Of course, technology changes frequently, so you might want to stay in touch with the latest trends at sites like Digital Trends (digitaltrendstoday.com) to stay on top of the newest web design directions. It’s not always easy to know what works and what doesn’t these days, but there are 3 design ideas that you should be using for your web site right now.
Responsiveness is Key
Web sites are no longer being created with a large PC monitor in mind for display. You need to have a web site that will function properly and look right whether it’s being viewed on a desktop monitor or the tiny screen of a smart phone. Your design needs to respond correctly or you are sure to lose viewers.
Ideally, your content will reformat to be readable in the smaller screen without forcing the reader to scroll all over the place to follow the text. You don’t want your pages to look like you’re peering through a little window, it needs to format for the new screen. Sidebars and menus should slide away, waiting to be brought out with a swipe for smart phone users. Graphics should be automatically resized and repositioned if necessary.
Plenty of White Space
The days of cluttered and busy web design have gone, and people are looking for cleaner pages. You want the key points, links and information to be visible and easily found without making your viewer read through excessive material and distracting graphics.
Today’s look is clean, with strong fonts (sans serif typefaces are good) and lots of white space. Better to allow for wider spacing and have your reader scroll than to be too tightly packed and lose their attention.
The approach of trying to put too much information in your face all in one page has evolved towards a focus on easier reading and simpler content layouts.
Don’t make people wait, because they will click off your site as soon as they come up against delays or obstacles. Unnecessary registrations or logins, having to click through too many pages to get the information they need, or having to download content documents are all things that should be avoided whenever possible.
Instead, have vital info up front and easy to find, with links that are quick to identify when scanning the page. If you’re trying to gather names for an email list, offer up a newsletter or other incentives to gather email addresses rather than force people to register for your site. Documents and PDFs should be directly embedded so that viewers can read them without having to wait for downloading.
That also applies for loading speed. Keep graphic files small and optimized so your pages load quickly and evenly. Just because you’ve resized the images to look good, doesn’t mean the original files have been reduced. Edit the graphics before adding them to your pages.
Just remember that good web design is a fluid thing. Technology and expectations change all the time. You should periodically revisit your site and see if things need updating to conform with any changes that have recently evolved.