Essential tips for modern website design in 2021
Website design continually evolves and while some elements of essential website design stick additional elements that can boost website impact continually emerge.
Some of these elements help to tell your company story and vision, capturing user interest and improving the experience on any device. Using every element simultaneously isn’t required (this can lead to a cluttered and confusing experience) but selecting specific elements that align with your brand and website goals can help boost overall impact.
To help focus on the best elements for your site, we’re breaking down the most important elements that you can implement to improve your site's performance.
Typography is a singular design element that gives a uniformed look across each page on your website. Most companies have a particular font or typography that they use to help their customers identify them amongst their competitors. This can be dependent on whether your business is deemed fun or serious, however, when choosing a font ensure that its accessible across browsers and computers as it could display awkwardly on different devices.
- Hero Images
Hero images create strong visual experiences that can instantly tell your story without having to rely on lots of text. Hero images set the tone for your site and can instantly give visitors a sense of what your brand is about and what you do and what makes you unique.
- Background Videos
Videos that automatically play in the background can add a lot of interest to a page. They can be used to tell a story and significantly reduce the amount of other content that is needed to explain your business.
Background videos focus on enticing the visitor from the moment they land on your page. The video allows your visitor to understand the key points about your company without ever having to read a single line of text. In essence making your message more visually appealing.
- Semi-Flat Design
Simply put, flat design is any element that does not include or give the perception of three dimensions, such as shadows. Not only is flat design easier for users to understand, but it can also load more quickly on websites without complicated or overly technical elements.
Flat design helps visitors understand your content more quickly and adding some elements of depth can bring it to life. Regardless of whether you fully design your website using flat design or utilise shadows and other elements, it's important to be consistent throughout your website. Ensure that your homepage, product pages, and any other key sections of your website all utilise the same design cues so that visitors can instantly understand what they're viewing.
- Hamburger Menus
Most websites have long menus of options to choose from. The advantage of this is that the menu can take the visitor directly to where they want to go. The disadvantage is that they generally take up a lot of valuable screen space. The hidden, or hamburger, menu changes this. This condensed menu saves space and is intuitive for users to navigate. Therefore, the pages of your website should have a clear path for the user to take. Removing a busy navigation makes the experience cleaner and distraction free. This increases the likelihood that users will find the information they need to complete a desired action.
- Product Images
High-quality product images help designers highlight different features of a product in a more efficient and effective way. This approach reinforces the benefits of a feature by providing the opportunity to highlight the most valuable pieces. These large images are also scan-friendly and help visitors generate a solid understanding of what the different product features do by conveying them through images instead of words.
- Card Design
Card design is becoming more and more popular across B2B and B2C websites because it helps to deliver easily digestible chunks of information for users. Using this design on your site can help highlight multiple products or solutions side-by-side. And with the rise of Pinterest, designers and marketers alike have become interested with cards. Individual cards help distribute information in a visual way so the visitors can easily consume bite-sized pieces of content without being overwhelmed.
- Feature Videos
In addition to background videos, short product or feature videos are also on trend as they can be used to highlight a specific use case. These short videos are great at bringing your solution to life, while not overwhelming the visitor with a long experience that they must sit through. In addition, videos that positively explain their products help to influence the buyers decision making process.
- Mobile-Friendly Layouts
Mobile device traffic now accounts for more than 54 percent of all web traffic worldwide. This means that if your site isn’t mobile-friendly, you could be losing up to half of all prospective customers.
When designing for mobile it’s essential that you put yourself in the users position and you consider what they may be faced with. If text, images and buttons don’t resize to match touchscreen controls and smaller screen size, it’s almost impossible for prospective customers to find what they’re looking for. And if you get it wrong your potential customer will take their business elsewhere
- White Space
White space helps focus user attention on the elements that matter most to your business. For example, if you have a featured product image or video at the top of your homepage, separate it from further content with white space. This helps it stand alone and highlights its importance compared to the rest of your site. If you surround it with visually noisy elements, however, the focus is quickly lost.
- Speed Optimisation
According to statistics from Google, as page load times increase from 1 second to 10 seconds, visitor bounce rate rises by 123 percent. Google also notes that despite the shift to more robust 4G connections, “the majority of mobile sites are still slow and bloated with too many elements.” As a result, even small investments into website speed optimisation can pay significant dividends, especially since landing page speed is now used by Google as a ranking factor for mobile searches and Google Ads.
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Content Marketing otherwise known as non-interruption marketing is essentially creating valuable, relevant and consistent content for your consumers that will engage and create awareness about your brand.
Content marketing is really like a first date. If all you do is talk about yourself, there won’t be a second date.David Beebe, TV Producer