Web Design for the Modern World

When the first message was sent across the Internet in 1969, a million of possibilities were instantly created. However, if the people of this time were to take out their crystal balls and look into the future, they probably would be surprised to see what their invention has become.

As quickly as the Internet does change, it is likely that we will no longer recognize it if we were to look into the future either. For this reason, it is important for those who depend on web design as a part of their business strategy to make some predictions about the future.

Changes in the way we Design

Even though we’ve just kicked off a new year, the future is definitely looking great in the world of web design. Plenty of changes and advancements are on the horizon that will prove to make everyone’s job a little easier.

Throughout the year, we will probably hear more and more about how less is ultimately more. This is probably the first thing you will want to focus on when looking at your website design. Over the past few years, this meant developing a flat design. However, this year, we can expect an entirely new concept, called material design.

Material design was born on the premise of flat design, but takes things one step further. With this design, it is the intent to create a living and breathing space for readers to enjoy. One they can utilize all of their senses for and that will challenge their imagination. This is definitely something we will begin to see more of in the coming months and years.

It’s Getting Real

Just from 2014 to 2015, the number of mobile-only internet users jumped by over 300 million users. This is a trend that isn’t expected to change any time soon. In fact, as easy as it is to be mobile in today’s world, we should probably expect this number to drastically increase over the coming years.

What does this mean for web designers? Quite a bit actually. For starters, it is critical to begin thinking on a smaller scale. Screen sizes are getting smaller because information is now being viewed on the small screens of smartphones. Because of this, information you put on your website needs to easily translate from a PC to a mobile phone and still be easy to read.

Because we are so mobile, we expect our data and information to be mobile as well. To help accommodate these types of things, developers have been quick to come up with ways to give readers access to up-to-the-second information. This has been successfully accomplished with the creation of apps that offer real-time news and sports information.

With these types of apps, web designers must rethink how they deliver some certain types of events and news stories. But, these types of changes could be very positive for businesses. For example, instead of allowing a news outlet to cover an event or business, the business itself would be able to offer real-time information to their followers. In the end, this is something that will help build trust among your fans.

These are just a few of the things we should expect to see in the way of changes to web design during 2016. However, only time will tell how many changes will actually occur this year and what trends we will be looking at in the years to come.

One thing is certain about web design; it is always evolving and changing along with the world around it. Web designers must always stay on their game if they want to ensure they are always on the winning end of the changes caused by trends related to the internet.

Tips for Web Development in 2016

Over the years, the way web development has changed drastically. Looking towards the future, we can expect for this trend to continue. For this reason, developing new tactics for the new year is the best way to ensure your website will be effective throughout the year and into the future.

Here are a few tips to get your started:

Tip 1: Focus on Mobile

The need for mobility has been on the rise for several years now. But, during 2016, this is expected to become even more important. When looking at your web development tools for the coming year, make sure you make sure your site is mobile ready and accessible. Spend time developing the mobile aspect of your website. Many sites are built with different options for their visitors so that everything is easily readable regardless of the device the site is being pulled up on.

Tip 2: Look at Search Engine Changes

 

One trend that is interesting is the fact that many search engines are developing ways to answer direct questions. When asked a question, the search engine will answer the question without actually pulling up a specific website. Instead, it will pull up the question among the results of the search, which helps searchers avoid the need to visit a specific website to search for the answer. What this means for web developers is that if you have a great amount of content on your site that is designated for answering questions, you may need to rethink your approach. Creating content that cannot be answered quickly is the best option to go with when you are creating your content.

Tip 3: Consider a Flat Design

Your visitors should enjoy staying on your site because it is easy to navigate and read. The content should be valuable and correlate with the products and services you have to offer. To help with this, make sure you are avoiding a lot of clutter on your pages. Instead, keep a simple design that won’t distract from what you are offering.

One item that has been shown to improve this issue is a flat design. This is something that is becoming more and more popular each day. While it was not created by Microsoft, it was definitely made more popular by the design of Windows 8, which is built around a flat design concept. With this idea, focus is placed on making the site easier to use. It has been shown that this design helps readers to find what they need faster than ever before.

Tip 4: Increased use of Video

The constant need to be on the move has decreased the amount of attention span that we have. Because of this, customers are looking for content that is easy and fast to digest. One way many web developers are creating this type of content is through the use of video. Video is something that helps put faces behind the services and products that are being offered, which can make the message even more powerful.

While developing your videos, keep in mind that there will also be some pretty significant changes to the screens that people are viewing them on. You should expect them to grow and shrink at the same time. This is because of the decreased prices of technology, which allows businesses and home-users to purchase bigger screens for their computers and for the increased popularity of smaller devices, like the Apple Watch. Producing quality videos that can easily be viewed, regardless of the device, is now more important than ever for these reasons.

These are some of the biggest trends you can expect to see surface during 2016. While some of them have already been on the rise, you can expect them all to become even more popular in the coming year. Putting these tips into action during 2016 is a great way to make sure your website stays strong and powerful now and in the future.

10 Best Web Design Concepts for Digital Users

If you’ve scrolled through apps, searched menus or swapped out colors on animated items before sending them to your shopping cart, then you’ve interacted with some of the ten best web design concepts experienced by early 21st century digital users. Here they are, in list form for your convenience:

1. Empty State

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This design concept has increased in importance and innovation. Most designers know that an app, or a site, should never dead-end. Users must be redirected or educated in an entertaining manner to either return to the main page or to learn how to utilize the app. Whether the empty state contains an image and a directive, or an explanation and an option, users must feel engaged and not abandoned.

For inspiration on designing your own empty space, emptystat.es is a great source.

2. Interactive

Folks over at The Next Web noted that interactive sites would see a rise in popularity throughout 2015. Their definition of interaction involved storytelling and narrative devices coupled with user interaction and graphics.

See Seattle’s Space Needle site for an example of merging a graphic journey with an informative story.

3. Minimalism

Also mentioned by The Next Web is the rise of minimalism.  Minimalist design has the practical function of speed but also a riveting aesthetic function. Click here for an example.

The site is spacious and incredibly functional. Users know exactly what they need from the site or app and exactly how to fulfill their needs. For a large portion of users, ease and accessibility are high priority.

4. Parallax Scrolling

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Users are becoming more sophisticated and their expectations are increasing. Parallax scrolling is familiar for anyone who has ever gamed. Incorporating this three-dimensional design into retail sites has become a way to capture user attention.

However, The Boat best showcases how dramatic this design can be for both sophisticated and non-sophisticated users.

5. Long Page

The Boat site also features single page long scrolling, another design trend that was in use throughout the past year. Technology has finally caught up with user preferences and mobile devices have become highly scrollable. This limits the need for short pages with lots of links.

Bounty Beverage proves how exciting a long scroll can be.

6. Customized Photography

High quality photos incorporated into the overall site design is a way to personalize the experience and connect with users. One site that received attention from Hubspot is Four Rivers Smokehouse. Warning: This will make you very hungry. Unless you are vegan, in which case maybe you shouldn’t look.

7. Animation

As you can see from several of the sites above, animation is also an essential design element. Why have a static customized photo when you can animate it?

This trend is everywhere, from the most utilitarian sites, like Paypal, to far more exciting web pages like this.

National Geographic’s Eat: The Story of Food won the 2015 Webby for web site animation and graphics. Not only does the site feature animation but it is also features a long-scrolling, narrative/journey based web design.

8. Responsive

When a website is interactive it invites the user to engage with it. When a website is responsive, the site responds to the user’s needs. This is most often seen in ecommerce and retail sites. A user/customer visits the site with a goal in mind. They want to purchase an item and need to quickly find the tools they need to make the purchase with as little frustration as possible.

Responsive design responds to the device the user is holding and optimizes that user’s experience. Menus fold out from margins making mobile purchases easy. Accordian menus cascade options for the user with limited screen space. These same design features are found on desktops. However, sometimes it can become a bit over done. Here’s an example.

9. Best of Everything Design

The site listed above combined pretty much everything: fold-out menus, animation, interaction, story-telling but it was missing minimalism.

More and more frequently designers are showing off all of their skills but this kind of overkill deadens the user experience. An example of minimal, nuanced design goes to Dropbox. If only those sketches had a bit of movement.

10. AMP HTML

Google’s latest open-source initiative is AMP HTML, a language used to create fast-responding mobile web pages. By eliminating bloat, AMP HTML provides mobile users with quick downloads and aims to include users with limited internet access.

Pinterest has begun employing AMP HTML and TechCrunch reports that the New York Times and other established sites will follow suit.

Best Responsive Sports WordPress Themes

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Anything sports and fitness draws big bucks for investors in this billion-dollar industry. Sports and fitness fans, trainers, analysts and personalities avidly scour the internet in search of tips and trends on how to improve their game. Whether you are building a sports, gym or fitness website, or you want to create apps that are cross-browser compatible and look amazing on social media platforms such as Twitter, your needs will be met here.

Fitness Zone – Fitness Template

A highly interactive mega-menu theme with a multi-page design and varied blog options ideal for trendy fitness centers and sports clubs. Personal trainers will be thrilled to access it on tablets and mobile phones.

Download || Demo || Price :$58

In Shape

 

A comprehensive theme geared at encouraging a healthy lifestyle and safe, yet proper, exercises. The daily timetable schedule and success stories in the blog are apt to keep your surfers motivated and to follow faithfully your fitness routine using your website.

Download || Demo || Price :$48

FitPro – Group Classes Theme

A top theme for group fitness classes with guides on trendy fun activities such as meditation, yoga and the sexy Zumba. It is best suited for websites for sports clubs, gyms and individual businesses offering training and accessories in those activities.

Download || Demo || Price :$58

Goal Club – Team Update Theme

Clubs, teams and organizations specializing in football, basketball, hockey, baseball and tennis can use this theme to get team updates out to fans and sponsors.

Download || Demo || Price :$58

FitnessGYM – Parallax Fitness Theme

Keep your web page visitors intrigued by varying your theme design with parallax and 3D effects. What’s more, you can buy it online and install it yourself. Should you get stuck, FitnessGYM comes with lifetime support.

Download || Demo || Price :$58

Real Soccer – Football Theme

Features such as league table designer, player lists and a player profiler make this app ideal for football and soccer news and clubs.

Download || Demo || Price :$58

Personal Trainer

It has multiple pages and photos fit for developing different interfaces for many personal training activities.

Download || Demo || Price :$48

Sportsline – Sports News Theme

A premium sports news theme with features on match fixtures, font and header settings, short code builder, and a variety of news styles and results analyzer.

Download || Demo || Price :$43

Boxing – Responsive WordPress Theme

A premium theme layout built with features for boxing news and photo display.

Download || Demo || Price :$75

Ulysses – Theme for Training Studio

Versatile theme with short codes and timetable. The layout is ideal for showcasing facilities, activities and trainers.

Download || Demo || Price :$58

Hercules – Training Schedule Theme

This theme’s comprehensive timetable organizes and balances your training schedule. Its blog and comments options enable your clients to provide feedback and make inquiries. It helps you to remain in touch with your customers’ individual needs and emerging trends in the field.

Download || Demo || Price :$48

Champion – Soccer News Theme

Appropriate for soccer news, football clubs and sports clubs. With this, you get professional website support and maintenance. You will enjoy drawing up playoff schedules with the league table designer. It has short codes and gallery grids.

Download || Demo || Price :$58

Aegon – Fitness Subscription Theme

It is accessible on any device and has a multi-activity interface with pricing and subscription options for each activity. The interactive media options make it possible to access individual trainers.

Download || Demo || Price :$58

Athlete – Theme with Fitness Icons

It has many options, such as fitness, gym and boxing, and over 30 HTLM pages and Photoshop files. Enjoy the fitness icon package and the validated HTML and CSS.

Download || Demo || Price :$58

Fitness – Health Class Website Theme

Enjoy an array of features such as button styles, icon boxes that make this theme versatile for any gym or fitness class website.

Download || Demo || Price :$49

Click on the demo to view more features for each theme and see which one suits your needs best. Please note, although these themes can be customized, each theme is best used for its particular, listed activities. Our prices are pocket friendly so can you can buy only what you need and save yourself the trouble of customizing most details.

You’re Vastly Underestimating the Importance of Color in Web Design

I’d be willing to bet that when you put together a website and are looking to choose a color scheme, you look for something that ‘looks good.’ That’s perfectly fine, but you’re missing an entire area of consideration when that’s the end of your color decision process, and that’s color psychology.

We dipped into this topic not long ago while discussing turning budget web design clients into real money makers, but it’s such an important topic it deserves its own article. It really can make a considerable difference for your client if you understand color psychology and how it affects the browsers, and can even help in the process of conversion.

So what is color psychology? The idea behind color psychology is that every color we come in contact with elicits a response in our brain and gives us an emotion. Managing those responses and emotions to help achieve a goal is a way you can make your web design that much more beneficial to your client.

Let’s look at some examples:

Using Green in Web Design

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Green suggests to us power and growth, and should be used for more than just nature-related sites and environmental sites. It’s also a good color to include in sites such as TD Ameritrade, as it subtly suggests to the browser that the adviser can help their finances grow.

Using Blue in Web Design

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When you think of the color blue on the internet today, one of the sites that probably comes to mind is Facebook. They clearly aren’t strangers to color psychology as the color blue suggests integrity, trust, and friendship, all things the site would like the browser to think of, though perhaps to varying success in their case.

Using White in Web Design

It can be easy to overlook white when thinking of colors, but in color psychology it provides a very important role. It suggests purity, or purity of intention. While it’s likely that many sites use it without color psychology in mind, it’s always a wise color to include in any business website.

Using Black in Web Design

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Exclusivity is what’s suggested by black. This is one of the key reasons why many banks and credit card companies have done away with their platinum cards being without a limit, in favor of the black card. It suggests that getting a black card puts you in an exclusive club. A prime example of this in action is American Express.

Using Yellow in Web Design

img_5643c0c9e9ba3In the right setting, yellow can be a very important color. It suggests intellect and superior minds. University of California, Berkeley, for instance, has several insertions of yellow on their website, as well as blue.

Using Red in Web Design

vanguard screenThose who are versed in color psychology would probably suggest the color red is underused in the business world, as it seems to suggest everything a business should be going for: energy, passion, and action. All good things to look for in a mutual fund, which is why Vanguard mutual uses the color heavily.

 

Other Examples of Using Different Colors

Now that we’ve covered a few specific colors, let’s take a look at a couple websites and see how they put color psychology to use in their own marketing.

Wells Fargo‘s site is almost entirely white and red, with hints of gold which suggests they have a purity of intent and will take action for you. These are great traits someone looking for a bank should keep an eye out for, and they clearly know it.

 

 

reddit screenReddit, for those who aren’t aware, is a niche site, but has a huge audience and a very unique culture. Their homepage, or front page as they call it, is filled with white, blue, and a touch of black, suggesting they’re pure, a place for friends, but also exclusive. Those familiar with the site would likely attest to how accurate that is of the culture.

Putting the mind to use in creating the best site possible for your clients is important. While finding colors that look good together is obviously important, knowing what those colors suggest to the browser can help you go one step further in providing a quality site to the client that will work in ways they never imagined possible.

What are your thoughts about using different colors when you build a site?