Every year, a handful of new web design trends are born. One year it’s sliders. The next it’s parallax scrolling. Some of these trends don’t last a calendar year, while others withstand the test of time. Many web developers and site managers try to find new trendy ways to relay content, but there are a few design characteristics that will always be in style. Blending together a combination of new trends and timeless design might be the best formula for your site.
Fabulous photography and graphics have always been a popular website feature. Web designers realized years ago that text-only pages were boring and often left users wanting more. Users also tend to remember imagery more easily than large blocks of text. Images included on a website should be high-quality and tell your story. Create a mood for your website with images, and support it with content in the form of text, design elements, and video. Humans are naturally drawn to visual elements, so the imagery is one of the most important elements on a page. Search engines are also a big fan of images and it’s always good to be on a search engine’s good side. Be sure to use high-quality, optimized images to ensure page load times do not suffer.
Website content that is overly crowded detracts from the user experience. Elements on your site must be spread out and contain a reasonable amount of whitespace to look appealing to users. Whitespace can also be called negative space and is the portion of the page that is left empty or unmarked. It makes your page more inviting and manageable, increasing the likelihood visitors will remain on the site. Sites with overwhelming amounts of information can increase bounce rates and confuse visitors. Whitespace is its own design element, so use it to your full advantage.
Every site should be designed with a degree of simplicity in mind. If your website is complicated and overcrowded, users will leave your site to look for something more user-friendly. Your aim should be to deliver a concise concept. If your site has a huge amount of information to convey, break it up into different pages and include easy to navigate menus. Focus on the reason a user is visiting your site, and lead him or her directly to what they need. Design simplicity is attractive to users and will keep them on your site.
Simple Color Designs
Along with overall design simplicity, simple color schemes are also important. Websites with too much color can look busy and be distracting to users. Busy designs and excess color can also make your site look amateurish. For years, well-designed sites have included only two or three colors. Your site design should have enough color to be eye-catching, but not so much that it detracts from the message you are trying to convey. If you have a company logo, use that as a basis for your color scheme and build from that.
Thoughtful, Legible Text Styles
Typography has always been an important design element, for obvious reasons. The right font style can draw a reader into the content. Text size is also important. If it’s too small, user experience suffers. If it’s too big, it will come across as obnoxious. To catch the reader’s attention, use a font that is legible and easy to read on multiple device types. Find a typeface that follows the mood of your images, content, and overall design style.
Advances in web design will never replace the timeless appeal of these characteristics. Use these design elements on every page of your site for maximum impact. A well-designed site will draw users in and guide them through to find just what they’re looking for. If you feel like shaking things up, you can always add a few small, trendy touches. Just make sure they aren’t to the determinate of these proven timeless design elements.