Website design has come a long way over the past few years. To demonstrate how quickly web design evolves, take a look at how some of today's biggest websites appeared when they were first launched. It's almost comical to browse through this list, and it serves as a powerful reminder that businesses must stay on top of the latest website design trends to remain relevant to their audience.
When approaching the web design process today, it's just as important that the website be crafted to meet the needs of the end user as it is to appeal to search engines. At New York Ave, we take a human-centered approach to website design, which allows us to provide our clients with an intuitive website that inspires users to take action.
The Essentials of Modern Website Design
In our decades of experience in designing websites, we've found the following elements to be pillars in modern website design:
If you take a look at website design over the past decade, the most noticeable update is the ability for web developers to change the appearance of a website based on the device used to access the website. This is what is referred to as responsive design, and it provides for the optimal user experience whether your customers are visiting your website from a desktop computer or smartphone.
Responsive design is a critical component of modern website design as more consumers are now using their mobile devices to browse the internet than desktop computers. In order to have an accessible website that functions for your business, it must be responsive.
2. Optimized Architecture
Google and other search engines have particular standards for how they expect websites to be built and structured. Fortunately, if a website has a user-friendly design, it will most likely meet Google's architecture standards as well. You can optimize your website architecture by improving page load times and eliminating duplicate content, which will help to ensure that your website can easily be crawled by search engines.
3. User Experience
All too often, businesses prioritize aesthetics over functionality with their websites. If your website design is not user friendly, your competitor is just a click away. Some traits of a user friendly website design include ease of navigation, mobile-friendliness, legible text, and clear call-to-action buttons. If you don't make the user experience the driving force behind your design, you'll have a website that doesn't function for your business.
Are visitors able to move seamlessly throughout your website and easily find the content that they need? The navigation function is the heart of human-centered website design, and it should offer an intuitive experience to your visitors. For this reason, navigation must be taken into consideration early in the design stage when the information architecture of the website is being established.
You need to give careful consideration to the font that you choose for the text on your website. Not only does it need to be consistent with your branding, but it also needs to be legible. Equally as important to your font choice is its size. While 12 point font used to be the standard size, modern website design typically uses 16 point font.
Modern website design often features one eye-catching "hero image" on the homepage that has been optimized to look good, but not impact page load time. Steer clear of using too many images on webpages or of bloated imagery with fancy features such as animation. Keeping it simple with the images that you use will keep your visitors focused on the action that you want them to take.
Color plays a powerful role in branding and the message that you want to put forth. As a rule of thumb, you'll want to choose white or light colors for the background your website. To ensure the legibility of your text, choose a font that is black, dark grey, or another deep shade. Keep in mind that you'll want the color choices on your website to compliment your logo design.
While there are many factors that go into modern website design, keeping these seven essential elements in mind will help you to create a user-friendly website that is relevant to your audience.
When Was the Last Time You Updated Your Website Design?
Has it been a while since you've updated your website design? To keep up with the pace of the ever-changing design trends, the typical business updates its website design every two years. We suggest evaluating your design every six months to confirm that it's still functioning for your business's goals and needs.
To confirm that your website meets the standards of modern website design, please contact us at New York Ave for a free assessment of your existing website. With your website playing such an important role in increasing brand awareness, educating your audience, and generating new customers, you can't afford to not have a website that operates at peak efficiency.