A well-designed and well-organized website is vital to the success of a business. First impressions will make the difference between whether new customers stay on a website and look around or move onto another website. The trends in web design are constantly changing, and it is important to understand which features are just a matter of design and which features are essential to well-running websites.
Here are 2014 web design trends for small businesses:
Responsive design. Responsive design has become an essential trait for all websites. This is due to the dramatic increase in web surfing from smartphones and tablets. A responsive design allows websites to be fully functioning regardless of what device the user is on when they reach the website.
When working with a responsive design, it is important to be mindful of the images and videos you use, as well as the length of content you put up. You also want to keep your loading time short. Research has found that when it takes longer than 3 seconds for a website to load, users are more likely to move on to another website.
Image Tiles. Image tiles have been made popular by Pinterest, which is based of all image tiles. However, other websites such as eBay and facebook have also made use of this format. When using image tiles, it is important to follow a few simple rules:
• Use coordinating and visually pleasing colors
• Present an organized layout
• Reduce the amount of text used
• Use familiar icons
• Keep everything above the fold
Parallax Scrolling. You may be wondering what the heck parallax scrolling is, but I assure you, you’ve seen it. This is when you scroll through a website and images or text scroll with you. This allows the website to keep the most important information to the user within sight at all times. For example, the checkout or add to cart buttons on an e-commerce website may scroll down the page with you as you view items for sale.
Social Feeds. Social feeds allow web visitors to see what people are saying about the company or product on their social networks in real time. It also allows them to see if any of their social network friends have already liked the page of the company. While research on social commerce shows the numbers are still relatively low, social network plays a huge role in marketing for companies both big and small.