By Amber Kemmis
As an inbound marketer, I must be honest that I meet new web design trends with hesitation. The reason you ask? Simply because website design trends haven’t always had the best success in growing leads and customers (remember those sliders on almost every website’s homepage that were found annoying by visitors?). In 2014, however, web design took a step in the right direction, especially for inbound marketing. As we head into 2015, many of these trends will continue to get more sophisticated and ultimately help grow leads, customers, and the entire user experience. Stay ahead of the curve in 2015 by including some of these trends in your website redesign.
If you haven’t adopted a responsive website by now, let’s just say you are already behind the curve. With 60% of Americans using their cell phone to access the Internet, responsive design is no longer a “nice-to-have” but a must. Your website must be optimized for mobile and tablet devices if you want to grow leads and customers from your website.
The art of writing is not always in the semantics or words. With web design, the font and typography we present also help to tell a brand’s story. SmartBug’s website demonstrates brilliant typography.
Video & Image Backgrounds
This trend, as demonstrated by the web design of the cab company, Uber, is likely to hold out in 2015 because visual cues will grab attention much faster than taglines, and considering you have less than 10 seconds to grab their attention, quick recognition is important.
Scroll Instead of Click
If you’ve been on the SmartBug Media website, you’ll notice that you do a lot more scrolling than clicking. This is a trend that continues to grow for multiple reasons. First, it provides a better experience on multiple devices because it allows you to utilize the full width of the page for content. In addition, scrolling doesn’t require you to load a new page. However, when you do utilize scrolling instead of clicking, you’ll want to track scroll performance carefully, as you likely won’t have click tracking.
Sometimes, the content doesn’t end like on an eCommerce site or Pinterest. Taking the scroll instead of click concept further when you have a lot of content to display, typically images, endless scrolling will save your website visitors from loading multiple pages and also help you minimize the risk of losing the visitor en route to the next page. With another eye catching image just a scroll away, it will be difficult to lose your visitor’s attention.
Another trend in web design also utilized by Pinterest is card design. Simply put, card design is the grouping of information into a rectangular or square shape. This web design will allow you to fit more information on one page in an organized manner.
If you want to connect and communicate with website visitor’s in a meaningful way, a storytelling style of website design will help to do that. Knowing your buyer personas and crafting your entire website experience based on them will help to tell your story in a way they can relate to. Charity: water, a non-profit organization that helps deliver clean water to communities throughout the world, tells their story as you scroll through the homepage of their website.
What if one story won’t fit each of your buyer personas? Even further, what do you do when your customers use your website differently than prospects or first-time visitors? In these cases, you can personalize your website design based on user demographics or characteristics.
In the age of Big Data business, we must continually find ways to collect and present this data. With tools like Stipso, you can gather data from website visitors and targeted audiences in 2015 with data visualization in the form of interactive infographic. Even if you already have the data you need and don’t need to gather information, you can create interactive infographics by triggering animations or providing more information with scrolling or clicking.
As an adjective, the definition of flat is “smooth and even; without marked lumps or indentations.” From this definition, you can get the idea of what flat design would consist of. In flat design, a website makes it smooth for the visitor to find the information they need by minimizing elements of the design.
Dooms Day of Websites
Think about the last time you went to a movie. Did you get the ticket on Fandango? When you filled your gas, did you find the nearest gas station by using Google Maps? Did you check your bank account balance on their website or handy, dandy app? The reality is that customers and leads don’t need to visit your website to engage with your brand.
For some companies, “dooms day” may be sooner than you’d think. The day when consumers get their information from third-parties or use the company app instead of navigating to your website. Stay ahead of the curve by making sure you can be found by your target buyer no matter what medium they use to find you. In addition, incentivizing a visit to your website means that visitors want to come there and you don’t risk them getting their information from a third-party.
As you head into 2015 and plan your website’s design changes, keep in mind that not all of the above trends are right for your company and audience. Choose those that fit with your target audience.
What trends have you already implemented to help stay ahead of the curve? We’d love to see your examples in the comments!