There are a plethora of web design features to choose from these days. One trend comes on the scene, and before you can get used to that one, there is something to take its place. Figuring out which elements to include and which to ignore can pose a real challenge for some businesses and the designers who create their websites.
People judge whether or not a website seems credible based on a number of facts, but 75 percent of website’s overall design falls on aesthetics. You need to carefully consider each aspect of your overall design and how each feature works together as a whole if you want visitors to see you as trustworthy.
Even though there are dozens of possible features you could add to your site, we’ve narrowed the list down to five that we feel are musts for any type of website.
When it comes to typography, you have a lot of choices to make. How big should it be? How will it translate on smaller screens? Your typography choice also has a personality and lends an overall identity to your site. It should be immediately recognizable as your brand, but at the same time the font needs to look good both on PCs and on mobile devices.
Adding larger typography for headers or as part of your logo is one way to give the site visitor an immediate feel for what you are about. With that in mind, try to use something not too far out of the norm. Stick with more traditional fonts or at least fonts that have traditional elements to them. It’s probably best to avoid, for example, a font that puts a heart over every “i” on the page.
Take a look at the typography on The Next Rembrandt. The bold font with serifs gives the site a look of yesteryear, which ties into the theme of an artist from the Baroque period in Europe. At the same time, the font is fairly simple and should be easy to read on any size device. Notice how the bigger typography draws the eye to the title.
Your navigation is one of the most important elements of your website and you need to carefully consider how and where you place navigation on your page. Most visitors will look for your navigation to orient themselves with your website. Make sure you place it near the top of the page and keep it there throughout your site, so it is easy to find and navigate to various areas.
You also need to ensure your site is friendly for mobile users as they navigate to various areas. About 67 percent of mobile users state they are more likely to buy from a mobile-friendly site. You can easily achieve this with text links and hamburger menus.
Remember when sites used tiled backgrounds and you could clearly see where the edges of the image were? That wasn’t a good look at the time and one we are far from these days. You’re more likely to see a beautiful photograph, a faded video or some type of custom texture in the background.
The key to creating a background design your site visitors will enjoy is to come up with something that reflects the overall tone of your website without distracting from your message. You don’t want a background that is too busy or too bland. The best choice is somewhere in the middle.
Custom Shingles manufactures cedar and hardwood roofing, so it makes sense that their background has a texture that makes you think of natural materials. Note how the color blends nicely with the blue tinted, wooden heading, enhancing the other elements on the page but not overwhelming.
More than half of marketers cite video as the type of content with the best return on investment (ROI). This is likely because people are more likely to engage with and share video than other types of content. Utilizing video on your website is a smart idea.
As Internet speeds increase and video is more easily streamed in a variety of locations, expect the trend toward videos to continue. You can either include a video that the user can begin to play if and when they are ready, or you can include a video background that begins to play when the user lands on your page. Each method has advantages and drawbacks — survey your target audience and decide what works best for your site.
As a web designer, you need to carefully consider the use of both positive and negative space on your page. There needs to be a nice balance between the two. Don’t be afraid to edge your positive elements into your negative space in order to draw the reader’s attention either.
Multimedia Guides to Polish Culture features an interesting design and use of white space. The image on the right crosses the border between the negative and positive space. This draws attention to the hands. Note how the man’s arm and hand are extended to the heading so that the site visitor’s eye is drawn to the title.
The most important design features for your site will vary depending on your industry and your target audience. Knowing which ones stand out and stand the test of time is a good place to start. However, don’t limit yourself to only the five examples listed above. There are many different design features available to use in your designs.
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.
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The Most Influential Consumers Online are on Twitter
Twitter is a human seismograph and it represents a transformative
channel where everyday people possess the ability to affect actions.
The cloud of collective consciousness that houses our thoughts,
experiences, and conversations is also a data trove for experts to
measure and mine serendipitous and organized behavior and events.
It brings together disparately connected personalities linked through
friendship, admiration, education, and context. Here individuals align
around people they know, would like to know, and bound by the topics,
themes, and connections that attract them. This highly contextualized
network, or as Twitter refers to it, an Interest Graph, offers
individuals an organized, indexable, and searchable stream where they
express sentiment, share observations and information, and also
directly and indirectly communicate with one another.
For marketers, Twitter represents so much more than a real-time focus
group. While the activity of its users is available for interpretation
and analysis, the information contained in certain tweets published by
notable individuals possess the capacity to influence agendas and
resulting activities. And even in aggregate, everyday users define the
direction of the stream and ultimately impact the subjects of their
Any organization impacted by outside activity must dedicate focus and
resources to monitoring and analyzing activity, the extent to which it
shapes perception today, and how to share and steer activity to
benefit stakeholders online and in the real world.
A recent study by ExactTarget and CoTweet surveyed 1,500 consumers to
identify top motivations for following brands on Twitter. As a result,
we can glean insight into the expectations of elusive and prized
consumers when interacting with brands online.
The ExactTarget and CoTweet study reveals an important part of the
social ecosystem that demonstrates why businesses need to consider not
just a 360 approach, but a socialized approach.The social consumer is
vocal and they’re connected. Considering now that audiences are
shifting from content consumers to curators and creators, our market
is now defined by audiences with audiences with audiences. Individuals
maintain active and expanding social graphs and as they grow, the
network effect only escalates.
In April 2010, Performics and ROI Research found that 33% of Twitter
users share opinions about companies or products at least once per
– 33% talk brands 1x per week
– 32% make recommendations
– 30% seek advice
Among other interesting stats, 20% of consumers follow a brand in
order to interact with the company, which is much greater than those
who subscribe to email newsletters or those who “like” brands on
Facebook in order to remain connected. In fact, nine out of the ten
stated that the most common reasons to follow a brand on Twitter
involved the ability to obtain direct information from a company.
In other studies, upwards of 80% of Twitter users stated that for
those deserving brands, following equated to referrals. Of those who
followed brands, 51% did so because they were an existing customer and
44%expected discounts or promotions.
One of the more interesting data points to emerge was that men were
more than twice as likely than women to follow brands on Twitter, 29%
compared to 13%. This stat requires deeper analysis as it, on the
surface, rivals two primary research pillars in my current work, 1)
More women than men account for the overall
If you were to take one thing away from this research, it’s
this…Twitter users are the most influential social consumers online
today. This revelation is constant across many published research
reports. Not only are they influential, they put their money where
their Tweet is.
While money doesn’t grow on trees, it does however, grow on Tweets
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