Just how important is the use of graphics on your website? In all honesty this is the one thing that can really make or break your entire site as it is the graphics that will create that all important first impression. In other words, get them wrong and it does not matter what you are selling or saying as people will simply click off, but how do you get it correct in the first place?
When Graphics Can Become Too Much
First, we need to look at the simple fact that there are cases where graphics can easily become too much. You go onto a website, they hit you in the face, and you are so taken aback by the graphics that you largely forget what the actual website is about.
Now, that tends to mean one of several things. Perhaps there has been a lack of communication between yourself and the graphic designer, so you are both looking at different things and completely different ideas. This does not bode well for your website because this lack of unison will tend to always lead to misunderstandings and one party, which means you, will end up being disappointed. After all, how is the graphic designer going to be able to produce exactly what you want if you do not tell them?
However, perhaps this has happened because you actually do not know what you want? You might not have done your research to see what other people are doing and the role that graphics play there. This is of course entirely your own fault, but it can ultimately lead to you having a website where you might feel that the graphics are fine, but they are just not what is expected from a modern website.
The Impact Poor Graphics Can Have
Let us assume that you have indeed gone ahead and had graphics produced for your website that are over the top. Understanding the impact that these graphics can have on the visitors to your website is clearly going to be important as it is always advisable to have a site that is pleasant to the eye and which actually makes it easier to navigate around the website.
How do you feel if you see an advert that is just too loud and yet tells you no information whatsoever? Of course it is annoying and you will quickly get to the point where you will simply switch off from trying to understand whatever it is that the advert is trying to tell you. Take these same feelings and apply them to your website because that is how your visitors will feel if your graphics do the same.
You need to remember that your website is there to promote your business whether it be service based or product based. It is supposed to be informative, useful for your visitor, have a point of existing, and be easy to navigate. Graphics are supposed to compliment a website and not detract from its main reason for being there. If graphics overpower a website, then there is less chance of your visitors doing what you actually want them to do, which is either buy something or contact you for more information.
So, What Do You Do?
Clearly poor graphics can have a detrimental effect on your website, but what do you actually do? Perhaps the main key is to do your research before you even think about having a website designed. This will give you a better idea of what it is that you actually want in a site and, in turn, you will have a better understanding of the types of graphics that work best for you. It is perhaps even an idea to save some examples of sites and the graphics that they use in order to then show your own developer.
The other main thing that you need to do is to actually have a discussion with your developer. Listen to their ideas, compare them to your own, and then see the kind of end result that you will then be able to come up with. Working as a team always produces the best outcome as everybody knows what they are wanting to get out of it and both client and designer can be content with the finished article.
In Other Words
What we are saying here is that you the client need to have some degree of input when it comes to the graphics for your website. It is not good enough to just leave it in the hands of the designer no matter how good they are because they need to get inside your head and know the kind of thing that you have in mind for your site.
Communication is key as is your own research. A designer can advise you on what the current trends are, and it is advisable to listen to them, to make sure that your site looks fresh and modern rather than stale and stuck in the past. By just working together the chances of mistakes being made are going to be reduced and would it not be better for your state of mind if you were content with everything at the first time of asking?
If you thought that web design was purely about making your website look nice, then you are wrong. Instead, it has an impact on every aspect of your business online including branding, the amount of traffic you receive, and SEO. In other words, a bad or poorly executed design can have a catastrophic impact in more ways than you would imagine.
The Building Of Trust Via Design
One of the first points that we need to make is that a well designed website generates a lot of trust in what the site has to offer. This is rather surprising because studies have indicated that over 90% of people that say that they have not trusted a particular website point to the bad or outdated design as being the problem while under 10% only ever refer to the content. In other words, people simply cannot move beyond a badly designed website as their eyes are drawn to it and they pretty much become blind to what the website is saying.
So what kind of things about the design leads to people not trusting the website? First, if the layout is seen as being far too busy or too complex to understand. People see this as being a sign that there is a lack of organization or the people behind it are just running around and losing control.
People also mistrust a website that has a tendency to use small print because their first thought is that they must have something to hide if they are writing things so small that people would simply give up with trying to read it. There are also issues with websites that take too long to load, or have boring colors and a boring design and all of this is decided by the individual within seconds of landing on that website.
Content Does Still Play A Part
However, even though we just stated that the design of a website is very important when it comes to building trust, you still need to understand that content plays a major role. Indeed, around 80% of people state that the quality of the content is important to them, but you still need to get them past that initial step of liking what they see from a visual point of view for them to then be able to make up their mind about what you have to say.
In the same study that looked at how important content was for building trust, it was also noted that there are certain things that people look for in the wording that appears on a website. People appear to love when there is a section covering frequently asked questions. People love content that is informative, easy to understand, and it gets to the point quickly as we do appear to have relatively low attention spans. People also love content that is fresh, and is relevant to the website and what they would expect to see, so clearly this is something that has to be done correctly because if that is not the case, then trust in your site will be lost.
Web Design, SEO, And Building Trust
Finally, it is also a well accepted fact that people tend to trust those websites that appear further up the search engine rankings. They see those websites as having more authority over various keywords even though they do not really understand the complexities of SEO. However, the design of your website can also play a role in your ability to rank higher on those searches and, in turn, it also fits in with your ability to build trust in your website and brand.
There is a tendency for some designers to use crazes when it comes to their designs and even though it may look modern and cool, it can have a negative impact on the way that search engines can find and then crawl through the site. Look at the example where people love just one single page that scrolls on for an eternity. This looks great and people love not having to jump between pages, but from an SEO point of view there is one vital component missing. With no pages to index, the search engines find it harder to pick up the site and you then need some pretty amazing on-page SEO to try to rectify the problem. This can be extremely expensive, so in all honesty you are better off with a design that sticks to the traditional format, but has modern colors, and other cool features that marks it out as being modern. Think about it. Keywords are important when it comes to SEO, but you achieve better results when they are spread throughout a site. Using this one page design means they are all together on just one single page and that is something that should be avoided.
What we are saying is that there are several key factors in building trust in your website and this is an issue that needs to be tackled from the moment that people land on your URL. Your design has to be pleasant and welcoming. Your content has to be relevant. Your SEO has to get you up those rankings. Without them, you will be struggling and let’s face it, nobody wants to struggle, do they?
It is easy enough to look at website design trends and to then determine how you can shape your website accordingly, but it is often the case that one important area is overlooked. What are the images going to be like?
Yep, even images have trends with how they look and where they are placed on your site and in the eyes of many they are what is responsible for making your website pop. So, what can we expect in 2015?
Big And Beautiful
The first thing is that there is a trend for a site to have at least one image that is both big and beautiful at the same time. This main image has to be a real show stopper and will really dominate the home page and you are helped here by the fact that the quality of these larger images just continues to improve.
The use of stock image websites will make life easier for you to find the perfect one for your website as they have millions of images covering such a wide range of topics. Go for the highest resolution possible for the size that you need to really wow your visitors from the moment that they hit your website.
The Use Of Semi-Flat Design
2013 saw the emergence of flat design images, but in 2015 we are looking at semi-flat being where it’s at. The entire idea here is that the image creates a kind of 3D effect on your site along the sides while the actual image itself stays flat to the page. This is mainly being done with buttons and drawn graphics rather than photographs, but it is certainly quite effective with the look that it creates.
Try using this approach for those links to your social media pages or logos just to give your site that extra lift and bring it to life.
Creating An Experience Through Rich Content
Using rich content to really produce an experience for the visitor to your website might use up a substantial amount of your budget, but it can offer them something completely different from the norm.
The idea is to produce longform articles that include a lot of media, either images or even video clips with narration, in order to really put across certain points. This is aiming to replace the usual form of long articles as it is known that breaking it up visually makes it easier for an individual to remember the information and to process it accordingly.
The Use Of Typography
Mixing typography with images is big in 2015. However, great care has to be taken over the forms of text that you use because big and bold is better than small and old. If you thought that you were limited to the likes of Aerial or Times New Roman, then you are wrong. Instead, go for something unique that ties in perfectly with your website and what it is all about.
Do not be afraid to use something different and make it big so that it grabs their attention as soon as they land on your site and use a variety of fonts just to spice things up a bit. If you thought that the text on your website had to be plain and boring, then you are going to be stuck in 2014 rather than 2015.
The Use Of Hand Drawn Illustrations
Hand drawn illustrations have been around in the world of Internet marketing for some time, but now it has made the leap into actual websites that the general public are going to check out. They might be difficult to produce, although obviously help is at hand, but there is no doubt that they really do grab the attention because are we not all fascinated by animation?
We are not talking about something along the lines of a Pixar movie, but rather shortish clips that has some simply drawn illustrations that manage to press home the point that you are trying to make. However, we recommend that you do not overdo this on your website as it could end up looking quite cheap and boring.
The Use Of Background Video
If you thought that it was just about still images, then think again. Instead, 2015 is going to see an increase in the use of background video on websites and this is possible thanks to people having better Internet connection so there is less lagging.
The cool thing about using video is that it really does bring your website to life in a brand new way and with it playing in the background it also feels as if it is less intrusive. However, as with other forms of media it is always better if you do not overdo it because then you could be looking at a few issues for people that perhaps have not caught up with the modern day broadband speed.
There is no doubt that, from a design perspective, 2015 is going to be quite exciting. Technology is still improving and as can undoubtedly look forward to some pretty cool websites being produced. Make sure that you are not left behind with your own website and get some professional advice on how to spruce it up and bring it up to the modern day. Give us a call now to arrange one of our team to discuss your needs.
When it comes to designing a website, there has to be a firm understanding between yourself and the web designer. However, you can also throw into the mix the relationship between yourself and the person doing the graphics because clearly having the wrong images or artwork on your website could have a detrimental effect on the end result.
You see, quite often the web designer is almost like the person that puts the jigsaw together and another person will be responsible for creating the various graphics and buttons that are then used to create the final picture. Obviously this does not apply when it is a one man band that is doing it, but the main thing is that everybody has to work well together in order to get the finished website that you have always been dreaming of.
To do this, you need to spend some time really putting across the ideas that you have for your website and also keep your ears and mind open to the suggestions that the designers will also come up with. You see, they can advise you on what is current in the world of design because the last thing you want is a website that looks out of date even though it is actually brand new. The ideas that you have may also sound good in your head, but in reality they could look completely different. Always remember that first impressions really do count when it comes to a website, so clearly you want to make sure that the website that you then own is looking fantastic and enticing to the people that land there.
So what actually happens with this relationship with the graphic designer?
Well, they are going to listen to what you want and also look at colors and styles of art that you already use elsewhere. They will look at what you do and draw inspiration from all of this because clearly it is in their own best interests to get it right at the first time of asking. They can show you examples of the kind of thing that is in their mind and they will pay close attention to all of the feedback that you then give them, so please make sure that you make your feelings known.
There has to be an understanding between everybody that the first mock up design, and there should be a mock up made, might not be the dream solution, but that is absolutely fine as it is merely to be used to see if people are indeed on the correct path. This mock up front page is your chance to tell them about the parts that you like and those that you are not so happy with and never be afraid to hold back. Instead, positive criticism is a good thing as long as they also have the right to criticize you and some of the ideas that you have.
Getting this blend in the relationship correct is essential for a quality end product. The graphic designer and web designer are going to work hand in hand throughout the project and of course when it comes to the graphics they can take some of the concepts and designs and use them for your marketing elsewhere. This is certainly one major advantage of using a company that can provide you with every single thing under the one roof as it just makes the entire process of having your website and marketing materials designed so much easier. Everybody knows what their roles are and understand what is expected of them, so there is a better chance of you loving the end result.
It is worth pointing out that this is not exactly going to slow down the process of having your website created and indeed the fact that there are graphic designers actively working on your project will have the reverse effect. How cool is it to know that people that understand colors and designs are going to produce something spectacular for your website? You just know in advance that it is all going to come together superbly resulting in a website that you can rightfully be proud of. The fact that it also does not cost you extra and is part of the overall design package is also a positive thing because do you realize how much a graphic designer costs to hire on their own?
What we are saying here is that, in order to get the website of your dreams, you need to make sure that you have a good relationship with not only the person doing the coding of your site, but also the person responsible for all of the artwork. There is much more to creating a website than most people are aware as they might just have one point of contact and that is, of course the web guy. Instead, you as the client should be heavily involved in every aspect and to let everybody know about your thoughts, ideas, and desires for your site. A good graphic designer can then take those ideas and run with them and who would not be happy with that?
A graphic designer is there to help, so use their expertise and you will be glad that you did so.
As we get closer and closer to 2015 it does mean that there is greater insight into the trends for websites that we should see happening all over the place in the next 12 months. Knowing what is going to be in fashion with websites is extremely important for a number of companies especially where being hip is something that defines their site and their brand. So, what can we expect to see more of in 2015?
Responsive Websites are a Must
The one thing that nobody should do without is having a responsive website. Your site must be able to be viewed via different devices and not just a desktop or laptop. Failure to have this kind of website can severely hamper your business as people will simply be turned off if they go there on their smartphones or tablets and are faced with a website that is a mess and just does not work the way it is supposed to. This is actually a trend from 2014, but it will still remain in 2015 and indeed most people in the industry now see it as being the absolute norm for website design rather than an approach that will simply fade away after people switch their attention to something else.
Typography Will be Huge Factor
One thing that you can expect to see more of in 2015 with web design is the use of typography on a huge scale. Words are going to be very prominent indeed and people will be looking at experimenting with different fonts with different colors and different sizes on the one web page. This is going to make websites look completely different as there will be less use of the Aerial font for example and the good news is that font kits are cheaper, or there are more available for free, than ever before, so it will be easier for people with a smaller budget to still take advantage of these new and exciting fonts.
Large Backgrounds or Videos
Another design feature that we can expect to see more of in 2015 is the use of a large background image or even having a video playing as the backdrop to a web page. This means that sites are going to be far more colorful and less regimental in their design and in actual fact it does make quite a powerful statement, but of course only when you use the correct image in the first place.
Scroll Instead of Click
The trend of scrolling rather than clicking is something that is directly related to more people using tablets or smartphones in order to view the Internet. Trying to click on those devices can be rather difficult to say the least, so instead expect sites to focus more on scrolling through the pages to just make life easier for everybody. This has already started to appear on some websites and you can expect the trend to continue and indeed it should become the norm in the not too distant future.
The “Card Design” Will Become More Popular
The card design is basically the way that sites such as Pinterest are laid out and this is something that you should expect to see more of in 2015. It actually gives the site a great deal of flexibility as well as making it very easy to use and it is also attractive on the eye. You may have already noticed some websites looking like this already in 2014, but there is no doubt that more will pick up on it and its responsive nature next year.
Flat Design Will Make an Appearance
Flat design is something that appears to have been started by Google and it is expected to make major inroads in 2015. This approach involves using quite flat graphics along with just slight shading and change of gradients in the graphics and even though it may sound rather strange you just need to look at buttons that Google produce, or graphics that they are responsible for, in order to get a better idea as to what it will look like.
Using Micro Interactions
You are probably wondering what micro interactions actually are, but they are relatively easy to understand. Basically, if you go to a website and a box pops up asking you to sign up by email, then that is a micro interaction. The idea is that they do increase user interaction and gives the website a better idea as to who their visitors are and how to market to them. However, the difficult part is trying to make sure that these interactions are not over used or else it is likely to put people off going to your website.
Those are just a few of the things that are expected to really take hold in a big way when it comes to website design in 2015. Interaction and ability to be viewed on every possible device is a major thing and it shows how web design has to really change according to the technology that is available and there is no way that it can ever be left behind.
Do yourself and your business a favor by having your current website updated to bring it into the modern world and do so by calling us on 815-468-1524 to speak to one of our team.