In 2016 your brand absolutely needs a compelling website. However, the world of website design is becoming more competitive, particularly in the B2C space. This raises the question, “How can I make my website stand out?” For web design success this year and beyond, be sure to check out these best practices for 2016.
Invest in innovative visuals. It’s no secret that the demand for visual content is growing. According to HubSpot, content with relevant images is viewed 94 percent more frequently than content without images. In addition, articles and web content with an image every 75 to 100 words receive double the number of social shares on average than content without visuals. However, gone are the days of stock photos. The web is increasingly saturated with visual content, so to capture your customers’ attention, you need to invest in high-quality, innovative visuals. For example, sites are increasingly relying on hand-drawn art and customized illustrations as opposed to standard stock pictures and digital graphics. This allows brands to give themselves a unique and identifiable look in terms of website design, ensuring they capture their customers’ attention. The bottom line? When it comes to innovative visuals, now is the time to invest and get into the game.
Recognize the importance of iconography. Related to the increasing importance of innovative visuals, iconography is becoming a crucial component of website design. It’s getting bigger and more detailed often is used to liven up swaths of blank space. In 2016, icons matter, and they will likely only become even more important.
Embrace the power of “flat 2.0.” You’ve probably heard of flat design. As a bright reminder, it’s characterized by simple geometric shapes and bright and contrasting colors. It scales well and loads quickly, and it is a great choice for mobile or responsive web design. These days, however, flat design is being overhauled into what has been dubbed “flat 2.0.” It has the same basics as flat design with more nuanced touches, like shadows, cards, and well-thought-out transitions, and a more diverse color palette. If you have a flat design site, make sure you stay up on what’s happening in the world of flat 2.0 and make adjustments accordingly. Otherwise, your site could end up looking dated.
Make use of lazy loading. Lazy loading, in which content can be viewed by a user immediately without the entire page loading, is already pretty common on major social media sites, like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Remember, load times are key to user experience (users expect a page to load in under 2 seconds) and SEO (page load time is a factor in Google algorithms). Lazy loading can give these two elements a boost. Lazy loading has already gained a good amount of traction, so it is a good idea to implement it now.
Don’t ignore the influence of AI. An array of artificial intelligent forms is beginning to populate the web, including Facebook M, Smart Reply for Gmail, and the Grid, just to name a few. While we’re still in the early stages of AI’s influence on website design, it is crucial to tune into that interest now. Down the line, there is likely to be a greater reliance on AI to examine and decipher user context and then provide the best solutions and production offerings based on that analysis and interpretation. Even if you’re not necessarily adapting your website to AI technologies just yet, it is certainly something to be aware of. As the world of AI continues to evolve, you want to make sure that you are paying attention.
Focus on the power of dynamic storytelling. 2016 has proved that good website design is all about good storytelling. To succeed, you need to offer your customers a compelling narrative with textual and visual support. So, what kind of story should you tell? Well, you can explain the benefits of a product or service that you offer, lay out the history of your organization, or share anything you want your visitors to know about you or your company. Whatever you say, the key is to say it in a compelling and engaging way.
Remember, if you’re struggling with website design and want some additional guidance regarding these best practices or assistance implementing them, don’t hesitate to get in touch with a professional. Professional website design services have the skills and expertise to ensure you harness the power of these best practices to produce a website that will drive traffic, improve conversions, and boost your company’s bottom line.