Official websites augment the credibility of a business entity; it is the trust factor that develops when consumers can directly interact with the producers. While social media platforms can also allow the interaction, but the process looks almost superficial, primarily because consumers have become more skeptical about data protection and privacy infringement issues. Apart from the growing concern of consumers over unethical data collection for the sake of ‘improving user experience’, the interface also looks unappealing when social media sites are used as primary channels of communication.
Think of a school’s official Facebook page and compare it with a multinational corporation’s fan page, the differences are unidentifiable which fails to grasp consumer attention. Now, think of an attractive school site design that features students’ life at campus, various art works, and other pertinent information. Similarly, multinational corporations can also benefit from dynamic websites with several eye-appealing elements since their marketing budgets are enormous and their product portfolios provide room for innovation. We, therefore, establish one thing that websites are indispensable to any organization’s success.
It is imperative to understand that establishing a website is not sufficient enough to drive traffic or convert them into sales, there is a need to perpetually update the website with recent content that clutches viewer’s attention. Let’s have a look at 10 web design trends and techniques that will dominate 2021 for businesses:
1. Growing trend of GIFs and Animations
Static images are boring, while videos are often tricky to make due to budget constraints and lack of creative ideas. Between both these formats exists animations or stop motion photographs which are adaptive, easy to make, and small.
Animations are often considered to resonate greatly with children so a school site design that inculcates such dynamic cartoons is likely to attract the target audience. Based on similar principles, confectionary companies often feature GIFs on their social media sites and official websites to lure children into forcing their parents to buy the product. To increase user engagement on social media fan pages, companies often place puzzle GIFs, stopping the animation at the right time allows the entry of the user into a lucky draw.
2. Inception of Static Navigation Bars
We often see that upon scrolling down the website, the initial main tabs disappear. This is a big problem when websites are accessed through smartphones or tablets where every time, you wish to select an option, the movement to the top of the page becomes mandatory.
With static navigation bars, some of the significant tabs will remain movable and dynamic which means that as user progresses to the lower end of the site, these tabs move accordingly.
This is essential as it ensures that websites that are optimized for smartphones work effectively. With the surge of plugins and external apps that allow this functionality, website designers found it useful to install the option by default for the ease of consumers.
3. Need for Asymmetrical Designs
People once loved uniformity, but things have changed now. People prefer doodle art over any other form of sketching and painting, they like to explore the field of caricature making. In short, people like the twists and turns that websites offer them in a subtle manner. The content and design, both must complement each other.
There must be a perfect balance between primary content and then artistical elements. The imbalance can deliver a negative brand image. Consider an arts college website, will graphs and excessive text make any sense? To resonate with the target audience, it is essential to inculcate elements of ecstatic paintings or feature videos about students making artworks.
4. Appropriateness of Minimalism
Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. Consumers already suffer from excessive clutter and ‘noise’ on various social media outlets and search engines. The simple layout of a website with elegant elements can grasp the attention of a user amidst all the chaos that internet stirs.
Another benefit of a having a simple website is its ability to load quickly, the speed will be lightning fast, and consumers really want their content to appear in the blink of an eye.
School site designs are often simple in context to avoid any confusions that might arise for parents while they are finding appropriate educational institutions for their children. Most of their school website solutions often direct stakeholders towards other media of communication like WhatsApp and Facebook. The purpose of a website for a school is to primarily disseminate only vital information. Similarly, hospital websites are also simple and minimal in terms of glittery elements to serve the purpose of helping people who are trying to find specialist doctors and reserve appointments.
5. Immersive Artificial Worlds
We are talking about virtual reality here, while many games and software have tested their value proposition with the augmented reality functionalities, the success rates have been astonishing. Virtual worlds have been created by retail outlets in the past to evaluate the consumer’s responses to shelving techniques and product selection methods.
In recent times, we have seen home interior design websites equipping themselves with virtual reality options to have a 3-Dimensional view of their designs and architectural layouts.
The real estate industry is also experimenting with this technology to allow potential customers to look at the premises of a promising property through VR glasses. College websites often feature such options to give foreign and exchange students a view into the lives of students at campus rather than expensive and time-consuming physical campus visits.
6. BOLD Text Fonts
Gone are the days when funky fonts were used to attract internet users, the consumer right now is critical and much more sophisticated. The website layout must exhibit features of decency and creativity with the perfect blend of informative content with attractive visuals.
While the headings will be bold and beautiful, the body style of literature will vary greatly to give content a clean and tidy look. The availability of greater white space on the website allows the user to form two important perceptions, firstly the simplicity is eye-appealing so it grasps the attention, secondly, the amount of text looks minimal (not lengthy) as well which doesn’t discourage the reader from investing time.
7. No More Playful Logos
We have already witnessed in 2018 that several businesses transformed their funky logos into decent formal ones to create a positive brand image in the minds of the audiences. Uber is one of the organizations that straightened up its bold logo in black, curving the edges in a graceful manner.
With maturity in business dealings and formalization of structures, it becomes fundamental to make changes in the 4P’s of marketing that can promote brand affinity and have a long-term vision in sight.
Some of the widely used fonts for logos are as follows:
- FF Meta
- Cera Pro
Public organizations like educational institutions, government offices, and healthcare units have always allocated substantial time in devising logos and chalking out marketing plans since their business cycles tend to operate for decades. Higher education marketing firms often emphasize that the school websites must feature logos that have uniform color schemes and symmetric designs as the same promotional content is printed and use in other resources like press releases and PR activities.
8. Inculcation of Cinemagraphs
Cinemagraphs are colorful and have a soothing effect since a certain element of the image is only animated while the background remains static.
These videos or GIFs are produced in high resolutions and play continuously in perpetual loops. Since cinemagraphs have the novelty factor encompassed in them, if a company uses one to promote its offerings, the target audience is likely to be appalled with its blissful features.
Another major benefit of cinemagraphs is its usability with diverse platforms ranging from Google+ to Twitter and even video streaming sites. This enlarges the possibility scale for marketers to attract a larger audience through all these diverse online marketing channels.
9. Dynamic Website Designs
With the surge of technological gadgets and easy availability of internet, people surf the connected ecosystem through smart televisions, home assistant devices and many other equipments. To ensure that the website loads properly and is displayed correctly, it is essential that website developers create designs that are compatible with different devices.
The websites must be optimized for smartphones, tablets, televisions, and home assistants. The user experience must be hassle-free with smooth flow of content. Not all service providers can produce dynamic website designs that can adjust themselves accordingly with the type of devices they have been accessed upon.
In recent times, university websites have tried to optimize their learning management portals so that they could be accessed easily through smartphones. This has only been made possible by acquiring the services of higher education marketing firms that specialize in this facet of web designing.
E-commerce sites have perfected the skill of designing such compatible websites which are smoothly running over myriads of connected devices. Amazon has flexible bandwidth and an optimized site which works as smoothly on a laptop as it does on either a smartphone or Alexa.
10. Adding Social Media Tabs
The presence of businesses over social media is vital since potential consumers exist there. It is essential for businesses to get more customers in this age of fickle brand loyalties and cheaper alternatives.
By ensuring that a potential customer is connected to your business though various communication channels like email marketing, Facebook page, Twitter, and Official Website’s Newsletter, the business can track the potential buyer at every step of the purchase cycle.
Consumers are always in hurry, they don’t have time to find your business on YouTube or Instagram, therefore providing them the opportunity to follow your channels through a single tab on the website can prove to be effective and reliable.
Loretta Filler is professionally working in digital marketing industry and she has more than 5 years’ experience. Loretta has been associated with top-tier digital agency and offering services for K 12 consultation as well. She has vast exposure in Search Engine Optimization, Social Media & Branding. She is very passionate about her career and likes to read books and blogs.