Shoulder pads, acid-washed jeans and teased hair were the height of fashion in the 1980s. Thankfully, trends change in both fashion and web design.
At the start of the Internet age, most websites boasted drop shadows, the Comic Sans font, hit counters, HTML frames and GIFs. Today those trends are long gone, but many websites remain in the past. Peruse this checklist of website design dos and don’ts to see if yours is still trending.
DO consider using a WordPress website.
Wordpress websites are hugely popular today and for good reason: They’re easy to use and have built-in blogs that require no HTML knowledge to update. Another boon of WordPress is its Instant Articles feature that allows for blog articles to load quicker within the Facebook app. Readers of Instant Articles are 70% less likely to abandon the article before finishing it!
DON’T use a themed website without customization.
All-in-one-solutions like Squarespace and WordPress provide helpful templates to designers of all experience levels. But without added customization, these designs can lead to websites that all look the same. A template is a fine starting point, but branch out by rearranging modules and adding custom imagery and widgets so that the website fully represents your brand.
DO create an easy-to-use website for mobile.
Be kind to smartphones! Start with a hamburger menu—three parallel lines at the top of your website—to keep clutter to a minimum while creating an easy-to-read menu. A simple typography also lends itself to a friendly mobile experience. Finally, never allow a popup into the mobile experience if it’s difficult to close.
DON’T create the same look for desktop and mobile.
If a mobile viewer sees the same exact design and layout as a desktop viewer, you’re in trouble. If you don’t have the budget to create different websites for desktop and mobile, your best bet is a mobile-responsive website, which provides an effortless experience across desktop and mobile. Mobile-responsive websites optimize your site for the device your viewer is using so a desktop user sees a full menu and a mobile viewer sees a hamburger menu. Imagery and font sizes are also optimized for best viewing on the device.
DO embrace simple design.
More is not better in this day and age. Simplicity creates a sleek, professional and uncluttered look that translates well across platforms. A minimalist website also makes it easier to focus a viewer’s attention where you want it while not overloading them with media and content.
DON’T look like everyone else.
Websites are becoming streamlined, but that’s no reason to shirk creativity. Your website should proclaim your company’s uniqueness. Easy ways to do this include using real photos from your office, adding a social media stream to your page and developing engrossing copy. It’s possible to create a truly brand-centric website without looking like every other website out there.
The 80s are gone and so are many design trends that used to work for websites. If you find your company’s website needs a refresh after reading these dos and don’ts, contact us at freshcreativeinc.com/contact us. We’ll help you get out of the past.