The Web Design of today is now dominated by several new principles that you as a website designer should be aware of. Unlike in the past of just a few years ago, web designers can no longer just pick a few compatible colors and choose some ‘pretty’ images that makes the website look slick to the eye. Current web design also goes beyond insuring that all of the links or the buttons take the users to the proper Web page destination.
The job of the web designer now includes using and building SEO tactics directly into their site designs, as well as constructing full fledged e-commerce sites that’s suitable for every screen resolution. This new trend for designers leans towards developing the complete package and not just traditional static Web pages.
• Using Unique Fonts As Well As Typography… What?
So your wondering why spend time on fonts, which as everyone knows is the actual text design and thus appearance style of words on a Web page. Initially, it may just look and sound boring and trivial. But as you are well aware, branding yourself and stepping away from the crowd on the Internet can be tricky as well as a difficult thing to do.
This because any ‘dog’ on the Internet can now create a site these days, the entry level requirements to do so is absolutely zero to none. Every niche of every business of every industry is now already too competitive and reaching saturation levels. So using new unique fonts, which is the voice of your web page design, can prove to be important to separate your brand away from the pack.
But the trouble with these fonts, especially in the past was that there were just a limited number of fonts that were actually “readable” by the search engine spiders. So essentially, if you wanted to use a new cool unique looking font design, you were forced to sacrifice SEO.
Well not anymore. If you’re wanting to use that funky font design, in the past you were forced to use an image, which was poor for search engine optimization purposes. What you can do now is use that fab font and at the same time, make it readable as text by Bing, Yahoo and Google.
So how can you make the search engine spiders recognize and index your content regardless of the font? There are software applications such as Typekit, which allows web designers to be able to choose their favorite font, even hand written ones, and Typekit will automatically convert and generate that text and make it readable by the search engines.
• Creating Web Video Using HTML5
Web designers as well as end users who may be wondering what HTML5 is will quickly find out that the primary function of this new web coding standard is that it allows every video format out there to be viewable by any Web enabled device. What HTML5 actually provides for is a method to be able to display video on sites in any Web format.
As you know, some mobile operating systems, such as the iPhone and the iPads iOS currently doesn’t support all video formats. What HTML5 does is it will ensure that the video will play regardless if it’s on a small smartphone screen or a large desktop browser.
You may be wondering why this is such a big issue? Simply put, video is quickly beginning to dominate the user experience in every facet of the Web as well as adding invaluable value to online marketing or local businesses of all types and sizes.
A major concern that most businesses have regarding video is that there is a shortage of resources or it’s currently too costly to produce. Most online marketers and businesses, especially the smaller ones, do not currently have the equipment or the skills that the big creative agencies have at their disposal.
The odds for most to be able to create the next “Gecko Insurance” type of campaign are pretty much slim to hopeful. But today, the playing field has leveled as every business with a bit of imagination, now has equal opportunity to represent themselves with online Web video, simply because users now prefer to read a lot less and watch more video. This is the ultimate path to least resistance.
Almost everyone online is now seeing the absolute power of video. There are now numerous companies that are inexpensively producing Web video that introduces new viewers towards their company and their product or services. This leads to additional ‘free’ traffic that they’re driving to their sites, and if it happens to go viral, look out! Just posting one simple concise detailed video will save users minutes of having to navigate through sites reading pages of text. The video message can usually be delivered in about a minute or so, quickly, precisely and insightful.
Although the next great video that goes viral may not quite be in your grasp, creating a simple video such as company announcements or product or service demonstrations can result in increased spikes of traffic, leading to more sales or leads. So allowing for accessible video using HTML5 should be a priority.
• Designing Sites To Fit Every Screen Size Resolution
One of the biggest challenges that has faced web designers recently, and perhaps will for years to come, is the lack of a standardized screen size. Web screen pixels can now range anywhere from 320p for smartphones to 1920p for desktop monitors. As there are now smartphones, tablet PCs, netbooks/laptops and larger than life desktop computer screens, each has its own unique screen resolution size. There are also several variations within the same screen size category as well.
So it’s now essential to design sites which are optimized for each and every visitor to your pages, regardless of what web device was used to find your site.
So one of the latest ‘hot trends’ when it comes to web design is minimalism, which is using as ‘few’ web elements in the design as possible, while still portraying the ultimate goal and message of the site. The varied screen sizes that are now available will continue this trend. From the perspective of the end user, the less zooming there is, or the less clicking or pinching or tapping on those tiny little page elements and buttons, the better.
Google Instant Previews
Another advantage of using minimalist design is appearing to be as user-friendly as possible in ‘Previews,’ as in the search results of Google Instant Previews. If a user happens to hover over a certain search result and the image or the headline looks too cluttered, or there are too many links, the user may just decide to move on to the next site or listing without a second thought.
However, it’s recommended that you be extremely deliberate when you use minimal design. It’s critical that your most important ‘Calls-to-Action’ still remain as prominent as possible. With so many different screen size resolutions as well as browsers out there, it’s now difficult to determine exactly where the fold of a web page is.
Where Is The Fold?
If the site visitor needs to learn more about a brand or product, rather than clicking on a link, most would now rather just scroll or finger down to get the information. More and more, “the fold” is slowly disappearing from the web designers lexicon. So instead, there are a lot more single-page type of designs, often using ‘slide’ type of anchor navigation or by using jQuery to be able to automatically scroll down a web page when the user happens to click a navigation button.
• Designing Sites To Be Social
Social media is not going away, it has single-handedly changed the way that businesses and online marketers are conducted themselves on the Internet. It is now a rare sight to see a Web site which doesn’t use some form of social sharing function such as a ‘Share or Like’ for Facebook, or a ‘reTweet This.’ for Twitter.
But social isn’t just limited to content based pages or sites any longer. eCommerce coupon based sites such as Groupon or Living Social, are also utilizing social media elements as well. Another example is a website that when they designed their “Thank You” page, to increase their sales using the power of social networking, they offering an additional 15% percent off at ‘Check Out,’ provided the user agrees to share the sites product page with their Facebook friends. They even extended the 15% percent off for their purchases as well.
As you know, trends will always come and go. But when it comes to Web design, trends will drive transactions, dictate usability and impact SEO. For these reasons alone, it’s becoming important that the business of Web design not only be aware of the latest trends, but should also be partners in the implementation of the online marketing process and campaigns as well as being involved in product development. Web design should be communicating objectives so that all the possible resources can used to its maximum potential.