The Internet is here to stay, and if your business or organization isn’t on it or isn’t keeping your info up to date, you’re missing out some prime marketing opportunities. Many consumers will check out your site before doing business with you and, most of the time, will judge you based on it. That whole “judge a book by its cover” thing totally applies to the web. If your site is outdated, doesn’t have relevant info or doesn’t load properly, potential customers may dismiss you because they think your business functions in the same manner.
On a side note, we do want to emphasize that just because a design/feature/etc. is trendy doesn’t automatically mean you should use it. Logic, function and practicality play a large role in determining what works best for your business or organization. We can design and develop the trendiest, most beautiful site you’ve ever seen, but if it misses the mark on navigation and content, it doesn’t serve its purpose.
So, with that being said, what are some of the latest web trends? The following list explores our favorites and provides some great examples.
- Avoiding the hamburger menu (the three lines on a mobile design that denote the main navigation).
When accessing a mobile site, the hamburger menu can often be overlooked. Utilizing icons instead makes the navigation clearer, and thus more user friendly.
Parallax sites are long, scrolling sites that shift images, graphics and content as you scroll down, creating a more engaging user experience. Some sites put all of their content on a single page, and some incorporate content pages into a simple navigation accessible from a parallax homepage. Bottom line—it looks awesome when done well.
Example: http://www.myhometronix.com/ (built by Pleth)
- Big text.
More and more consumers are accessing websites on smartphones and tablets, so making the site easy to read on a smaller screen is super important. Plus, it just looks cool.
- Large images.
The same concept applies to images. Bigger is better.
Example: http://www.thedeltaschool.org/ (built by Pleth)
- Nixing the “Home” button on the navigation bar.
The new trend in “going home” is to click on the logo in the header. Because almost all sites are designed this way, the “home” link in the navigation is redundant and unnecessary.
- Visual rather than content-heavy designs.
People are visual and would rather look at pictures than content. But we still need to get a message across, so what do we do? Use an interesting combination of photography, graphics, typography and video to break up the content and make it more “browseable.”
- Use of videos.
See above. Video content is much more approachable and easier to digest than loads of text. Plus, you can use the videos for promotion on social media outlets.
- Use of icons.
Part of making your navigation more eye appealing is the use of icons, particularly . Rather than linking words, link images (as long as it’s clear what they’re linking to). Social media outlets have mastered this.
- Masonry layout.
When you think masonry, thing blocks. Masonry layout utilizes a block format that looks modern, is easily navigable and translates well to mobile.