Two-tenths of a second. According to research by the Missouri University of Science and Technology, that’s all it takes for an online visitor to form an opinion about your brand. With the entire perception of your business on the line, it’s crucial the first impression you’re delivering is up to par. So, the question that savvy Web designers and marketers face is, which Web design trends of 2013 have proven so far to have staying power and amplify conversions? While there are no guarantees, this year has shown that four major trends in Web design are more than just flashes in the pan. Here’s a look at the digital trends:
Mobile and Touch Compatible Website Design
In 2012, Nielsen found that nearly half of all mobile subscribers in the United States own smartphones. As smartphones surge in popularity, marketers and Web designers are seeking ways to leverage this constant connectivity. Econsultancy also recently noted that traffic via mobile devices has spiked to 19 percent of total network clicks, up from two percent only two years ago. This noteworthy increase again speaks to the fact that mobility cannot be ignored.
Whether designing from a technologically agnostic approach, or ensuring the user interface on any device is friendly for visitors, mobile viewing must be considered. Adidas is one company that boasts a mobile-optimized site that is a prime example of what designers should strive toward. Its mobile site is easy to view on a small screen, offers large buttons for quick navigation, and loads quickly. In order to meet visitors where they are design with these goals in mind.
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Variety through video
As more and more websites are created, content is becoming a non-negotiable piece of the marketing puzzle. In order for a business to stay top of mind with its customer base, and ahead of the curve with its competitors, it is likely turning to content generation as its hero. Once upon a time, content only meant copy, but we all know better now. Content can be created in numerous mediums, and video is proving to be one of these that’s worth a second look.
In a survey of marketers from around the world, just less than 52 percent cited video as the kind of content delivery with the best ROI. Hosting powerhouse GoDaddy’s founder, Bob Parsons, is an example of a smart businessman who understands how video can create buzz. The last commercial GoDaddy released for the 2013 Super Bowl received 290,000 Tweets, the most of any of the primetime commercials. How? Through a memorable video.
Whether or not you are able to push your videos out through this expensive type of channel is irrelevant. The point is that video can still work very effectively on a website. GoDaddy features their videos directly on its website. It’s one more way for prospective customers to learn about its services in a quick, visually appealing and informative fashion. So, take a page out of the GoDaddy book, and consider designing your next site with a short video on the home page or in other strategic areas of your site.
Sleek and straightforward
If you look to tech giant Apple’s own website for clues as to what appeals to a diverse customer base, the overriding theme is simplicity. The trend of minimalism in Web design may seem contrary to encouraging visually stimulating elements such as video, but it actually makes sense. With all the rousing graphics and content on a website these days, everything else should be kept clean and simple wherever possible.
If you seek to deliver a clean lay-out, you can jazz up other areas of the site and not risk overstimulation for your visitors. Establishing this “Zen-like environment in an already cluttered Web” will give visitors a sense of peace and order when browsing your site, The Huffington Post says. Design in a way to allow minimalism to flourish, with fancy graphics cautiously interspersed for a more powerful overall effect.
Increase in infographics
Infographics are chugging full steam ahead in 2013, and with good reason. These marketing tools offer a unique way to parlay information quickly, and transform dry topics into graphics that are compelling. If you are looking to explain a complex topic, or swiftly show the benefits of a product or service on a website, consider incorporating an infographic. They’re easy to understand, and their visual impact will be alluring to a wide range of customers.
You can find numerous resources on the Web that take you step-by-step through the process if you want to create one yourself, such as Content Marketing Institute’s site. If you don’t feel comfortable manning the helm of this process, seek out a reputable agency or graphic design firm that specializes in this specific type of content.
If you embrace the possibilities of mobile, diversify your content through video, keep your designs minimal and easy to navigate through, and start to leverage infographics, you’re well on your way to delivering premiere websites to customers — and to keeping your job secure for years to come.