Web Design

Web Design Trends 2016

The use of layered elements is essential in websites today as they are a must have in a 2d web environment. The best part of this is that the elements are so realistic that you can almost reach out and touch them. This is why these are a must for any type of website that you are designing. The key is that all the layers need to look natural and light. This will provide a real look to your site and allow the elements to really pop. The best way for you to get results that will be outstanding is to simply experiment. This will allow you the chance to see what does and does not work and how each element will interact with other elements.

Microinteractions

These are simply interactions that occur when you click on something. There are a number of these that can occur but for this example we will use Facebook and their notifications area. We are all used to the icon in white and when there is something that needs our attention, the white icon has a red appearance on it. When you see these red icon, you will click on it and thus you will make new friends or will have a chat with one of your friends. This is an example of a Microinteraction as one action leads to another interaction that has a different effect.

Dark Color Schemes

For those that are fans of dark colors, you will like that one of the hottest trends this year is the use of dark color schemes on your website. These color schemes are popular for a number of reasons and the biggest of these reasons is the fact that dark colors are easy to look at and will not stress the eyes as much. The other reason is that they help for colors to really pop out when used on a website. Video and animation are two aspects that do well with the use of dark color schemes. This allows these to really pop when they might otherwise just blend in with the rest of the website.

These are a few of the trends that you need to be aware of when dealing with website trends for 2017, these are always changing and what is popular today will not be as popular next week or even next year. Always make sure you have your finger on the pulse of what is trending.

THE TOPS WAYS TO IMPROVE SEO AND SITE TRAFFIC

There are lots of lies going around about how to improve site traffic. There are even more lies going around about using SEO. It’s time to set the record straight. It’s time to look at these lies and start spreading the truth.

MYTH #1

Some people like to push a message onto people who have no interest in hearing these words. Good news. There is a way around this. It’s time to throw some reverse-psychology back to the readers. It’s time to find out what they want to hear. This is new way to approach it.

Take what has been learned and write the content. The content will appear at just the right time. This is one approach to reaching readers that many are not using to their advantage. Start doing it. It’s called using pull vs. push. Bloggers who do this will be amazed at how the traffic begins to find them. It’s kind of like finding love. Stop looking for it to happen. Once you do, it will find you.

MYTH #2

Content is king. It always has been, always will be. This is also a bunch of garbage, to a certain extent. The user is the reigning emperor. It’s time to stop putting control in the hands of something that does not exist.

Put the control back into your hands. Bloggers are the one who make the rules. The site designers are the ones who create the content and imagery. Starting owning it. The user rules the roost. Remember this. Content is important, but only the user has control over what is being said. Take back the control.

MYTH #3

Google cares about what keywords are being used. This is also garbage. Google could care less about what keywords are being used. Google only cares about how the words are being used. Remember this. It’s all about control. Take back the control on this one too.

Some key things to remember.

Do keyword research to find out what people are searching for. Find out what words are being used during the search. Combing these findings to come up with the perfect SEO content ranking.

– It’s all about high-volume, low-competition wording. If users nail this, they have it made.

– If something is not working, try not to beat a dead horse. Move onto the next project if need be. It’s like pinning for a love that will never come back. Move on.

SOME OTHER HELPFUL TIPS

– Look at the pages performing low to medium. Find a way to bring them back to life.

– Is there a fallout between the user intent and content. Sometimes a user puts out content that is not meant to be intentionally doing one thing or another. Find a way to take care of this. Find a way to match things back up again. Mismatching content and intent is one way to bring low traffic, or no traffic at all.

– Look at what is already out. Is there a way to change it up? Are there things that need tags? Is there a meta-description missing from some page. Meta-description is one way users can draw traffic to certain pages. Meta-description shows up in Google rankings and search engines. Is there a way this can be optimized? Look at the results so far.

Find ways to tweak and rework content that is not performing well. Repeat these processes over and over.

Click on this link for more information on using specific Google tools for tweaking performance and other content.

A Brief History of Web Design

Web design has come a long way since its humble beginnings. Here is a glimpse into how the world of web design developed from its early stages to its present-day glory.

The First Web Browsers

Gopher was the first platform for surfing the web developed in the late 20th century. Its interface involved layer upon layer of windows, using technology that let users access text files from all over the world from their personal computers. By today’s standards it looks quite archaic, but it was truly a pioneering technology of the information age. After Gopher came Mosaic, a program that was released for the first time in 1993. It was the first platform that could display images and text together on the same page, a technique that was revolutionary at the time! The concept and design of Mosaic formed the foundation for later internet browsers like Internet Explorer.

The Evolution of Graphic Design

The appearance of graphic design features has undergone dramatic transformation over the last few decades. Early icons featured flashy designs and three-dimensional aesthetics, while modern icon designs tend to be flatter, sleeker, and more minimalistic. Older web designs also tended to have fewer images and less layering, since slow connection speeds made it difficult for complex or multifaceted web designs to load quickly. Now, with increased bandwidth and the rise of high-speed internet, the possibilities for intricate and innovative graphic design have increased with no compromise to page loading time. Adaptable designs have also allowed for complex web layouts that can be viewed from multiple devices.

The Future of Web Design

The technology that is available today for web design is increasing at a mind-boggling rate. The limitations we have today are being quickly overcome through ever-evolving technological advancements. With the development of new devices capable of accessing the internet, our web designs must be more and more adaptable to new formatting and new user experiences. Furthermore, as the sheer volume of content on the internet increases exponentially, the techniques developed to sort through all of that information makes search engine optimization and ranking more and more important. These developments have changed the course of human history, and the field of information technology shows no signs of stopping.

A glimpse into the past at the internet’s humble beginnings illustrates how far the development of web design technology has come in an incredibly short period of time. In 30 years, who knows what sorts of technology will make our current web browsing platforms look like technological dinosaurs!

Guide to Modern Web Design

The digital world is continuously evolving, and new web design techniques are emerging every day. Here are some of the hottest modern elements of web design that will make your content stand out from the crowd.

Visually Engaging Backgrounds

Using an eye-catching animation or image as the background of your website is a fun way to mix things up. Using an engaging background allows you to use less text, since the image can communicate information immediately and continuously. Many sites even use interactive video instead of any static text in order to keep the user entertained and intrigued. Just be sure that if you use an animated background, you scale down the amount of information you layer on top of it. You want your background to contribute to the overall user experience, not distract from it.

Bold and Stylized Themes

As our ability to create new and innovative visuals grows, so do the options for matching those visual styles to our personal brands. If your content is fun, fresh, and exciting, use bold and vibrant colors to accentuate that excitement. If your content is cool, funky, and retro, try a vintage theme to match your site’s aesthetic to your voice. Play around with different themes and style to find the one that best complements your mission.

Minimalistic Features

Simple and user-friendly navigational features such as icons, drop-down menus, and banners help make your audience’s experience clean and comfortable. Opt for simple lines, understated and clean button designs, and intuitive functionality. If your website is too cluttered and your visual features are competing with each other for attention, the overall experience of using your site will feel muddled and overwhelming. Nothing turns users away faster than a site design that feels confusing and anxiety-inducing. Remember, you’re not only designing a website, you’re creating an experience. Select one or two elements of your website to be the bold, eye-catching centerpieces, and keep everything else clean and simple.

Playing with design elements can give your website a fresh feel and a professional style. With the rapid development of web design technology, new features are becoming available every day. If you’re creating a new site or your current site needs revitalization, try some of these tips to give your page a stylistic makeover. Aim for a balance of simplicity and innovation, and always keep your users’ experience in mind!

A Beginner’s Guide to Parallax Style Website Design

Parallax technology has been around for decades, forming the foundation of many web design techniques used in modern websites. Here is a brief guide to the little-known technology and how it can help revitalize your website design.

What is Parallax?

Parallax comes from the Greek word parallaxis, meaning “alteration”. It is a web design technique that is used to create particular visual effects on a webpage. The technique involves changing the speed at which graphics move in the background and foreground of a page. When someone scrolls through the site, the contrast between the background and foreground graphics makes the user feel like he or she is moving along with the page.

How Is It Incorporated into Web Design?

There are several methods for incorporating this technique into a website’s design:

Layer Method: Incorporating multiple elements into the foreground and background, which can scroll either horizontally or vertically.
Raster Method: Composites and refreshes and image’s lines of pixels from top to bottom.
Sprite Method: Combining several 2-dimensional images to create a layered illusion.
Repeating Pattern or Animation: Creating the illusion of individual tiles “floating” against a repeating layer in the background.

What Are the Benefits of Parallax?

Using parallax scrolling makes a website more dynamic and engaging, giving the user a more memorable browsing experience. The impressive visual effect created by this technique adds to the overall impression of a site’s credibility and allure, making browsers want to stay longer and decreasing bounce rates. When creative web design techniques like this are used, it makes users want to explore the site’s content and see what else the business has to offer.

Though its roots date back to early graphic design technologies, the parallax technique has only recently become popularized in website design techniques. Its dynamic and engaging effect makes for an unforgettable user experience!

How to Make Your WordPress Site Accessible

Making your website more accessible increases your user traffic and makes your content clearer and more engaging to diverse users. Here are some tips for making your WordPress site more accessible.

Choose Your Theme Carefully

Some WordPress themes are unique and interesting but difficult to navigate. Many themes are tagged as being accessibility-ready, meaning they have been designed and reviewed to meet standards of accessibility. Selecting one of these themes before you begin designing your page will save you a lot of time and energy trying to tweak your layout and content, so choose one of these accessibility-ready themes to give your site a solid foundation.

Use Color

Guiding your users’ experience with the use of color in your design can make it easier for users to navigate your content efficiently. Many users have diminished color perception, so ensuring that the colors on your website have enough contrast makes your page more visually accessible to these users. Using a wider font will also give you more color options, as text that has a wider stroke is easier to read at low contrast levels.

Make Your Content Readable

The way you present the written content on your site affects how accessible it is to users. Writing that incorporates short, scannable sentences, bullet points, lists, and varied font formatting that includes bolded and italicized text can make it much easier for a reader to process content. But remember – don’t vary the formatting too much or it may become overwhelming to the reader. Aim for a balance of clarity and variety to make your content as accessible as possible.

Use Captions and Descriptions

You want your page to be accessible to users who utilize assistive technologies, many of whom cannot see video and image files. Be sure to include descriptions and captions of any visual files, as well as transcripts of any files with audio content so that all of the content that you present is accessible to all users. Refrain from using auto-play on your video and audio files, which can be disorienting to many users.

Making your WordPress page more accessible to diverse users not only makes the internet a more equitable place, it communicates to your audience that you care about their user experience. Explore the accessibility accommodations on WordPress to make your site as user-friendly as possible.

Responsive Web Design 101

Most of our online activity takes place through our mobile devices these days. With more and more variation in the devices we use to access web content, it becomes increasingly important for web design to be adaptable to these devices. Nothing turns away users faster than awkward and user-unfriendly web pages! Here are just a few of the myriad benefits of using a responsive web design for your website.

It’s User Friendly

The easier it is for your users to navigate your site, the longer they will spend on it and the more they will revisit it. Sites that have a simple layout, intuitive construction, and easily tap-able links on their mobile versions help users feel immediately at home when visiting the website. Users should feel comfortable navigating your page, and that comfort should start the moment they access it. The first few seconds after someone accesses your webpage are the most important; a well-designed site will draw them in immediately, but a poorly designed one will deter them from exploring further. A responsive design will encourage users to spend more time perusing your content, as well as making it easy for them to access it from any of their devices.

It’s Cost Efficient

Making different websites for access from different devices is not only more cumbersome, it’s a waste of time and money. Spending energy and funds updating, maintaining, and developing multiple sites is an inefficient use of your resources, not to mention a pain in the neck! Instead of developing multiple sites to accommodate different devices, use a responsive design that can adapt to any device. Not only will it make your life easier, but it will make your web presence more cohesive and your brand feel more unified.

It’s Better for Search Engine Optimization

Your website should be designed to help itself gain more web traffic. One of the features that is of increasing importance in SEO ranking is mobile accessibility. The more accessible your site is from mobile devices, the higher up in search engine results your site will appear. Since more web traffic means more business, making your website mobile-friendly means making your business more profitable. Opting for a responsive web design will not only make your website more user friendly, it will increase the number of users that come to your site in the first place. Plus, they’ll be more likely to share links to your site with your friends, which further increases your SEO ranking. Just like magic!

As the use of mobile devices to access web content increases, it becomes more and more important for businesses to adapt their web presence to this technological trend. A responsive web design makes your life easier and your users’ experience better. What more could one ask for?

Guide to User-Experience (UX) Design

The user experience is the overall, combined impression a user has when utilizing a website or web application. It incorporates every detail of the website’s design, appearance, usability, and brand to create a single, unified impact on the user. Here are a few of the most fundamental aspects of a UX design.

Content

First and foremost, a user will go to a website for its content. Whether the purpose of the website is to be informative, entertaining, or inspiring, the content presented on the site is what will keep users coming back time and time again.

Usability

In order to hold a user’s attention and engagement, a website must be user-friendly and designed in such a way that it is easy for the user to navigate. In general, simple designs, clean and understated aesthetics, and accessible features define the best and most user-friendly designs. If the user feels comfortable and at home on the site, he or she is much more likely to stay on the site longer and return more frequently.

Data and Research

A website that provides accurate, well-researched, and trusted information makes the user feel like the site is a valuable resource. Websites should be authoritative sources on the information they communicate, and the best way to ensure that a webpage gives that impression is to use accurate information and provide credible sources for that information. In an internet age where an infinite amount of information is available to a user with the click of a button, a website’s accuracy and credibility contributes to the user’s overall impression that the site is worth revisiting.

Visual Design

The overall visual impact that a website’s design has is one of the most important features of the UX design. The visual appearance of a business’s website gives a strong impression of the business’s credibility, professionalism, and trustworthiness. Clean, crisp visual designs send the message that a business is competent, skilled, and qualified, and a hint of vibrancy in the overall visual impression makes the user excited to be a part of the business’s story.

User-experience design is a crucial part of a business’s ability to create a valuable and distinguished brand. A website is often the first impression that a business makes on potential clients, and the experience of a user on the business’s website defines their impression of the business overall. A carefully crafted UX design can make the difference between a one-time user and a lifelong customer.