All posts tagged Web Design

The Latest in Web Design? Retro Websites Inspired by the ’90s 

To navigate the website for Arcade Fire’s coming album, “Everything Now,” users need to click through a cluttered cascade of Windows 98-style pop-ups.

Balenciaga’s new website looks as stripped down as a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet, with plain black boxes and no-frills Arial font.

And the D.I.Y.-looking home page for Solange resembles the desktop of a candy-colored iMac, complete with QuickTime windows and rows of blue folders.

Web designs have come a long way in 20 years, but some are taking a step back to evoke a sort of hipster nostalgia for the early days of the internet.

“They’re tipping their hat to the 1990s,” said David Lee, the chief creative officer of Squarespace, a web platform company based in New York that has created millions of websites for clients. Mr. Lee said that he has seen a recent uptick in what he calls an “anti-design brutalism,” with clients opting for more bare-bones, retro-looking sites.

Some websites are purposely cumbersome to navigate, with loud, clip-art-filled pages. Others employ a simplistic Craigslist-style utilitarianism that feels like a throwback to an era when web pages were coded by hand.

“There’s a lot of animated GIFs and flames, but mixing it with something new,” Mr. Lee added.

While millennials and members of Generation Z — those born in the years from the mid-1990s to the early 2000s — may not remember what the web looked like in the era of AltaVista and GeoCities, the retro designs tap into the current cultural revival of all things ’90s. (See the return of “Twin Peaks,” “Will & Grace” and concert T-shirts.)

For those who are older, these sites recall the improvised internet of their youth, in the days before mobile optimization and beta-tested user interfaces brought a sleek uniformity to modern web design.

Nostalgic websites meant to mimic the days of dial-up modems are cropping up in artsy and tech-geek corners of the web.

Windows93.net, a web project by the French music and art duo Jankenpopp & Zombectro, imagines what the Microsoft operating system would have looked like had it been released. (After a two-year development delay, Microsoft instead released Windows 95.) The site has had more than eight million visitors.

Read more: The Latest in Web Design? Retro Websites Inspired by the ’90s 

Artificial Intelligence Meets Web Design 

Since its launch way back in the 1980s, the Internet has undergone several evolutions. In the early stages, there was no need for complex, image-based sites with diverse variations in typography, font, or any aspect regarding visual content. However, with the progression of time, such websites are today’s need for any business that wants to establish its online presence.

With this brand-new trend, the demand for elegant web layouts with compelling animated designs has become the present norm. These websites, which have a unique feature to tell stories, leave a considerable impact on the psyche of the customers and users.

Today’s modern-day website, which makes use of artificial intelligence, is an extremely well-weaved and a seemingly complex collection of audio-visual images and content that are designed to convey information so that it leaves a lasting impression on the consumer.

In the present digital age, surfing websites powered with Artificial Intelligence or AI is a grand experience for the user. With millions of dollars pumped into the industry, website designing is a great and profound market.

There are thousands of web designers and trained designing experts who tirelessly work to create captivating websites for end users, be it a business or an individual.

This growing demand has additionally resulted in the emergence and creation of cutting-edge graphic design software, which is used to create gob-smacking designs. The high demand for mesmerizing designs has further attracted one more aspect of the Internet and its technology, which is undisputedly artificial intelligence.

Read more: Artificial Intelligence Meets Web Design 

Drive Leads with 6 Critical Web Design Elements

There is a lot you can do to drive traffic to your B2B website: on-page search engine optimization (SEO), promoting it on social media channels, search engine marketing (SEM), display ads, direct mailers, and email campaigns, just to name a few.

However, what good is all that great visitor traffic if your website if you aren’t getting any new leads?

While the purpose of a website is not solely to drive leads, it’s often the most tangible ROI of any B2B website. For this very reason, it’s critical that any B2B firm’s website is maximized for lead generation. Below are six tips to start driving more website leads.

Intuitive Layout

Recently, we explored critical considerations for digital marketing and usability along with how this impacts the perception of your brand. It’s essential that your B2B website layout is intuitive, easy to navigate, and prioritizes things your prospects and clients care about.

If your firm’s contact information and access to the products and services you offer are the main concern for prospects, put those at the top of the page. If articles discussing how your products are best utilized or a demo of your products are important to your potential clients, make those very easy to find.

There is no one best layout for a B2B website (hence why template websites aren’t ideal), but the main rule is that you don’t want your users to have to hunt for information. Make everything easy to find and enable users to get to information within one to two clicks.

Read more: Drive Leads with 6 Critical Web Design Elements

How to Avoid 6 Common Web Design Mistakes That Hurt SEO

We can all agree that the best websites are designed for both users and search engines, right?

That means you never should sacrifice beauty over function, or vice versa.

Check your website for the following six common mistakes to see if your beautiful design is preventing your pages from ranking high in search engines.

Mistake 1: Missing H1 Tags (Especially on the Home Page)

Imagine entering a website with a nice background picture, a well thought out font, and an elaborate color scheme. It looks amazing. Browsing through feels like a walk in a beautiful garden.

Too bad nobody will find it in search engines.

Why? Because very often website designers and developers forget about essential SEO elements.

The most common offense is removing an H1 tag just because there is no place for it on the page.

The H1 tag is one of the first elements search engine crawlers will look at to determine what the page is about. Having this tag, and including your target keyword, improves your chances of ranking higher.

Here’s a website that has a clear H1 tag front and center:

Read more: How to Avoid 6 Common Web Design Mistakes That Hurt SEO

Is Web Design Dying?

Web design isn’t dying. It’s just being folded into full stack development.

There are several design specializations that are relevant to web development, such as user experience design and visual design.

Web design is no such specialization – it’s a more general term that’s traditionally associated with building static websites, or dynamic websites built on top of an off-the-shelf content management system like WordPress or Drupal.

But web applications are becoming more complicated. This complexity requires additional skills. Hence the rise of the full stack developer, who is comfortable with front end development tools (like React) and back end development tools (like Node.js).

Also, the term “web design” has generally fallen out of favor – at least here in San Francisco. Plenty of laypeople still refer to the act of building websites as “web design” but far fewer practitioners refer to themselves as “web designers.”

This question originally appeared on Quora. the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world. You can follow Quora on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. More questions:

Read more: Is Web Design Dying?

Top 2017 Web Design Trends

Every year, the web design industry goes through some sort of evolution cycle to stay relevant and inspiring.

Last year, I wrote about the top web design trends to watch in 2016, many of which have taken root and changed the way we understand design forever.

This year, like a number of UX experts, I’m betting on AI-powered chatbots, VR, and immersive storytelling trends to leave a permanent mark on the industry. Undoubtedly, we will also see a lot of last year’s trends continue to shape and influence the web design space.

Without further ado, let’s explore what design innovations can give your website a serious facelift in 2017.

VR and 360º video

Although the gadget world was abuzz last year with the exciting virtual reality (VR) announcements, the trend hasn’t made a huge impact on web design trends so far. One great example of how VR and 360º video can be incorporated into web design to create a breathtaking, interactive experience is Peugeot 208’s promo campaign that utilizes both technologies to showcase a new product.

Google’s Daydream VR headset is at the forefront of this movement, expanding our imagination of how the technology could be adapted for everyday use, but many other brands are jumping on the wagon too, including Playstation, HTC, and Microsoft. With so many possible practical uses of the gadget, we’re bound to see VR and 360º video finally bleeding into the web design space too.

Card design and grid layouts

First popularized by Pinterest, card design layouts continue to shape and influence web design trends and we will be seeing more of this dynamic grid style in 2017. What makes cards so appealing is the simplicity, organization, flexibility and responsiveness that they create. Grid layouts are particularly suitable for pages with an abundance of data, as they make the information more accessible and enticing. A web development agency htmlBoutique utilizes the grid layout to create unique compositions of case studies and give their portfolio an extra oomph that sets it apart from typical showcase pages.

7 Suggestions for Better Mobile-Friendly Web Design

Recently, Google made a statement that the volume of search queries on mobile devices has now surpassed desktop. This along with their most recent algorithm updates means that much more value is being given to well-designed mobile websites. Desktop sites failing to conform to the standard are likely to witness a marked decline in SEO rankings and traffic.

So what does this mean for mobile web designers & marketers?

Well for starters, if you haven’t created a mobile website or introduced responsive features into your existing one, you are likely missing out on valuable SERPs rankings and traffic since the majority of your users will likely be visiting on their phones.

Here are 7 suggestions you need to know to update your website to modern mobile standards.

1. Understand usability
Usability is arguably the most important aspect of a mobile website, after all; would you buy an unsteerable car? The same point can be made for your website, your users don’t want to visit a site they can’t use.

You should start off by viewing your current website on your mobile. If you have to pinch in and zoom around to read everything, and it takes several attempts to navigate to a new page, you’ve gotten a clear view of the mobile experience you are offering your users.

2. A responsive website isn’t always the best answer
Depending on your current website, you may want to consider developing a responsive theme that adapts to your users’ browser or device resolution. However, sometimes this isn’t achievable and you may want to opt for a dedicated mobile website instead.

Building a separate mobile site has its benefits, for example they are often easier to develop than integrating responsiveness into your existing site and costs can often be significantly less (especially when using a third-party mobile website builder), however a separate mobile page means you will have to maintain 2 different code bases and upload content to both.

Whichever route you decide to go down, research is needed to ensure which option is more suited to your marketing and business model in the long run.

Read more: 7 Suggestions for Better Mobile-Friendly Web Design

5 Ways Web Designers Can Create Amazing Websites

All masters in their domain have secrets they might not be willing to reveal, but their products and practices can speak for themselves and offer clues to achieving greatness. Web designing is such a field. It demands creativity, attention to detail, and practice. Understand what the best web designers do and you can become a master yourself. Here are 5 ways to amp up your web design skills and create powerful websites:

Avoid slideshows and carousels

Slideshows and carousels are suitable only if you are seeking to feature a lot of information on a single page. Remember though, many of your visitors might not stay on your website long enough to absorb all the information in a slideshow or carousel. Given visitors’ short attention spans, it’s typically better to offer a concise value proposition, especially on your home page, and avoid slideshows carousels. When you are seeking the attention of someone, it is important to deliver content that’s meaningful and remove anything not relevant.

Simplify the navigation through your design

A complex website might seem appealing at first, but it will not be very welcoming for a random visitor. Infusing too many options can be counterproductive. Simplifying the visitor’s experience is recommended so a visitor won’t lose time in an attempt to find the information they need the most.

Do not crowd your header or sidebar. Remove as many links as possible. Dropdown menus might adversely affect the aesthetics of your design and the user experience and can be difficult to use on mobile devices – consider eliminating them

Use a sketchbook!

This old-school hack is a must for designers. When ideas come or you feel like organizing a concept, grab your book and sketch it out as the inspiration flows. Tablets can also help you in drawing your design thoughts, but the feeling of sketching out a design on the paper is irreplaceable. This method can assist you during brainstorming and help organize your design process better.

Read more: 5 Ways Web Designers Can Create Amazing Websites

5 B2B Website Design Trends for 2016

We know from research that nearly everyone considering doing business with you will first look at your website. And nothing deters a prospect faster than a website that looks outdated.

Thankfully, even small tweaks to your design can help you to keep pace with design trends can make a big difference. Let’s take a look at the latest trends.

1. Less Photography, More Illustration

In 2015, B2B websites were dominated by impersonal or un-inspired stock photography. In 2016, we will find friendly and relatable illustrations being used far more to help companies tell their story.

2. Bolder Use of Color

You have probably heard of flat design (minimalism that emphasizes usability) and its use in B2B websites. Unfortunately, flat designs often have equally flat color palettes. But in 2016, expect that to change. This year you will find many designers upping their color game.

3. More Creative Typography

All hail! The days of sticking to only a handful of “safe” typefaces, like Arial and Times New Roman, are over!

4. Material Design

Seen by some as the next step up from flat design, material design was developed at Google for use on Android devices. It’s principles have since been adopted across many mobile platforms, as well as in the design of desktop websites. Material design is an evolving standard with resources and best practices for designing for devices.

5. More Vertical Layouts and Scrolling

2015 saw the possible end to the debate of non-scrolling websites. We are finding more and more that is that it’s easer to scroll than to click.

Read more: 5 B2B Website Design Trends for 2016 

6 Web Design Trends That Are Here To Stay

Web design thrives on two things: innovation and imitation. Unfortunately, there’s often a lot more of the latter. We all like to seize upon the latest trends, use them until they’re ubiquitous, and then look desperately for the next big thing. Think about sliders. They were all the rage a couple years ago. Today, they feel dated. What to do? Stop chasing microtrends, and start looking at the big picture. Here, we’ve isolated six web design ideas that are here to stay.

1. ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE

Context is everything. Where and when an interaction happens is now as important as how or why. Is it on a phone? A tablet? Indoors or outdoors? What is the user doing in that moment? Users interact with a product in all kinds of different situations.

2. DIVERSITY

One consistent complaint about the web design world is how often it engages in, shall we say, less than original practices.

3. RICH ILLUSTRATIONS

Traditionally, websites use stock photography and other photos for visuals. Moving forward, we will start to see more hand-drawn art.

4. MOBILE/WEARABLE FIRST

Mobile-first design is already well underway, but it will become even more pronounced as the wearables market, which is estimated to be worth $31 billion by 2020, heats up.

5. MICROINTERACTIONS

As information becomes platform-agnostic—available on our watches, our phones, our TVs, and everything in between—seamless user experiences will be more important than ever.

6. RICHER ANIMATIONS

Finally, we get to the good stuff. The whole point of design is to look good after all. And what looks better than rich animations? The web has never looked more dynamic than it does today, and it’s only going to get better.

Read more: 6 Web Design Trends That Are Here To Stay

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