implementing background videos to help tell a story and resonate with your audience. These videos help you reduce the amount of overall content you need and, as long as they’re short and captivating, help keep your visitor’s attention, and increasing their overall comprehension.
5. Seamless Transition
Like we mentioned, creating smooth and seamless transitions always increases the overall user experience. Think about what happens to your website as you scroll. Do new images and text continue to load as you navigate down a page or is everything already statically loaded? Do you have to click different menu options on a navigation bar or can you simply continue scrolling down a page? Consider adding page transitions to keep up with the trends, but as always, make sure that it is optimized across all possible devices.
6. Add Depth
In recent years, we’ve seen a huge shift from fully flat design to a more in-depth approach. To differentiate the two, think of flat design as web design that avoids adding any sort of three-dimensional feel. While this is still widely used and accepted for the benefits of faster loading speed and easier overall comprehension, adding some depth will help your company’s website stand out from the crowd. Subtle depth here and there helps increase your overall user experience without sacrificing the benefits of flat design.
Consider overlapping a few elements on your pages such as images with overlaid text. Then, create hover effects so that text disappears and reveals an image in the background to your visitors. This helps bring your page to life and add more qualities that will resonate with your audience.
Another way to create depth without going overboard is to separate different boxes throughout your layout. Creating different borders for each element can stimulate a shadow effect while keeping your web page clean and functional. You can then overlap a few of the boxes with your background design, if it is simple enough to do so without creating chaos.
Finally, consider implementing parallax minimally. Parallax is an effect that web designers use to make different objects move at different speeds while scrolling through a given web page. Keep in mind that this effect is easy to overdo, so don’t go too crazy and keep the speeds slow.
7. Be Unique
Thankfully, bad stock images have gradually faded out of the web design world. That’s not to say that good stock images and iconography aren’t used daily. There are still a ton of different graphics and iconography that are used between different companies, but tweaked in minor ways.
Instead, be unique and hire someone to create custom graphics for your website. There are a huge number of benefits in doing so, all of which far outweigh the initial investment. Creating unique designs offer an edge to your company that helps foster strong brand image and customer recognition. Plus, unique graphics, sketches, iconography, and images will resonate more with your visitors than anything stock. Just make sure you know what you want and have a vision for how it will be used prior to contacting an artist or graphic designer.
8. Utilize Scalable Vector Graphics (SVGs)
Image clarity and quality is important, so make sure that you’re using scalable vector graphics (SVGs). An SVG allows your graphics to stay crisp and in high-quality, regardless of the size of the screen that your visitor is using. This is an easy way to keep your website modern and should not be ignored.
9. Choose Unique Typography
Finding the right typography involves taking a look at your overall brand and creating something that can be used across all of your marketing materials, including your website. Rather than sticking with boring, widely used font, find something that is unique and adds a level of beauty to your pages—while still adhering to your branding standards. Over time, people may even begin to associate your font with your company as much as your logo.
10. Switch to a Hamburger Menu
If you have a navigation menu at the top of your screen, it’s time to switch to the hamburger style. This style includes a few visible lines in the corner of your web page that become a dropdown menu when hovered over instead of having static pages posted across the top of your site. A hamburger menu is a great way to use your valuable screen space, calls to action, and powerful content at the forefront of your site.
Regardless of whether you want to use all of these techniques or start with few and go from there, it’s important to keep your website updated with modern web design. If you need help updating your web design, or are interested in doing a full rebuild, Operation Technology is here to help.