Wondering where website design is going? You’ve probably been aware of spacious web pages and big, delicious imagery. Here’s the skinny, according to WDL.
1. Think Mobile First
Tablets and smart phones will only become more prolific as we use them to browse the web more regularly. Starting with conceptualizing the mobile version of your site — especially in the condensed area of the cell phone screen — will force you to prioritize content, which you can expand upon on the full website. Even if you don’t do a mobile version of your site, we can at least begin with how it looks on the smaller screens.
2. Infinite Scrolling
Social media sites Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter are example of infinite scrolling — when you reach the bottom of the page, more results are added so you can keep on scrolling down the page. This avoid the whole clicking “next” and “previous” buttons (so 20th Century!). It’s an evolution of sharing via social media where you don’t “bookmark a page” (again — so 20th Century!), but you retweet or share a Facebook post. So if you have lots of content that’s continually updated, and that the user can share right there, this is great. You lose the functionality of being able to link to specific content located on a specific page, though. So keep this in mind.
3. White Space, Minimalism, and Big Photography
Yes, please! I feel like I’ve been preaching this for so long. The golden rule of Less Is More. Clients have a tendency to want to say everything on the home page. The reality is that the Internet serves up massive doses of optical stimulation overload. One can achieve peace by looking at a site that is well-structured and delivers information as needed, and there is space for that information to be digested by the visitor. The best way to do this? Get your brand in order first so you can prioritize the information you will be delivering. Our Web Redesign Workshop is a great way to start planning. Our client Amanda Jones is working on her web redesign right now. We did some research into other photographers and found the best sites were the simplest. Here’s her first draft of a new home page redesign.
Big photography also creates white space and minimalism. It’s not right for everyone, but if it makes sense to utilize a big, awesome image that conveys the emotion of your brand, let’s do it!
4. Natural Design Elements
What, like leaves and stuff? Haha, leaves on the Internet only come in pictures, silly! We’re trying to get away from images to make load times faster. Improvements in CSS (cascading style sheets, or how we make your website look awesome and consistent) are enabling more visual elements to be coded, like gradients, special fonts and rounded corners. In the old days of the Internet, we had to do these things as images. Now they are dynamically generated by CSS so your website displays way faster. Looks better, loads faster — who could ask for more!
5. Cleaner Source Code
Yawn, here’s another one for the programming geeks, right? Maybe not. You should take an interest in how your site is getting built. Innovation on the web is constant — what was new last year is getting old quickly. You want to be sure the platform your website is built on today can be updated easily three years from now. There’s no guarantee that it will become irrelevant, but you gotta try. The point of cleaner source code is that a) there’s less of it so the browsers can parse it quicker; b) it’s easier to edit and update; and c) it’s FAR easier to navigate for the future upgrades.
Thanks to WDL for this awesome article! Read the original article here »