Popular Web Design Trends In 2011
Every year new trends emerge within the web design industry and staying on top of these trends and utilizing them in your own web designs can help to keep your website eye-catching and current. While having a beautiful web design is important, often these design trends have other benefits in terms of marketing. In today’s post, we’ve chosen our top website design trends for 2011 based on their popularity, their visual appeal and their ability to help your marketing initiatives.
So, without further ado, here are the trends:
1. HTML5 & CSS3
We’re sure that some of you out there will debate whether this can be called a “trend” or a new emerging standard in web design, but the bottom line is that HTML5 and CSS3 are something to watch out for, and will only grow in popularity in 2011.
If you don’t know what they can do for you, then you may fall behind the curve. HTML5 and CSS3 make it simpler to build modern web elements into your web designs including smarter forms, beautiful typography and social tools like wikis and drag and drop functionality.
2. Using Typography As A Design Element
Why is typography so important? Well, it’s one of the main ways that you communicate with your audience on your website. In the past getting rich typographic elements meant resorting to creating beautiful images that were neither search engine or website optimization friendly. Now, using tools like Typekit, web designers can find web-friendly fonts that can help you communicate with your audience in a visually appealing way, while still optimizing for search engine rankings.
3. Editorial-Style Layouts
Do you have a website with lots of frequently updated content? Then this type of website layout may be for you. By using a grid for the website’s design layout, organizations can optimize the space on their website by leaving lots of areas for content. The more content that you have visible on your main pages, the more of it your visitors are going to find quickly and easily, not to mention the added benefit that fresh content has for your SEO strategy.
4. Minimalist Layouts & Color Schemes
These are great for smaller organizations with less content for their website. Minimalist layouts take fewer resources to maintain and manage, they load faster (which is great for SEO) and can often be developed and implemented more quickly than larger, more complex designs. Many organizations are beginning to favor the clean, neat and easy-to-use navigation of these style layouts.
5. Large & Interactive Website Headers
Making a good first impression for your website is essential for convincing your website visitors to stick around long enough to convert. Having a large website header where you feature important information like calls-to-action, latest promotions and offers can go along way towards convincing your visitors to convert.
6. Link-Rich Footers
This type of footer is an excellent example of website design supporting website usability. Having a website footer that is full of links makes it easier for your users to navigate while at the same time improving your SEO.
7. Mobile Compatible Website
This is becoming less of a trend and more of a necessity for many organizations. So many internet users are choosing to access websites and online information through mobile devices that it’s a very good idea for companies to make sure that they have a website that renders nicely for mobile.
8. Wider Layouts
Make the most out of the space you have available to you! That’s one of the biggest motivators behind having large website designs that are designed for larger screen resolutions but still scale nicely for those (few) people who are still using smaller ones.
9. Full-Image Backgrounds
Do you want a website that immediately grabs your visitors’ attention? Well having a beautiful image as your entire background is a good way to do that. These types of sites are growing in popularity, especially for organizations with portfolio-friendly work. We think sites like these can be especially effective for higher education institutions that often like to have image galleries showing their campus. Why not just make those images the background instead?
It’s always important to remember when your designing or redesigning a website that your website is mean to support your overall business goals. That means that it needs to help you get found more easily, it needs to convince your visitors to convert, and it needs to communicate your message effectively. No matter how beautiful your website is, if your design doesn’t support those initiatives, then it’s not worth the time or money it takes to create the design. Make sure that when you are thinking about a new website, you are using a firm that will design your website as part of your marketing strategy.