If you’re a designer or a creative professional, then you are aware of how important it is to keep up with popular design trends. You have about 3 seconds or less to capture your audience’s attention, so it’s critical to produce eye-catching designs. This year, the use of mobile devices and tablets, adoption of social networking, and focus on user experience has had a great impact on best practices web designers should be utilizing. Looking at the most current trends, we’ve come up with the top 10 design tips that will help you create innovative and inspiring visual content for the web, regardless of the device used by your audience.
1) Focus Design on User Experience
Before even starting the creative process, know exactly what you’re trying to accomplish with your design. Identify who your audience is, what the main purpose is, and what type of effect you want it to have on users. Your design will effortlessly become more intuitive when you consider those factors. All of the following tips influence the user experience, and are creative ways to optimize your design. For more information on UX design, take the advice of Silicon Valley experts and follow the 4 Rules for User Experience Design we’ve outlined in a recent article.
2) Create Responsive Web Design
Whether you’re on a large desktop screen, mobile phone, or tablet, a responsive design will adapt to your viewing environment. Consider how your design will look in a diverse set of displays, and make sure it can adapt to all screen dimensions. This is a key element for web design and should always be tested across all devices including the vertical and horizontal displays on mobile and tablets.
3) Keep it Simple
Simplicity is a fundamental design concept that is constantly stressed when designing graphics and images, but in web, it has recently made a killer comeback. Newest trends follow the idea of minimalism to keep the viewer’s focus on what is important. Like with landing pages, keep the core product and call-to-action the main focus, because with too many design elements web pages can easily become distracting and frustrating to the end user. And since your audience is using tablets and smartphones, you don’t want to compromise their experience with clutter.
4) Select Unique Typography
Make your design stand out by opting for original typography, other than overused fonts like Arial. Guide your reader to important content by adding contrast to headlines with carefully selected typography. The visual hierarchy of your site can easily be guided by particular styles, sizes, and family of fonts. Using unique typography is an easy way to take your design to the next level.
5) Use Flat Colors
Just like keeping the entire design simple, choose flatter colors over the bold bright and loud hues. You want your focus to be content and your company and brand. Single tone colors are proving to be more appealing, drawing audiences into what’s really important on the page.
6) Drop In Full Screen Photos
Many landing pages are now incorporating large photo backgrounds. These visual elements are sure to engage your audience. Use large photos to create engagement with your audience. Choose relevant photographs that blend well with the rest of your site and this technique can really capture your visitor’s attention. Also repurpose them for photo sites like pinterest, instagram, etc. This will improve brand consistency and recognition.
7) Consider Vertical Scrolling
Vertical scrolling might not be a great fit for every web design, but it’s definitely a trend worth considering. With the popularity of portable web devices, it’s only smart that designers think about creating an effortless experience for their user. Product tours are beginning to transition to the one-page layout where all you need to do is scroll down to navigate through the content. Pinterest really revolutionized this model, with infinite scrolling, and even sites like Google images followed suit after the large rise in popularity.
8) Embrace Social Media Icons
Be sure to include fun and creative social media badges. Strategic design can encourage viewers to share and promote your site and its content. You can either create your own branded social icons or easily download them from any social community online.
9) Incorporate Big Buttons
Use big buttons to optimize your design for conversion. They also look great on tablets and smartphones. A large button and prominent call-to-action might seem aggressive, but it is effective. It makes things simple for the user. Help your visitors easily get what they are looking for without any difficulties.
10) Produce Amazing Content
Content is still king, and holds more weight than ever. Make sure the content that your design is supporting is extraordinary. Providing content that is thought-provoking and novel is the easiest way for websites to gain traction in the digital world. Having incredible content is the first step, and your design can be the understated factor that can create a viral marketing effect.
We hope you find these design tips useful and can incorporate them into future designs. If you’d like to hear more about trends and best practices in the creative community, attend the HOW Design Live Conference. We’re excited to be speaking and exhibiting at the world’s biggest gathering of design & marketing professionals.
For more info, click here: http://www.howdesignlive.com/ehome/47001/pricing/?&
Courtesy of WebDAM, get a $100 discount on registration by entering the discount code “WebDAM13”. Be sure to also sign up for our presentation, The Creative Power of Brands Without Boundaries. And stop by our booth (1414) and say the secret codeword “I’m DAM Creative” to make us dance and give you a cool gift!