The Issue Of Web Design For 2013 Why It Is Important? What Web Design Trends Are Expected For 2013?
When it comes down to it, at the end of most online ‘buying’ experiences there is a website, be it an e-commerce site or a site full of interesting articles and information which impresses you so much that you contact the owner and sign up to their email marketing list.
Users Arrive At Sites With Expectations
Some will arrive at the website via a Pay Per Click advert, others via an affiliate advert or link. Some will get to the site via a Search, or through a Social Media, post, share or tweet. But whatever route they take, they arrive with certain expectations and an amount of ‘good will’, good will that can be easily exhausted if the design is not right.
Huge Increase In Platforms & Devices
Today, the whole process of web design has been made more difficult as the number of platforms that a website could be accessed on has increased dramatically. In the old days (just a few short years ago) all the designer had to do was to make sure that the site worked on different browsers, but now there are a myriad of mobile platforms, using different operating systems (and different variants too).
Responsive Web Design To The Rescue
Technology has of course come to the rescue, the key being to build a site using ‘Responsive Techniques’, there being for example many responsive Word Press Themes now being available. However, whilst all these make it easier, it is still difficult to make a site look good on all devices, the size of the screens varying from 320*481 to 1680*1050 pixels, with many steps in between. Still designers are doing their best and technology will no doubt improve to make matters easier over time.
Ensuring A Great User Experience Is The Key
But making sure that a site works well on all devices is just one aspect, and perhaps not the most important at that. What is important is to ensure that the users experience is a good one, one that answers their needs and as importantly is easy to find your way about.
The Challenges Facing The Designer Today?
This means that there are many challenges for a creative design agency, as they not only have to come up with a design that looks good, is fresh and vital, but that also is easy to navigate and to search. The search engines need to be able to index it easily too, and any Content Management System needs to be flexible enough to allow the ‘optimization’ of the content and not for instance tie the Title of a webpage to the Header tags on the page.
Ignore Convention At Your Peril
Not the least of the issues that the designer has to come to terms with is that of ‘expectation’ and ‘convention’. Perhaps the most important thing here is the way that users navigate sites. Convention deems that the navigation bar sits on the top or left of a web page, move it to the left or make a user search for it (or worse still chase a moving navigation bar with their mouse – I’m sure some somewhere has done this thinking it was novel and thus a good idea) and you could be in trouble.
People Know What They Like
Basically, “people like what they know and know what they like”, so being ‘creative’ and coming up with something very different could mean people bouncing off the page and being lost forever. This is the challenge to all designers of web sites today.
The Trends For 2013
For 2013, apart from the need to make sites responsive to the viewing device, other trends are enhanced vertical scrolling the navigation bar moving down the page as the user scrolls down, thus making it much easier to move from page to page, this being especially important when looking at sites on devices with small slow screens.
Another big change will be the increased use of BIG buttons, this need of course being driven by the growing number of touch screen devices. These big buttons have drawbacks in that they take a lot of screen real estate up and can slow the user experience down, but are looking to be an essential for 2013.
The Rise Of The QR Code
The popularity of Smartphones is also causing an increase in the use of QR codes, these being used from everywhere restaurants to motor show rooms, the QR codes themselves being built into the design of the site itself.
Branding Becoming More Important In 2013
The impact of Social Media is being felt is another way too, in that Brand Image is becoming more and more important, this being reflected in the fact that now business owners want a site to enhance the brand and be instantly recognized.
A Complex Issue
There is no doubt that the design of websites, essentially the design of a user interface, is a very complex issue and one that requires knowledge and expertise in many areas including design, coding and an understanding of the way that people use the web.
What are your thoughts on the future trends of web design?