It is said that you can’t judge a book by it’s cover. But what about your website?
When asked about the elements that make a website trustworthy vs untrustworthy, 94% of people mentioned some sort of a design element, and only 6% had anything to say about the content.
So maybe you can’t judge a book by its cover, but you can absolutely judge a website by its design. And the vast majority of people do!
Your website is more than likely where your potential customers will develop their first impression of you. And beyond that, the content of your site will be extremely important to the growth of your business. That 94% who are judging your website based on the design are the ones you need to wow with ease of navigation, creative elements, and on trend layout.
As we go deeper and deeper into the thick of 2017, these 5 web development and design trends will help you keep your website fully charged and dangerous to your competitors.
Number 1: Cinemagraphs
Whether you’ve heard the term “gif” or not-- you know those enticing little graphics when you see them. There's something very appealing about their visual format, and a newer higher-end version is becoming increasingly popular on websites.
Cinemagraphs are still photos with some sort of moving element in the frame. Seems like a simple enough concept, right? This little tweak to some of your existing photos could produce bigger results than you may think.
Head of Demand Generation Marketing Manager at Microsoft, Linda Chep, had glowing reviews about this new piece of technology in a recent case study,
“I’m astounded by the results we have seen with cinemagraph ads. The engagement rates were through the roof and it shows how more brands can benefit from adopting this new medium.
Microsoft’s cinemagraphs produced an 85% increase in engagement with their Facebook ads. Imagine the boost in conversion rates with an 85% increase in engagement with those visiting your website! These are the sort of numbers one can’t afford to ignore.
Number 2: Double-Take-Worthy Typography
If you want people to pay attention to your message, it would certainly be helpful to have the text itself look attractive. As I just mentioned creative images are crucial, but why not make the very information that you are trying to help users absorb visually pleasing as well?
That being said, you don’t have to redo your whole homepage is beautiful calligraphy. Typography should be tastefully used around your website, and always be sure that’s it’s readable. Perhaps only for headlines, or to highlight certain quotes. It’s important to remain consistent. As minimal as it may seem, these types (punny, right?) of things help establish trust as your buyers are getting to know you.
Number 3: Conversational Interface
If establishing trust and creating engagement is one of the most important tasks your website needs to accomplish, wouldn’t it be nice if you could just hold a conversation with everyone who visits your homepage? Thanks to the advancements of conversational UI and chatbots, learning information about your business or website can easily be delivered through personal conversation.
Gone are the days of conversations about a business being limited to business hours. Now a bot can answer all of your customer's most pressing questions. It’s like providing access to a receptionist 24 hours a day for your users.
Another great way to create conversation? Ask everyone who visits your homepage a question about their favorite topic: themselves! Quizzes and surveys allow you to strike up a conversation with potential customers before you ever have a personal interaction with them. People are always eager to learn about themselves, and creating a fun quiz about your area of expertise could be a great way for you to also learn about your leads!
Something like “Which celebrity entrepreneur are you most like?” for a business coach, or “What does your style say about your personality?” for a clothing line. Whatever type of business you are in, quizzes and surveys can be a way to set yourself apart from the competition with a conversational interface.
Number 4: Less Is More
In the past, the web development and design industry were fixed on loading up websites with as many features as possible. Trying to squeeze as much content as possible on the homepage with pop-ups, automated music and video, and wordy copy was the norm. As trends have progressed, a “less is more” strategy has taken root in web design.
Remember this: it's important to keep the user in mind. Users more than likely aren’t coming to your site for flashy production, they're searching for a reason, and they’ve happened upon your website with some sort of intent. They may want to make a purchase or learn more about your service, but they aren't there to sort through design elements to find what they need.
Many designers have found success in minimalist design. Most have done away with distracting design elements in order to give people exactly what they're looking for.
Number 5: Original Photography
Stock photos can be useful for a variety of purposes, but they shouldn't be the main visual elements for your site.
When people visit your website they don't want any kind of generic content. Experiencing your brand and getting a feel for what you are all about will be their primary goal. While stock photographs take up space on websites and may look nice, they usually don't tell users anything about the business or the people behind it.
Brands and companies that people can resonate with are what your users are after. They want to work with businesses that have the same values and beliefs as they do. Authentic photography helps people connect with your brand, as well as develop a greater understanding of your product or service.
But Remember This…
There is one web development and design trend that is unwavering: individuality is key.
People don't want to go to your website to see something they could see from any other company. Ease of navigation, creative elements, and an on trend layout are essential-- but the most important element is what your business truly has to bring to the table.
Showcase your brand! It truly is what will set you apart; these are just tools to help you do it. And please let us know if you have any questions or need help along the way! We’re here to make sure that your website is beautiful and functional. And of course--
Happy Marketing :)
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