Many companies in modern society are finding consumers are pushing to shop at environmentally driven stores. Even if they have an old favorite brand they’ve bought for a long time, customers are becoming more aware of the lifecycle of products, and how manufacturers keep the environment in mind during the process. Being environmentally friendly is all over the media, so it’s natural for people to want to spend their hard-earned money with companies that are keeping the greater good in mind.
To find this out, people are investigating the websites and social media accounts of companies to check for statements or programs that let the world know where they stand on environmental issues. When they can’t find anything on a website, they’ll look at social media for activism. Not all companies think about environmental initiatives as a way to gain loyal customers, but that’s a clear-cut competitive edge in the 21st century. Here are some ways companies advertise their environmental pledges and why they work.
1. Crisp Layout
When someone visits a website for the first time, the appearance of the page is paramount. There are multiple ways to make a website stand out, and one of the most basic ones is the overall layout. Making a layout crisp can win over many visitors to a site, which means features must be clearly defined and easy to locate. Scrolling down the page can’t distract or confuse the visitor, and they have to be able to find what they came for.
As you can see from the Environment page at the Walt Disney Co. webpage shown below, scrolling is unnecessary to reach the main content. All primary links appear above the fold in an appealing header.
The smiling faces of the people enjoying nature fit with the overall content of the page. It also matches Disney’s brand image, since most people think of it as being associated with fun.
2. Earthy Tones
Another key feature for website pages about the environment is to use colors that reflect the Earth. Earthy tones are visual cues for what a page is all about. These colors can be shades of greens, browns and even orange. Nature uses all colors brilliantly, but using shades that most typically represent nature, like green and brown, are key to pulling the site together into something that’s visually motivating and captivating.
Check out the imagery and website style used to advertise Conestoga Log Cabins. They’re geared towards people who have a consistent appreciation of natural beauty and resources, so it makes sense to choose a nature-specific color palette of greens and browns. The color scheme even extends to the buttons, showing a comprehensive design approach.
3. Bright Colors
Companies don’t just dedicate parts of their websites to the environment because they happen to like plants. It’s always about showing customers and consumers what they’re hoping to gain by their initiatives, and what kind of change is going to happen. A good way to visually communicate this is to use bright colors to indicate hope and positivity, and the best way to do that is through bright colors and background photos. People visiting the site should feel motivated to help change happen.
Tree-Nation is an organization utilizing technology to empower everyday citizens about climate change and how to fight it. When arriving at its website, you immediately see an engaging image of a parent and child walking down a tree-lined path. The contrast between the vibrant greenery and the browns in the ground and tree trunks makes viewers feel excited about making a difference.
The bright colors extend to the multicolor logo in the header. Also, the blue headers continue the clear theme of positivity.
4. Grid-Like Design
There are many ways to design the layout of a webpage, but the key focus of the layout should be for it to help visitor readability. Anyone visiting the site should be able to easily find their way to what they’re looking for, or see each section of the page clearly defined. Deciding to implement a grid-like design is a great way to do that, since it puts all parts of the site right in front of the visitor, and different pictures, colors or slogans can represent each section.
Starbucks Coffee uses the grid design especially well on its website. Each picture accompanies text underneath. Visitors can click each image and get more details about how Starbucks helps the planet. The green topical headers are a well-chosen touch, because they emphasize the Earth theme.
5. Minimalist and Catching
Minimalism is becoming a trend for everything from websites to interior decorating. It’s all about helping people feel relaxed while they go about their business in that particular space. For a webpage dedicated to the environment, it can help visitors feel like a company’s project is in capable hands. Creating a minimalist site means using white space effectively and making text key, so the main thing the visitor has to look at is the words themselves, and not pictures or designs.
Notice how Google draws visitors in with a nonintrusive header. Tabs along the top allow people to jump to different topics. In typical Google fashion, this environmental page includes data in the form of a chart. That informative graphic adds weight to the text and increases understanding.
6. Block Lettering for Clarity
Block lettering is eye-catching because it’s so clear and distinct. No matter what block font you choose, it’ll come across as something that’s relaxed, but still means business. Using block lettering makes text pop next to effective pictures, and can guide the webpage visitor’s eye through each section. It’ll provide clarity where the page needs it most, so the visitor leaves impressed and well-informed.
Being green is something more and more people are getting on board with every day. People want to know what they’re doing isn’t hurting the planet they live on, and that means they want the companies they invest their money in to have the same concern. To gain customers that come back and form a brand loyalty, including a page on the main website of a company is one of the best updates a site could ever get.
Focus on using things like bright, earthy tones and captivating pictures to make the page pop and impress the visitor. Then, choose block lettering and the right layout to effectively communicate the initiatives the visitors came to the website to learn about. By putting the right amount of effort into impressing visitors and explaining key initiatives, the time spent on the webpage upgrade will quickly prove to be well worth it.
Patagonia, a well-known provider of rugged outdoor clothing and gear, has easy-to-read, block letters throughout its website, including on the sidebar. Look closely at the top left corner, and how the block lettering extends to the dark-colored free shipping banner.
Consumers will continue to visit websites and pledge their loyalty to brands that are upfront about what they believe. Mission statements about where a company stands on its ecological views will make consumers feel they know the company like a friend and earn their repeat business for years to come. It all starts where they can access that pledge, and that begins with showing off green efforts on a dedicated webpage.
Lexie Lu is a designer and writer. She loves researching trends in the web and graphic design industry. She writes weekly on Design Roast and can be followed on Twitter @lexieludesigner.