FAQ Friday: The Necessity of Creative Designs

Posted by Mathilde Heinemann Oct 16, 2015

 

2015 has been a big year for web design. But with all the trends and terms floating around, what’s really important? What is a passing fad and what will actually make a difference in your site’s success? And what does everything mean? Let’s find out!
What is responsive design?
You’ve probably heard of it before, but what exactly is it? Essentially, responsive design allows your website to automatically detect what size screen it is being viewed on, and adjust accordingly to give the viewer the best possible user experience.
With responsive design, all of your content, photos, and graphics will display properly on any screen. This way you will not have to create separate websites for each device. But beyond that, there are many reasons why you should implement responsive design. (DirectImages)
Why does my website have to be responsive? The paragraph below is not formatted correctly – it should be consistent like the one below it.
  • Because it does wonders for SEO. Google accounts for 75% of all internet search volume, so if you want your site to get found, you should probably consider playing by their rules. Google favors sites with responsive design and marks them as ‘mobile friendly’ which signals to mobile users they are more likely to have a hassle-free experience. Responsive design also makes it easier for Google bots to crawl your site and index and store all the information it finds.
  • Because it increases conversion rates. Purchases on mobile devices are increasing year-over-year. Most consumers will leave a site if it takes too long to load or if they cannot navigate easily. If your site adapts to whatever device your visitor is using, you are more likely to keep their attention long enough for them to convert.

 

Does my website have to be mobile ready, or responsive even if I know my visitors are on desktop? 

Fix extra space after this line and before the body copy.In short, yes. You should always consider mobile functionality first. Even if the majority of your visitors are on desktops, Google ranks websites with consideration to their mobile readiness. Having a non-responsive site will put you at risk of decreased SEO. Additionally, just because a visitor is not accessing your site via a mobile device yet, that doesn’t mean they never will. If you are using inbound or content marketing, your blogging and social media presence will, and should, bring in more mobile users. You don’t want to miss out on those added prospects by having a site that isn’t friendly to their device! As if that weren’t enough, here’s one more—keeping your site responsive and mobile-friendly will make you more likely to withstand future technology advancements, and adapt better to future trends.

Besides mobile readiness, what other elements are involved in modern website design?
  • Parallax Scrolling is one of the biggest modern website design trends of 2015. Parallax sites embrace a completely vertical page orientation. Sites are often one page total and traditional site “sections” are stacked one on top of the other to create a motion-rich scrolling experience.
  • Modular Scrolling allows for a more vertical page orientation—but this style element allows different parts of the same page to scroll independently.
  • Infinite Scroll is just what it sounds like—it makes pages seem bottomless. Rather than the scrollbar running top to bottom, the page loads as the user scrolls down, continuously presenting additional content.
  • Blur Effects is an aesthetic trick that allow designers to create a more rich and layered look on-screen. Blurred images can be placed behind display copy in an artful fashion, leaving content readable but adding visual interest to the design.
  • Light Copy is steadily displacing heavy blocks of text. More-and-more frequently, rich displays are favored, in which visuals carry the story with minimal copy and keyword-relevant text is only used as needed.
  • Swipe-reveal Photographs provide an interesting comparative experience for users, and are often used for “before and after” images.
  • Interactive Images and Animation is a great way to liven up the user experience. HTML5 is usually used for this type of media. Subtle animation of photographs is one way to create motion and interest without having to actually embed video.
  • Rich Arrows animate or expand to reveal contextual images related to the content on the other side of the click-through. They are not only aesthetically pleasing, but also contribute to greater context to the user experience.
  • Sliding Navigation can improve user interface and navigation technique. Navigation elements slide into place once triggered by user actions. This allows designers to keep page designs uncluttered and keep needed information available with just a click.
  • Dynamic Charts lend greater visual interest to the page, and can be used to great effect. More complicated information can be communicated very effectively by presenting facts that are revealed to the user in a specific, controlled fashion.

Phew, that was a lot! Feel free to reach out and tweet us @directimages if there’s anything you wanted to know about modern website design that we didn’t cover. We hope this base of knowledge will help you cut through the noise and make informed decisions about your site design elements.

 

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Topics: Online Design, Website Development

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