While a site’s content is certainly more important than its’ design, there’s no doubt that design plays a large role in determining whether potential customers stay on a website, or go elsewhere. The design of a website could be viewed in a similar way to a storefront window: An attractive, creative display will draw customers in, while a cluttered, disorganized one will drive customers away.
Listed below are five particularly popular trends in website design for 2014. Being aware of these trends can help designers to create websites that will appeal to their target audiences, and thus generate sales:
Grid Style Layout
It is worth mentioning that the grid style layout is not suitable for all types of websites. However, it can be perfect for e-stores, photography websites and other, similar sites.
The grid style became popular when Pinterest starting using it on its’ platform. Since then, other popular websites have adapted and modified it for their own use. The grid style makes it easy for users to scan a site for information, and find what they are looking for quickly and easily. Also, it is visually appealing, so it keeps people on a site for a longer time, compared to what would otherwise be the case.
Focused Landing Pages
There was a time when a webmaster only had to create a single page for his or her website. That time is long past. Anyone who is serious about selling stuff online will need to create focused, targeted landing pages for each of his or her most important products.
Doing this serves multiple purposes. In terms of design, it enables webmasters to reduce clutter, as each page only deals with a single topic, rather than several or more related topics. Targeted, focused landing pages are also ideal for SEO, as Google prefers sites to use targeted landing pages, as opposed to a general home page for on-site and off-site links. Additionally, studies have shown that linking online advertisements to a focused landing page, rather than a general one, increases sales and profits. This tactic makes it easy for people to find what they are looking for, without having to do a website search.
HTML5 Video Players
While including video content on a website is a good way to attract customers, Flash video players are no longer nearly as popular as they once were. Nowadays, more and more webmasters are switching over to HTML5 video players. These players display high quality content, and only take up a modest amount of bandwidth. This ensures that a site will load quickly, even if there are large photos and/or other graphics displayed on the page.
Another important reason for using HTML5 is the fact that Flash is not compatible with most mobile phone devices. This means that sites that use Flash are unable to reach tens of millions of people, who use their mobile phones to browse the Internet and shop online.
People do not only want to find out about a product, they want get to know the person behind it as well. A personal portrait is a great way to connect with customers, and it adds a friendly touch to any website. Such a portrait can be included on the home page, about page, or even along with blog articles on the site. The photo should be clear and convey the image that the owner wants to convey (i.e. casual, friendly and professional, etc).
Mega Navigation Menus
Mega navigation menus are ideal for sites that have a lot of content. As the name implies, these menus enable a user to see a large number of links on a single page, thus making it easier to find appealing products and/or articles.
The goal of being aware of modern, popular website design trends is not to create clone sites that look the same as everyone else’s. Instead, being aware of these trends, and other popular design innovations, can enable webmasters to broaden their horizons, and use new, cutting edge techniques to create websites that are easy to use, and visually appealing to their target audiences.