Experts say you have less than three seconds to interact with someone when they see your content online. CCI’s web designer, Tom Affeld agrees; “websites need to be designed to load fast…users expect the website to load in 3 seconds or less otherwise you may lose a visitor’s attention”.
A July 16th, 2018 article from theedesign.com confirms this; “if the design is so data-heavy that it takes too long to download, you could be losing loads of revenue due to no one sticking around to even look at your site. Even worse, with the Google Speed Update that went into effect in July 2018, Google has begun prioritizing rankings for sites that load faster than others, and it’s likely that other search engines are soon to follow.”
So, download SPEED is number one priority. Flat Designs which are clean and minimal, also load more quickly for both mobile and desktop users. These designs have much less clutter and focuses on the important parts of your website with lots of open space, clean edges, and bright colors. They also hold a higher SEO value because it meets the speed requirements for search engines.
The next priority is how mobile friendly is your website? The reason is that people search more on their mobile devices than desktops or laptops. Thus, Google uses this to measure your website which affects how you rank when people search for you.
Another recent trend which is unique and can be more interesting to the eye is using a Broken Grid or Asymmetrical Layouts. For years, the grid system has been used for newspaper, advertising and web pages.
Now, designers are creating a sense of depth by repeating irregular patterns, using the white space and using different textures and colors. This “visual hierarchy” will grab the viewers attention to the most important parts of the website.
Using shapes creates graphically interesting edges and it loads quickly. Then, if you combine it with photography and repeated patterns, you have dynamic depth. Shapes and colors create thoughts and emotion which gives the viewer a perceptive image of your organization or company. For example, triangles are dynamic, circles represent unity, rectangles are stability.
Viewers prefer to watch a video instead of reading paragraphs of copy, and videos are prioritized in search engines. Even though a video might slow down the website, they’ve been increasing conversions.
But, that video needs to be short, muted with no sound, high quality and automatically begin playing in the background while the viewer scrolls though your feed. A video communicates your message in just a few sections while holding the viewers attention much more quickly and efficiently than what would take paragraphs of words. We’ve already seen how popular videos are in social media as opposed to words on social media platforms.
CCI’s web designer Tom Affeld advises “When a user lands on your site and a video plays in the background, they’re likely to stick around to watch it because videos are attention-getting. The more that a user stays on your site, the more likely they are to convert. This, in turn, raises your time on site metric, and the higher your average time on site is, the better your SEO is.”
Another trend is Micro-Animations. CreativeBloq.com’s January 26, 2018 article by Tom May and Philip Morris says “animation can convey complex ideas in a short amount of time whilst at the same time engaging and informing”. Moving objects such as videos and sliding or zooming pictures gets and holds the user’s attention. It also creates a visual hierarchy on a webpage which drives the person to what you want them to do or see.
Animations also help the user know the right actions and can guide them through your site. For example, when they mouse over something and it changes color or when the “submit” button changes color so they know the task is complete.
CreativeBloq added that animated logos is an obvious trend plus the return of the GIF is popular because it can be read by most anything. However, it’s important to consider whether or not it enhances or contributes to the user’s experience and shouldn’t be used just for the sake of including it.
Chatbots, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning will make website interaction more functional as they learn from a user’s past interactions, especially as this technology advances. A good example is how Google is able to create autosuggestions when you start typing into a search bar or how Facebook recognizes a face to tag.
This works for websites as well. Theedesign.com forecasts this in their July 16, 2018 blog,: “In 2019, this technology will continue to be perfected and incorporated into company websites. Soon, web interactions will become seamless. Imagine a website that already knows exactly what your customer is looking for by simply analyzing their past interactions with your company. Customer service via the web is becoming faster and more efficient every day thanks to these new technologies. Don’t overlook them in your web design.”
Be careful to not get too far behind the technological and marketable design times. Contact us to keep your website up to date at (321)783-5232 or firstname.lastname@example.org.