Do you keep up with the latest fashions, drawing compliments for your good taste in clothes?
Or are you more a jeans and comfy sweatshirt kind of person?
Regardless of whether you’re a “fashionista” when it comes to your clothes, when it comes to your website it’s a good idea to pay attention to the latest “fashions.”
Website fashions don’t only change because some hip designer thinks a particular approach looks cool (although there is some of that). Website fashions also change for very practical reasons: the way people access and use websites is continually changing.
We recently overhauled our own website. It had been four or five years since our last major website overhaul, and the site was not only showing its age, it wasn’t as “user friendly” as it used to be. If you came directly to this blog and haven’t seen it yet, check out our new home page.
The biggest change in the world of web design since the last time we updated our site design is the attitude toward scrolling.
Once upon a time, having to scroll down a page was considered bad. “Users won’t see it if they have to scroll down” was the thinking.
Now pages, especially home pages, are long and involve a lot of scrolling. Many businesses have even gone to “one-page websites” – where everything is on the “home” page.
In 2012, only about 10% of global internet traffic was delivered to mobile devices. In 2017 that number was over 50%.
It used to be that it was a “best practice” to design your website to be “responsive” — to adapt to different size screens. It’s no longer a “best practice” – it’s fundamental to website design. In fact, many businesses focus on mobile first, since most people viewing their websites might be viewing it from a mobile device.
Optimized for Mobile
If you haven’t optimized your website for mobile, you’re probably annoying at least some of your customers. And possibly losing some.
If a customer is accessing a web site on a smartphone, the screen’s so small there’s no practical alternative to scrolling. Buttons for navigating to other pages are often too small for human fingers to reliably target.
In other words, what was once bad – scrolling – is now good.
You don’t necessarily have to choose between a one-page website and a traditional website. You can do what we’ve done with our website, which is kind of a hybrid.
Our homepage includes all the basic information. There are also buttons you can click to be taken to a page that will provide more details on a particular subject.
A comprehensive, scrollable home page has become so standard that if your website has anything else it automatically looks “dated” – as if you haven’t been paying much attention.
At the same time, you shouldn’t blindly follow every fashion in website design.
For example, it’s also currently fashionable to use lower contrast fonts. Someone came up with the idea that making text more gray than black was “easier on the eyes.” And all of a sudden, lots of websites adopted that approach.
An article in Wired describes “How the Web Became Unreadable.” That’s a fashion we would avoid.
If it’s been a few years since you last updated your website, it’s possible that not only is your design sub-optimal, your text might not accurately reflect where your business is at now.
Contact us for a free consultation on how to revamp or improve your website.