You determined the focus and content of your new website, but now it’s time to figure out the design and get visitors to stick around. Moosylvania reports 63 percent of Fortune 500 websites utilize high-quality, eye-catching photography and content placement above the fold to keep users engaged and motivated to browse the site.
Whether you’re creating a small website for a local company or a massive e-commerce portal, utilizing Web design elements that make your site pop sets you apart from the crowd.
1. Large Hero Areas
Look at PayPal, Cards Against Humanity’s holiday campaign, or countless other websites. They’re utilizing the intro area above the fold to display graphics along with a tagline or call to action, notes The Next Web. The previous trend for this website area used Jquery sliders to show featured content, but many designers are adjusting for hero areas.
2. Tell a Story
Storytelling is another trend that’s taking off. The Small Business Authority reports that high-quality graphics combined with succinct and compelling text. Tell the story of your brand, your products, or your life with each scroll of the mouse wheel. Defendtheinter.net is a great example of storytelling, letting visitors know about an important political and technological issue.
3. Stock Photography
Storytelling and hero area utilization are both big trends in 2014, but if you aren’t a photographer or illustrator you need a source for high-quality images. Stock photography and footage sites like Shutterstock.com sell royalty-free images and videos of everything from animated fireworks to exotic landscapes — practically anything you need for photo content on your website.
Many stock photography sites are affordable for the beginning Web designer, making it more cost-effective than taking the pictures yourself.
4. Video Integration
When you produce videos for your website, you do more than adding visual appeal to your design. You also create a resource that’s easily consumable and has the potential to go viral. A picture is worth 1,000 words, but a video is worth so much more when you want to catch your visitor’s attention quickly, or you need to explain complex topics.
You might not pay special attention to fonts when you visit a website, but you would notice if a designer decided to use Comic Sans for every design element. Flat and mobile-friendly Web design trends have put a focus on eye-catching typography for websites that can’t use large amounts of video or photo content.
Trust Me Designer recommends keeping an eye out for handwritten fonts, artistic fonts, and vintage styles that add personality to a website.
6. Moving Away from the Sidebar
One design impact resulting from adding more images, videos, and other website content is a shifting of design standards. Moving from a two or three column design to a single column presents your content front and center, making the most out of your material and emphasizing content over design elements.