01:31 – What continues from last year
02:12 – Minimalist functionality
03:15 – You can wear it
04:25 – See-through controls
04:56 – Scrolling vs. clicking
05:34 – Making information bite-sized
06:06 – Surprise interactions
06:35 – Where typography is headed
07:09 – How to wow your visitors
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James Schramko here, thank you for listening to SuperFastBusiness.com. Today, we’re going to talk about website design. Let’s talk about what website owners can look forward to with emerging design trends that are going to point more visitors to your sites and generate increased lead conversions.
I’ve always thought that investing in excellent website design is a must. If you want to get business success, it’s a really easy way to differentiate from your competition when a lot of people have old and outdated clunky websites. Whilst last year, 2014, simplicity was the key, this year, we’re going to see some different trends come through. I know we’re partway through the year, but there’s still some year left, let’s talk about website design.
2015 is pretty much shaping up to be a continuation of last year’s design philosophy where we did see less clutter and websites getting more straight to the point. You’re going to see cleaner appearances, clever font choices, commanding images, content with real value and well laid out pages.
At the time of recording this, we’re just within days of rolling out a brand new theme at SuperFastBusiness.com. When we roll out a new theme, we start working on the next one. Just like a car manufacturer who are working on next year’s model and the model after that in advance. We’re doing that with these things in mind.
Number 1 is flat design. Skipping all that jazz. Flashy details, having animations and skeuomorphic designs are heading out the door. With flat design, you adapt the classic minimal yet highly functional approach. You might see this sort of stuff on your Apple iPhone for example. Two-dimensional flat illustrations. Simple icon-like image, crisp edges, vivid and solid colors that emphasize areas in place of graphics, open clean spaces, concise content, clear and noticeable links and buttons.
And you know the interesting thing from a lot of my testing, just a nice blue underlined hyperlink text link is going to get just as many clicks as an image in many cases. So just go with convention there.
Without the bells and whistles, your site’s focus zeroes in on functionality and the user experience, and it gets plus point for being especially user-friendly, and that’s one of the best factors for search engine optimization, interestingly enough, and you might actually sell more if your site’s user friendly.
Trend number 2 is wearable tech, smaller and smaller screens. While designing websites for mobile technologies, tablets, PCs and smartphones has been around for a while, the challenge for today’s designers is to optimize websites for wearable tech such as smart watches. Here’s what you’ll need to do to accomplish this:
Intuitive content and design. A natural flow to your design and content can point users straight to what they’re looking for and lock in their attention.
Minimalism. Fitting in nicely with flat design concepts, web design for wearable tech means maximizing inches-long and inches-wide spaces. So brevity and functionality are imperative.
Larger text. Designers must consider the distance between the wearable tech and the wearer to determine the right font sizes that would enable easy reading.
Instant gratification. Mobile technologies are meant to give users what they want when they want it. So design must be tweaked to minimize loading delays.
Keep in mind too, if you have an older audience, then you want to have larger font sizes on your website because older audiences tend to need larger font to make it easier to read.
Trend number 3: ghost buttons. Transparent yet eye-catching. Going back to basics shouldn’t be a downgrade. Transparent empty buttons sporting a basic button shape and bordered by thin lines offer these benefits: the transparent space can become highlighted or colored when clicked for easy visibility. They do not overload design, and they can seamlessly merge with the background image while still attracting user attention. And they don’t interfere with the flow of the page.
Trend number 4, scrolling. Clicking’s top contender. Mobile tech users have noticed lengthening home pages this year without batting an eyelash. Scrolling down after all is much more user-friendly act than clicking countless buttons and waiting for pages to respond. Why scroll to get to the bottom of things? Well, it’s more intuitive, it’s easy to do, it allows for more dynamic interactions between website and user, more content is loaded automatically. It offers a more efficient way to browse for information and it cuts down load times. And load times are very important for usability and search engine optimization and conversions.
Trend number 5, card design. Panels and partitions. A layout that displays information in bite-size panels makes absorbing a website’s content hassle-free for users. You might have also heard this as chunking. The clean arrangement and condensed content provides an organized and uniform presentation. To put together this design, you’ll need: a username, an image, a small amount of text and then various icons to enable sharing. And you can repeat that throughout the page.
Trend number 6, micro interactions. A playful push. Web users are delighted by the smallest surprises during their browsing activities and micro interactions give just that. They’re the fun graphics that change and move about when the user hovers over a button or scrolls down the page. This special touch works to make a task easier and create an engaging experience that users will want to repeat. And we’re talking here about gamification. This is about making it fun.
Topic number 7, typography. Bigger fonts, bigger impact. Blogs and publisher sites have made going big on fonts popular. And big and bold letters are finding their way into e-commerce sites. Here’s some promising trends: Google fonts has made font types more available and affordable. WordPress themes include type-centric templates helping the rich typography trend to evolve. Infographics have stimulated site designers’ interest in creative typesetting. So have a look at big fonts for your site.
And number 8, hero images. Awe-inspiring backdrops. A visually stunning image on space that dominates a page called a hero image is sure to present in many new sites. You’ll see them all through SuperFastBusiness.com. Many of the posts that we put up have human emotional pictures. Pictures of me or pictures of landscapes that are straight from a camera, not a stock shot of 2 people shaking hands in a suit. We’ve all seen that one too many times.
Go bigger with your images. It allows you to prominently display content. It creates a powerful presentation of imagery and text that will wow the visitor, encourages users to stay and explore the site, introduces the home page with a compelling video or image, and provides space for a call-to-action. If you want some examples, go and have a look at sites like wistia.com, or silvercircle.com, and you’ll see vivid use of imagery.
Is your website due for an overhaul? If so, you want to maximize the opportunities coming this year using our website services. Go along to SuperFastBusiness.com, have a look at the products tab, and then websites. We’re happy to help you out. We know this stuff back to front.
For this episode, I also want to acknowledge some of the sources where we got some of the tips and information. The business2community.com site, antermeridiemdesign.com, creativebloq.com, infospace.ischool.syr.edu, webdesignledger.com, redmanmedia.ie, smashingmagazine.com, econsultancy.com, elegantthemes.com. Thank you for your contributions to making this a great podcast.
If you liked this episode or you have a friend with a really ugly website, please share it and I appreciate any comments on the iTunes platform. I’m James Schramko, thank you for listening.
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