In web design as in other digital disciplines, an optimal user experience is the holy grail. That is especially true this year as significant numbers of web developers are using video, i.e. movement as a means to capture users’ attention. This also ensures that they will pause and remain on the page and/or seek other visually stimulating opportunities on site. As SEO-ers can tell you, the longer a user remains on your site, the greater the possibility that they will convert. So today’s developers are actually using motion to increase revenue and ROI. Mission accomplished! Here’s what’s new and how your brand can benefit:
Trend #1: Interactive Design
Maps that indicate flight patterns or movement arcs from point a to point b are gaining in popularity. It is known that responsive users especially will utilize interactive pages as these limit scrolling. One roadblock is the level of interactivity can become costly, however as automated development processes enter the marketplace, prices will inevitably drop. Interactive movement arcs are great for increasing both time your users will spend on page, as well as further your brand’s reach.
Trend #2: Scroll-Triggered Animations
Another highly effective strategy to influence conversions can be scroll-triggered animations. Ideal for desktop users, this technique can also be used to move responsive users through an entire product catalog with ease.
Trend #3: Rotating Animations
Remember the carousel banners that are now soooo 2012? Well, rotating animations capture visitor attention and can be used effectively to trigger a new image sequence every time users land on your home page. It is an ideal vehicle for branding and nothing underscores a brand’s commitment to innovation like a fresh idea. This year, that idea is rotating animations.
Trend #4: Nouveau Scrolling
Instead of up and down, how about across? And, while we’re at it, have some movement with silhouetted images that dart in and out and clear across the banner or page margin-to-margin. Would that concept capture your site visitors’ attention? You bet it would! In the hands of a talented web designer/developer this technique can be modified to tell a story, your brand’s story!
Trend #5: See in 3D!
Those marvelous 3D printers are to blame for consumers’ interest in depth. Making 2D design appear more three dimensional is fresh and new looking. And easy to implement. If you are a small business or one that is cash strapped but seeking a new look, this may be the simplest and most cost effective way to go. Drop-shadow your way to facilitate more sales!
And now the trends that have seen better days:
Has-Been Trend #1: Hamburger Menus
Those three lines on the upper left corner of many a home page never quite caught on. Designed for mobile users, they are effective on mobile sites. According to the Nielsen Group, for the majority of consumers, even those using smartphones or tablets, the stepped menu options can quickly become overwhelming.
Has-Been Trend #2: Sidebars
Depending on the page’s purpose, sidebars, which were always a distraction, are being phased out. Essential for blog posts to enable ease of use from blog topic to blog topic, they serve little purpose for many except to allow users to stray off the path more quickly and easily.
Has-Been Trend #3: Scrolling to Nowhere
Everyone has their limits. For site users that is generally up to 5 seconds. Web pages that scroll down to the limits of your site visitors’ attention span is a no-no. They will leave your site for a competitor’s. True story. What to do? Limit scrolling and if page content is that saturated, break the page up into one or more additional pages. Case closed.
It helps to know what is effective web design and which former trends have run their course. Do you? While it is easy to become exciting about this new wave of web design trends, their implementation is not for beginners or your company’s IT staff.
For optimal results and a visually stunning and equally effective website you’ll be proud of, contact the professionals at Active Web Group. For a confidential review, call us at (800) 978-3417. Let’s get a dialog going!