The past decade has seen more changes and innovations in web design, especially for marketing purposes, than the previous several decades combined. Some designers, marketers, and business professionals may feel like they have reached a plateau regarding web design trends, and that this leveling out means it’s time to take a breather. Nothing, however, could be further from the truth. Your website, landing pages, and other online content may be on the cutting edge of web design today, but that edge does tend to grow dull quickly. This means you should periodically review your online presence for areas in which you can make improvements, big or small, to keep your content fresh, engaging, and competitive.
The eleven web design tips listed below will give you some invaluable ideas for breathing new life into your current online content, especially if your digital presence seems to have become a bit stale in terms of attracting and retaining the attention of your target audience:
1. Make less use of symmetry with content and object placement.
Web pages have been dominated by symmetrical design for years and have only recently begun to stray away from that unwritten law of web design. Asymmetrical use of objects and content on your web pages can capture the attention of site visitors because it strays from the “norm” we have become so used to seeing.
2. Throw some more color into the mix.
Many designers use a plain white or light-colored background, primarily so the text will be displayed prominently. The overuse of white and light backgrounds has begun to cause pages to blur together in terms of visual similarity, however. Try using darker or contrasting colors to draw attention to the focal points on your web pages. Don’t forget, however, to ensure readability for monochrome displays and color-challenged site visitors.
3. Step away from minimalism.
Simple and minimalist web design has been a top tip for years, but more designers are moving away from simple and aiming for more complex design. This doesn’t mean that your web page should look like a cluttered mess, however. Keep the important elements prominent and focus your design strategies on making a visual impact.
4. Improve aesthetics with decorative details.
It has been a long-held doctrine of web design that the only objects on a page should be those that are essential to conveying your message. It’s time to shift gears, however, and provide site visitors with just a bit of attractive fluff. This can be accomplished with decorative details on the sides or around the edges of key objects to subtly draw attention toward those critical objects your visitors need to see.
5. Take advantage of the growing flexibility of typography in web design.
Gone are the days where all online content was displayed in Times New Roman or Arial typefaces. Many designers are now becoming fully involved in the use of diverse fonts to enhance the user experience, and the right mix of typography can make a huge difference in terms of the impact it has on visitors and readers.
6. Employ the use of small-scale animated visuals.
Animated GIFs and other video elements can make a huge difference in how your web page appears to visitors. If you do apply animated visual content to your pages, make sure they are viewable across a broad spectrum of devices and browsers, and that they use as few resources as possible.
7. Drop the stock photography altogether.
Too many sites and pages use stock images sourced from one of the many available online galleries. Rather than picking an image that may already be in use elsewhere (unless you are purchasing exclusive use rights for it), start moving toward the use of more creative imagery like hand-crafted illustrations.
8. Use overlapping text and images to add depth and dimension.
Web pages are often designed, intentional or not, to look like content created on a grid. Get away from the grid-like appearance and start overlapping the text elements of your web page onto the images and other components. This will add an attractive multi-dimensional impression to your content.
9. Consider switching your image formats to SVG instead of GIF or JPG.
SVG, which stands for scalable vector graphics, is a format that allows an image to be displayed on any device and any screen without the need to retrieve HTTP data (whether it is from your own site’s file library or another library elsewhere online). SVG images are mathematical descriptions of an image’s construction and are resolution-independent, so they will always appear as intended without translation challenges presented by display or device types.
10. Continue to emphasize personalization in web design.
Designing online content long ago shifted away from creating for search engines toward crafting for consumers. This trend continues to remain dominant, which means you should remain focused on creating web content that is tailored specifically for your target audience.
11. Keep the content conversational (in terms of keyword choices).
Search engines have evolved to the point where “conversational” search queries are now dominant and will remain so. The challenge presented to web designers is that your keyword selection must now focus on the natural language words and phrases actually used by internet searchers.
Are you only just now taking a look at putting your mark on the virtual map or are you seeking new ideas to revitalize your existing internet content? The tips contained here will give you some great ideas for keeping your content competitive and helping you achieve your business, web design, or marketing goals, whether you apply them all or combine just a few that seem most useful and relevant to your online presence. Keep in mind, however, that you do not want to over-saturate your online content with as much diverse design as possible, as this could only serve to confuse your visitors and muddle the message you are attempting to convey.