With the start of a new year comes the opportunity to rebrand your business with a new website. However, before you start diving into the process of getting a website built, it’s good to know the latest features and trends that should be on your “must have” list. We’ve outlined a few we feel are vital to maximizing your site’s potential to visitors and for keeping your investment viable.

  1. Responsive Design

    There’s nothing more important for your website than to make it friendly for mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets. Last year, Google revealed that searches on mobile devices heavily outweigh lookups on desktops. Taking advantage of these referrals means it’s absolutely essential to have a website that correctly displays on these devices. Google will actually demote your listing on their search engine from mobile lookups if your site is not friendly for those devices. Conversely, it’s important to make sure your website upscales to larger screens as well. Responsive web design (RWD), which Google champions, solves both of these problems best by creating layouts based on the screen width. As the screen size changes, the web design flows, taking advantage of the space it can work with. Considering the amount of devices out there, with a wide range of screen sizes, this is a better solution than creating different versions of the website for different devices. In any case, RWD is the first on our list because it’s so vital!

  2. Keep it Original

    With the continued convergence of website layouts due to web development frameworks and the popularity of grid designs, standing out from the crowd will be tricky, yet significant. Vivid original photography and custom graphics should be part of the plan, especially in regard to any iconography that will help guide visitors to important points. While stock imagery can play a role, don’t convey your brand on the back of the same old photos the competition has. Another new option to consider is video, which can be embedded into your website like an image traditionally is. With the support of HTML5 video continuing to increase, taking advantage of the video movement could be central to setting your site apart.

  3. Make the Most of Minimalism

    Minimalism = simplicity. It means having a website clean of clutter so that there’s a clear focus on what’s important. Reducing the choices a visitor has makes for a more coherent user experience. In line with minimalism are websites created in a flat design scheme, in which there’s a minimal color palette and minimal content. This look helps to sustain a style that’s fun and cool, making succinct messaging through typography and eye-catching, pop-art style graphics. As the saying goes, sometimes less is more.

  4. Attention-Grabbing Animation

    Creating interest for visitors with interactive accents increases engagement and lowers bounce rates. Animation enlivens the mundane actions performed on every other website. Examples of this include animated transitions, rollover states, and other action successes. Animation helps convey relationships that normal static imagery can’t. It’s undeniable in its impact to visitors and should have a place on your website.

  5. Get Interactive

    With the advent of HTML5 and advanced Javascript libraries like JQuery, your website can now have amazing interactive elements. Recent studies have proven that the more interaction your site has, the bigger impact it has with visitors. Make sure your website includes these elements through intuitive menus, clickable components, control over revealing content, scroll-based navigation, geolocation, and of course transitions. If you can combine these functions with your messaging, your content takes on a whole new dimension that’s not only memorable, but can also boost business.

  6. Have the Write Stuff

    Copy continues to be scanned vs. being actually read by visitors. With advances in web fonts and dynamic typography, your messaging can be displayed in a manner that makes your content much more appealing for the typical user. To complement that, make sure you have a professional craft your copy with their expertise. Having them wordsmith your content to deliver the maximum return in search optimization will be worth the extra work.

As new trends, technologies and online algorithms (like Google’s pagerank system) continue to emerge, it’s essential to keep your brand and your website in the loop to avoid falling behind the competition. If you’re thinking about rebranding your business with a new website in 2016, but are not sure where to start, get in touch with Mindspike Design. We can take you through the design process step-by-step and provide valuable post-launch services to keep your investment going strong as trends change. Give us a call at (414) 765-2344 today.