As we look back on 2013, here are some of the trends we've noticed.
Many of the organizations we serve struggle to achieve a higher ranking on the search engines. Even searches for your organization name may not lead to your website. Search engines can make or break the chances for success, with results often ranked on the perception of the quality and relevance of content. This generally means poor design elements will restrict the ability of crawlers to index all of your content, resulting in lower rankings on a search engine results page, as Web Start Today Blog explains.
When you launched your website originally, it may have fit the bill for the time, but as things change quickly, what looked good then may not be as effective today. Updating your content and design can be essential for online success, Search engines change regularly, which means sites with the most recent content are the most relevant. Changing your design will provide a fresh look that also showcases the fact your organization is active and evolving to keep up with the times.
If you haven’t launched your site yet and are just getting started, you'll want to start by comparing web hosting provider options, and figure out whether you are looking for a virtual private server or shared hosting plan. Most of the organizations we serve use a VPS.
So, what are the hottest web design trends for 2013?
Less is More
A minimalist design is considered a highly valued web design trend for 2013. However, minimal doesn't simply mean a lot of white space. An online website shouldn’t float in white, but instead should follow the current clean web design aesthetic, eliminating clutter and large photos. The idea is to use fewer words, and several choice images to make a more powerful statement, as Web design site Enfuzed explains.
This type of design is considered to be effective because it allows the user to find what they need quickly, without having to weed through a ton of non-relevant content. Getting rid of any unnecessary textures and features allows the customer to focus on what really matters: your organization.
Responsive design is something no online site can live without. This calls for an adjustment to be made to the current design, in order for the site to appear the same, no matter the screen size. This allows it to be able to cater to all types of user device preferences, such as smartphones, laptops, tablets, and desktops.
Responsive design brings an outstanding user experience to any device, and with 63 percent of adult cell owners using their phone to go online as of May 2013, Pew Internet reports, it’s obvious responsive design is becoming mandatory.
Infinite scrolling is definitely “in” for 2013. This was made famous by Pinterest, the social media platform website with the fourth highest number of users in the world, based on a September 2013 report by eBizMB Rank. It’s a design wherein the content loads continuously while the user scrolls down, as Visual.ly reveals.
With the popularity of social media and the massive amounts of data being consumed, infinite scrolling offers an efficient way to browse an ocean of information without having to wait for pages to pre-load. It provides the users with a truly responsive experience, no matter what device they happen to be using.
This method of design is good if your content is represented mostly by images, and if the visitor is not looking for something specific. Some people believe it creates a better user experience, but to be used properly, it’s important to make sure the content can be browsed easily and with a purpose.
Written with help from Marianne Lamb. Marianne is a graphic designer and Web developer who likes to write on the side.