Guest post by Alice McLean
Considering the fast-moving environment businesses are faced with today, it’s only natural to assume that those who want to stay relevant in 2013 will have to adapt their online marketing strategies to the new market requirements. Here are 6 web design trends we are seeing in 2013:
Responsive Web Design
You don’t get to decide how your readers will get to your website; they do. And the technology is increasingly moving toward mobile devices enabling people to access the Internet via laptops, smartphones and tablets featuring smaller screens and touch-screen interactions. To avoid the frustrating experience of zooming or scrolling down the page you can have your web designer design your site into a responsive layout, which will eventually mean better experience for the user.
The responsive web design (RWD) allows websites to automatically adapt to the size of the screen, stacking on smaller screens and spreading on larger ones. This means you don’t need two separate versions of your website anymore (one for laptops and one for mobile phones); the same version can be communicated on absolutely any device or format. Some interesting examples for you to check are Mashable, Food Sense, Simple, and Virtual Wallet.
Full Screen Background Photos
The most recent redesigns of popular websites like Twitter, Spotify, and Square focus on improving users’ visual and emotional experience, trigger their curiosity to want to find out more, and also convey the main message of their products and services. A full-screen background photo on the launch page is a powerful way to spark interest in your readers in an instant, “speaking“ louder than what only words can say.
The full-screen design is not exclusively for large global companies but small businesses can also utilize it for their websites to spread their marketing message to a wider audience and reach potential customers. By the end of the year more and more companies are expected to take their sites visual direction to a greater extreme with this web design implementation.
Infinite Scrolling and Advanced Page Navigation
Infinite scrolling and interactive navigation panels are also part of the the trends in web design noticed this year. Pinterest and Tumblr may be the most popular examples, but more and more other websites are also integrating these changes to make browsing and navigation more fluid and natural for their users. Some examples are: HTC One, Distance to Mars, and The 5th Wave.
If your business website displays lots of products and images related to a single category, integrating infinite scrolling in your website design can be very effective. It will not only make browsing easier for your readers continuing to load more content pieces as they reach the bottom of the page, but this design feature will also improve your website SEO by cutting down the time spent waiting for new pages to load.
Another growing trend for businesses with interactive websites is parallax design which incorporates special scrolling techniques where various background images move at different speeds, or change in size or at dimension to the site, to create an illusion of 3D depth. This effect is really unique and as you scroll down the page, the whole site changes, like layers. Some examples include Sullivan, Activate Drinks and Air Jordan 2012 website.
The information overload around the Internet makes users busy, frazzled and distracted, but when you get them on your website you want them calmed – simplicity in the design is an incredibly effective way to improve your conversion when dealing with online customers. Large buttons with calls-to-action have been around for a while now, but the expectations are this concept will reach an entirely new level this year, helping readers to get even faster to what they are looking for.
Big buttons are also becoming popular due to the increased usage of smart phones and tablets where tapping the wrong buttons just because they are small can be very annoying and inconvenient for touch-screen users. Some websites to look to for inspiration with using big buttons include Skype, KISSmetrics, DeskTime, or Dashboard.
Social Media Integration
Social media integration does not only refer to placing social media icons on your website that represent Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, or whatever network you mostly use for your business promotion. You can also add social media sharing buttons to your blog posts:
- Add Social Media Sharing Buttons to Blogger posts
- Add Social Media Sharing Buttons to WordPress posts
- Add Social Media Sharing Buttons to Typepad posts
You can also go beyond asking readers to “Share This” by enabling greater real-time communication and engagement on the website. In terms of basic tools, the major social platforms offer webmasters a range of integration options to further deepen this connection between their sites and users, including Facebook’s social plugins, Twitter for Websites, or tools like Click To Tweet which enables sharing of certain pieces of information instead of entire pages.
Alice McLean is a writer at bestessays.com with background in history, sociology and internet marketing. Now she is writing her first book on internet marketing.