16 Aug What’s Changed In Website Design Since Your Last Redesign?
We have one question for you: how old is your website design?
We’re going to wager you didn’t recently finish a redesign project. Why else would you be here? But, we do have a little inside information for you. If your website is ten years old or even three years old, it’s time for an update. Trends change. User demands evolve. Your content and design need to keep up or you risk visitors forgetting about you and your brand.
No one wants to be the website users land on, laugh at, and then go back to their Google search results. You’ve worked hard to build an incredible brand. Your website should reflect the strength and character of that brand.
In this post, we’re going to cover crucial design elements to incorporate in your new website design.
Crucial Website Design Elements
The content on your site needs to not only be mobile optimized, but written for mobile devices.
If you’re still under the impression that content and design are two separate things, it’s time to change your view. In website design, the structure, sections, and messages on the pages work together. Creating a mobile friendly site isn’t only about having pages that scale anymore. In 2016, mobile usage passed desktop usage when it comes to accessing the Internet. Meaning visitors are more likely to use their phone than their desktop computers.
It’s time to ditch the idea that your website should look good on desktop first and mobile second. They both need to look incredible and they both need to have powerful messages. To create an amazing content experience for your user, you might have to scale the content back on mobile. You might need to shorten phrases. Think about how you use your devices to search for information and products. You don’t want to scroll nonstop with your thumb or have to pinch zoom to find what you’re looking for. The content should flow from section to section and page to page no matter what device you’re on.
An emphasis on customer service improves the reflective design experience.
Your current website might already evoke an emotional connection with your target audience. It might be visceral, which elicits a sort of knee-jerk reaction. Your design might even be behavioral in that it calls your visitors to take action. But, what it’s most likely missing is the reflective – the feelings they should have after leaving the site.
Reflective design all comes down the experience a user has on a site. Creating a website design in 2017 that is all about you and not about your customer is off putting. It’s the wrong way to do things. Focus on customer’s needs, getting them the information they are looking for, and offering superior service. Website capabilities will continue to advance. But, your website redesign should not look like like a giant robot. It needs to serve as a transition point between the customer and customer service or sales team. A reflective design means visitors will be thinking about it long after visiting.
Embrace known features to create a sense of comfortability allows users to know what’s going on.
We like to refer to this change as invoking the Tamagotchi Gesture. It all comes down to user fatigue. New technology and innovation are great, but there’s a huge learning curve with every new update. This learning curve results in users embracing the comfort of old technology like a Tamagotchi. Users enjoy these sorts of technologies. The interactions with the technology are familiar and predictable.
How do you make an effective website design comfortable and predictable? You incorporate design elements that users are already familiar with. We aren’t suggesting you create a one-page website with two pictures and a wall of text. What we’re saying is bring print back into the design focus. Print never died (no matter how hard e-readers tried to kill it). Bringing in design elements that made print so popular, creates a familiar experience. This experience will keep users engaged.
Mobile elements and hidden menus create a uniform user experience across devices.
We already talked about visitors using mobile devices. But, have you thought about designing the desktop version of your site to mimic the mobile version? The focus has been on making mobile version mimic the desktop version, that we’ve lost sight of the bigger issue. Users are on mobile. That means when they go to the desktop version, they won’t know where anything is. They’ve come to expect your site to look a certain way.
When the desktop version matches the mobile version, users know where information is. For example, instead of offering users countless menu options, use a hamburger menu. This style of menu hides the options, but the options are still there. This cuts down on distraction and eliminates choices that traditional website design gives users.
Content and messaging should be user focused and provide niche information.
Have you ever stopped to consider how visitors interpret your content? Is your content general information focused on catching anyone’s attention? It’s time to put a stop to that. Segmentation is the key to a successful website. You need to know who you are talking to, what they’re looking for, and how you can help them. Providing more specific information to specific users you can better connect with them.
Brand messages, blog posts, social posts, and website design elements need to get down to the nitty gritty. Your audience isn’t looking for information about over-discussed topics. They want information specific to their individual needs, so give it to them. And, don’t make it impossible for them to find what they’re looking for. Start the segmentation process the minute a user lands on your site. Provide options on the homepage and in the menu specific to their needs.
Focus on where and how someone exits the site as much as when and where they land on the site.
Drawing users in is a huge part of marketing. Once they’re in, the sales team can take over. Yet, websites rarely function that way. Instead, they present the beginning of the story. They give you enough to hook you in, but if you leave, they don’t give you enough to come back. Users want a happy ending.
Giving users a, “…and then they walked off into the sunset and lived happily ever after” feeling wraps the experience up. But, it does way more than that. It actually reinforces the reflective website design and gives the user a natural place to break off. Don’t worry though, if you created a reflective website design, they won’t be able to stop thinking about it. You can leverage that exit point in a way that leads the user back to you.
Creating A New Website Design
This all sounds great, but how do you actually achieve it. You trust a team of professionals. A team so dedicated and committed to website design they stay on top of trends. They don’t let that latest and greatest user experiences pass them by. You trust Iconic Digital to help you build a website design strategy and then implement that strategy.
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