For those of us old enough to remember, web design wasn’t much of a buzz word 20 or so years ago. Just look at some of the website designs from way back when and you’ll see that the whole customer journey wasn’t as critical as it is now. Mind you, technology wasn’t as advanced either, but that doesn’t excuse much of the junk we were seeing on our screens.
To illustrate how far web design has come since the 90s, here’s an old and new version of Apple, courtesy of hubspot.com and apple.com.
I know, right? For those businesses that have had a website for yonks, take a look at the aesthetics and architecture through today’s lenses. It may be time for an update, or heaven forbid…. a whole new site!
As a Cairns and Adelaide web design agency, the bulk of our web design requests are centred around existing websites that are simply no longer competitive. Although there are several factors affecting poor customer conversions, two of the biggest culprits are:
- A visually unappealing site. To be blunt, many of them are just plain ugly. With outdated designs, viewers are more likely to turn their attention to more appealing websites.
- Ineffective SEO. What may have worked a few years ago may no longer work today. With frequent Google algorithm updates, websites need to be regularly monitored and updated to keep up with their competition. Be mindful that the subject of search engine optimisation is HUGE. I’ve written another blog that explains SEO in more detail.
The above issues essentially translate into a poor user experience (UX). With design trends changing at a rapid rate, it’s important to keep up with design evolution to ensure your site remains relevant and profitable. And I’m not just referring to my Cairns and Adelaide web design audience, we service web design and SEO clients Australia wide, so this data is relevant to us all.
With that in mind, here are a few important web design trends of 2022:
Mobile First Web Design
Let’s face it, mobile phones have pretty much become a huge part of us in so many ways. The fact that they are a phone is almost superfluous. They can also capture and share every moment of our lives and provide us with real-time information from all over the world. Who even needs a wallet or purse anymore? Let’s not forget how they can also organise both our daily personal and business lives. I mean, how can we live without them?
As can be seen from the above image, courtesy of oberlo.com, over 50% of global website traffic comes from mobile phones. With that in mind, our Adelaide and Cairns web design practices, in fact our Australia-wide design practices are centred around commencing our designs on a mobile layout in the first instance.
Given the smaller visual space on a mobile phone, it’s critical to design a website that is visually appealing on the small screen. There is more scope for playing around with visuals on a larger screen such as a desktop, so it makes good sense to start with the dominant viewport.
Prominent Typo is Hero
The very first thing you’ll generally see on a website is the header. Also referred to as the hero section, its purpose is to engage and inform in the blink of an eye to encourage you to explore further. Previously jam packed with overwhelming images, moving objects and dazzling colour, the emerging web design trend is for less distracting activity and larger, bolder text with simple messages for the target audience. Note the simple but effective header on one of our Cairns web design sites, getactiveonline.com. Big, bold font with a clear message.
Lose the Slider Headers
In line with a shift to less clutter on the hero section, we have significantly reduced the use of header sliders for our Adelaide and Cairns web design clients. I have always found headers to be distracting and have rarely used them. I mean, why would I want to wait for any information contained within those slider images? I’d rather scroll and find it on my own terms. It can also be frustrating not having enough time to read the slide before it shifts to the next one.
Again, the intent of the header is to provide the viewer with concise and relevant information in as little time as possible to encourage them to continue the intended customer journey.
Limited Page Web Design
Single page websites can be great for businesses with minimal products or services. Take tradies for example. Some trade services are not complex in their service categories, however many tend to have websites with multiple pages for breakdowns of their services. Sure, if the search intent is high for each category, I would certainly recommend individual pages for SEO purposes. But for many, a single page, or a site with the addition of a blog (great for boosting search engine optimisation) and some FAQs (also great for SEO) is all that is required.
The benefits of a limited page web design, where relevant, is that it is often easier, and way cheaper to create a pleasant customer journey without the confusion of having to open other pages when not necessary. For many trade services, the intent of the site is to encourage a contact such as a phone call, an online request or an email. Check out our Adelaide web design client, Airtech Climate Solutions for an example of an effective limited page web design.
So there you have it. Take some time to review your own website design and see if a refresh or complete rebuild will keep your site fresh and relevant.
Contact Digital Marketing Hub today for a complimentary web design audit, it could be that phone call to calm your chaos.