Because web design and the technologies that underpin it are moving so rapidly, they’ve received a lot of media coverage, including our post about the benefits of Responsive Web Design (RWD). As a result of all the ink, many integrated marketers have made improving their web sites Job One for this year.
If a rebuild or refresh is on your radar, don’t get too far without first brushing up on emerging trends in these vital areas:
- Relevance. Users’ expectations for a meaningful, more personalized web experience are higher than ever. Smart companies are allocating more resources to creating and distributing more audience-relevant content.
- Video. Consumers in record numbers are using video to inform buying behaviors. As Internet and mobile-device speeds rise and equipment costs drop, companies are expected to post more online video—maybe even using tips like these, or Twitter’s free Vine video sharing app.
- Social Integration. The most successful sites have integrated social media and make liking, sharing and other social actions obvious and easy.
- Infinite Scrolling. Facebook began using it in 2012; Pinterest and YouTube followed. Instead of clicking around, users stay on the same page… indefinitely. Proponents like: the superior mobile performance and keeping users engaged on the site. Detractors say: if users do click away, they must inconveniently scroll down, down, down to resume the previous browsing session.
- Typography. Expect more emphasis on type because its size, color, style and proper placement can help dramatically improve navigation, usability and conversions (moving users to buy, call, click or download).
- Visual Elements and Navigation. Look for bigger, mobile-friendly buttons and stable heading bars that that aid in navigation, and continually remind users just whose site they’re visiting.
- Baked-in RWD. This year, more companies will “think mobile” first, building device independence and responsiveness in from start.
- Modularity. The use of pre-written software modules or “frameworks” instead of expensive custom coding to achieve your desired functionality. You save time and money when they can avoid reinventing the wheel.
- Flash. Flash’s well-publicized mobile-device performance issues have discouraged many designers, who increasingly prefer to build faster-loading, search-friendlier HTML-only sites.
Visit MarketingTango.com often to stay informed about web design and other integrated marketing disciplines.