What can we expect to see with regards to website design trends this year?
Anyone who works in the industry won’t be surprised by the following list. These trends were a progressive shift rather than an instant change. The original list was put out by dzineblog.com and they had 10 website trends for 2011. I took five that I strongly agree with and have recapped them below with my thoughts (of course).
- Simple. Simple. Simple! The more we submerge ourselves in this digital world, the more our attention span and patience dissipates. Sites like Facebook and Twitter have, in a way, led the trend by maintaining a large amount of “white space” on their pages. Gone are the traditional right and left-hand navigation menus. These are clutter-free zones and you’ll notice that the focus is drawn to the center of the page. (That “white space” could be used for future advertising when your site hits the big time.)
- Flash Be Gone. Please. For God’s sake. Get rid of your flash website. Page load times are dramatically increased with flash, and to be honest, no one wants to see your splashy site intro more than once. Not to mention it totally doesn’t work for mobile. And it wasn’t part of the original list, but unless you are a DJ or musician, please do not auto-play music on your site. It’s just plain annoying.
- Speaking of Mobile… is your site functional and optimized for mobile? It should be. iPads, iPhones and Blackberries have changed the way people interact with businesses. Customers can access your site anywhere, anytime. If it doesn’t load properly, or if they can’t find you, it could result in lost business.
- What Type Are You? Do not neglect your fonts and typesetting. Many people overlook this, but attention to your fonts and typesetting will provide additional legitimacy and professionalism to a site. Consistency and continuity are key. (And make sure that your copy is optimized for search.)
- 2010’s Most Over-Used Term: Social Media. I would rather Tweet a company or connect on their Facebook Page than actually pick up the phone or walk into the store. It’s just how I roll. If your company is involved in social media, staying on top of the comments, questions and suggestions is paramount. This is the new face of customer service and reviews. Neglecting your accounts is even worse than not having one. Dedicate the time and resources necessary or don’t even bother.
To sum it up; Keep your design, layout, copy and fonts simple. Stay away from music and flash. Make it mobile and never neglect your social media channels.
But you guys probably already knew that.
Read the original list here.