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Now Trending in Website Design

Posted by Mia Ness on Jun 24, 2016 4:00:00 PM

Website design has evolved immensely over the last few years in regards to what users expect from their online experience, and how they interact with their devices. More and more people rely solely on mobile devices as their main point of contact with the digital world. With the advent of social media, people have become even more tied to their devices in constant management of their online social presence. Here is a quick look at five current trends to keep in mind regarding websites and how they impact the user experience (UX) in today’s fast-paced technology landscape.

  1. Responsive Layout:
    Users expect a website to be accessible across all platforms. It’s disappointing for users if they visit your site on a mobile platform and it’s inaccessible or difficult to navigate. Keep your audience in mind, and take note of how those individuals will most likely be accessing your website.woman-smartphone-girl-technology-1.jpg


  2. Rich User Interface:
    Websites today lean towards an emphasis on a minimalistic, but effective layout with a strong focus on user experience (UX). This goes hand-in-hand with a responsive layout.


    Unfortunately, a side effect of responsive design is that a lot of sites look very similar. However, having a similar look isn’t always necessarily a bad thing. Since the way in which we consume the web is evolving, this evolution has brought about a number of commonly used elements for the user interface (UI). Here are a few examples:

    1. Hamburger Menus: The “hamburger menu” is just a fancy name for those easily recognizable three lines that designate a menu on mobile platforms. Although it’s a necessary utilization of space on mobile devices, hamburger menus have become increasingly popular on the desktop versions of sites as well.

    2. Registration Forms: Users have come to expect some form of registration for attaining certain information. Multi-step form wizards are an effective way of sectioning out required fields, thus providing a more streamlined way for users to flow through the registration process. Many people are also more likely to register if they have the option to sign-up through a social media platform like Facebook or Twitter.

    3. Long scroll: Utilizing a site with scrolling works great when you have a story to tell. By breaking the scroll into clear sections you can still mimic a multi-page site that is easy to follow. Just make sure users can easily get back to the top of the page if desired.ipad-tablet-technology-touch.jpg

    4. Card Layouts: Think Pinterest! A card layout presents quick bits of information that are ideal for the eye to scan through quickly. These content containers stack easily and can be arranged at different break points for various devices, making it very friendly when it comes to mobile-responsiveness.
  1. Animation & Visuals:
    Users generally prefer to scan content and let visuals weave a story. With this in mind, animations are being used more and more to enhance a site’s storytelling and enhance the interactivity of a site. Take careful consideration of whether an animation could add to your site’s story elements and personality.


    Typically animations are broken down into two main categories:

    1. Large-scale animations: Large scale animations have the largest impact on users as primary interaction tool. Examples would include pop-up notifications and parallax scrolling.

    2. Small scale animations: Small-scale animations are easier to integrate into a website and include spinners, hover tools and loading bars. These animations don’t require any user input and act on their own based on the sit’s functionality.

  2. Micro-Interactions:
    People want their online experience to feel personable and human. A website can accomplish this with use of micro-interactions. Micro-interactions are at the core of any mobile app making your device feel more human-like and less robotic. Ideally, these interactions should happen almost invisibly. Consider each detail with care, and make each interaction feel natural. 


    Examples of micro-interactions include:
    1. Communicating a real-time status update.
    2. Seeing the result of an interaction initiated by the user.
    3. Helping the user to manipulate something on the screen.
  1. Social Integration:
    Society has entered the digital age of social-sharing and people expect to distribute information freely. Social media has transformed brand like not other previous form of communication. It changes the fundamental nature of the brand/customer relationship making businesses more transparent and easily accessible.


    Have a social plan and pay attention to how your users are utilizing social media by tapping into Google Analytics. Take advantage of this information to make sure your site flows with how your users want to share your information. It’s important that you’re constantly evaluating and updating your social media strategy based on your results, interactions, and analytics.

Conclusion:
Don’t follow trends just because it seems to be the “cool” thing to do. Trends represent popular techniques for good reason. Always evaluate what is best for your users and how they expect to be using your site, and tailor your site’s functionality based on that information.

For more information on how Network Center, Inc. can help you develop a digital strategy and enhance your online presence, click on the link below.

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Topics: Web Development, Web Design

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