A well-designed, concise website is an extremely important tool for attracting potential customers for your small business.
With constantly changing web design trends, it is important to understand what items are essential, as well as being within your small business budget.
The following are the some of the top web design trends for 2013, as chosen by Website Magazine:
Responsive Web Design
Responsive Web Design has become increasingly important, due to the rising importance of tablets and mobile phones and their use by potential customers to access your website.
When transitioning your current website over to a responsive site, you need to consider how it will look for both a wide screen laptop, a handheld tables of multiple sizes and mobile phones of different types and platforms. While you may have many pictures, text and videos on your full website, you might also want to think about the importance of a mobile experience with easy navigation and fast loading times. A responsive website should also include a clear call-to-action button or link at the top of every page, as well as any social media links to allow potential customers to become a fan or follow your company.
Your small business responsive website will look picture-perfect on any device if you keep these cost effective things in mind:
The image tile display, made popular by Pinterest, has spread to many other websites, including Ebay and even Facebook. Its visually-appealing layout and ease of use reflect the way people digest content: in the 'now', with the ability to discover and share, and is something people are accustomed to seeing on the screens of their tablerts and smart phones.
An image tile layout may not be the easiest technology to implement onto your new or existing site, but the principles are simple:
Aesthetically pleasing colors
Everything "above the fold"
Social media has revolutionized the way people make purchases, and the way companies influence that decision. Most websites today have links to their various social media channels, and the latest design trends are including this social interaction directly on company websites through the use of live feeds.
An active social feed from your business social media outlets will allow you to display credibility. This is a great first-impression with communicating the benefits of your services or product offerings.
Publishing social links on your website is a transparent way to gain trust. Users can scan your posts, evaluate your offers, and potentially become a long-term fan with one click.
By building followers, likes, and fans, and adding value to the conversation with quality content and responsive dialogue, you will open up opportunities for the occasional promotional post to display your services, specials and products, ultimately increasing sales.
A website is a long-term investment, so it is important to get it right.
There are many design trends you can spend your money on, but it is important to understand the difference between the essential and unessential, the cost effective and the impracticle expense. As a whole, trends are moving in the direction of simplicity and ease of use.
What can you take away from all these trends for your own website?
Concise pages for fast loading times, easy navigation
Focus on images and icons over text
Strategic use of text size for info hierarchy
Social Badges to engage long-term customers