As with hemlines and hairstyles that show up on the streets of Chicago, web design has trends that go in and out. While fashion may seem whimsical, changes in website design are tied to changing Google rules and technology. Online presence is not just a pretty face for companies, so layouts, fonts, and color have a job to do, and current techniques for building a website use these and other aspects to achieve results. Design & Promote, a suburban Chicago web design and internet marketing firm, creates engaging websites that embody what is current in online design today.
Focus On The User Experience
Websites have become more responsive to the different formats in which users view the content. With smart phone usage topping 60% and online purchasing exceeding 50%, visitors need websites that are mobile-friendly. Some website owners have multiple websites to accommodate mobile phone and tablet users, but Google advocates responsive web design that adjusts the content to the size of the screen. Responsive websites focus SEO attention on one URL rather than multiple ones.
To facilitate easy viewing on screens of different sizes, many websites incorporate “flat design,” which focuses on presenting images without drop shadows, textures, or gradients. The simple, unfettered design allows websites to load faster than before when “skeumorphism,” which tried to incorporate computerized versions of objects into website design, was prevalent. This minimalized look shows up in Windows 8, which uses tiles to link to programs, and is a major feature of Apple’s iOS7.
Though structured template websites are fading fast, what is popular is a grid layout that organizes thumbnails containing a small amount of text that open to a page with more information once clicked. The total effect of the page that uses this new grid layout is that users can skim the page and easily navigate to the content they want.
Focus On The Content
Websites have less text and more visuals, including video and interactive content. The content itself, which in the past was laden with keywords to grab search engine attention, has been refocused so that it is more natural sounding. Website copy is still an important part of getting your message across, so the writing should be clear and focused on your audience. Although the trend has moved away from long expanses of content, the information is offered through blogs, articles, e-newsletters, case studies, and videos.
The more minimalist approach to website design has also affected the use of Flash splash pages and even sliders, which display several pictures that may or may not be relevant to the website. Either of these devices take up real estate on the website without adding much value. They slow down page loading, which makes them especially inappropriate for mobile users. While sliders might have a place inside a website, they are less often found on homepages. Flash also continues its downward spiral as HTML5 becomes the standard for providing dynamic and interactive content on all devices.
Write content that has local appeal. Local search is an important traffic driver, so websites should feature information of interest to area buyers, such as business hours, enhanced profiles, and coupons. About 56% of mobile phone users search for businesses, according to some experts, while at least 20% of Google searches include location. Anyone can view a website, but effective Chicago web design pulls in Windy City residents for products and services where local offerings matter.
Choose Design & Promote For The Best In Chicago Web Design
Interested in updating your website to incorporate the latest trends and effective web design? Just contact Design & Promote at 630-995-7109 or fill out our online form.