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Modern Website Design, 8 Tips for Success

When it comes to current modern web design, the simpler, the better. We’ve long since moved past the days where everyone fought over who got to use the same clunky desktop computer in the living room. Consumers are shifting away from browsing on their desktop and laptop and towards browsing on their mobile phone and tablet. Along with this browsing shift, web development has shifted right along with it to adapt to these new trends.

1 Modern Web Design: Hero Images

The hero page is a single bold image on the home page. The principle of this comes from the newspaper world (we’ve salvaged something from this dying media). Back in the old days of newsprint, if something was “above the fold” it was the most important bit. And if something really interesting happened (like a fireman saved a baby from exploding blimp), it took up the whole top half above the fold.

What’s most important about your site? Put it at the top and you’ve got a hero.

2 Modern Web Design: Succinct Content

Short attention spans=Less Content
Less Content=Good

That is all.

3 Modern Web Design: Video

Why write it when you can say it? More people are engaging with videos than ever … maybe we’re getting lazier, maybe we just love how well our phones play video. Either way, get yourself in front of a camera and appeal to your audience. And if you don’t want to do that, then:

  • Post a video of your product with narration
  • Get footage of employees who do their jobs well
  • Find customers who are using your products and film them

Videos are an excellent way to reward curious customers who want to know more about your product or services. By giving them an entertaining and educational video to watch, you’re providing them with a more easily digestible alternative than a block of text. And really, who wants to read something when they can just as easily have it read to them?

No one expects you to be an internet star. Just be genuine and connect with your audience.

4 Modern Web Designs: Minimal Color

This is a trend you might not expect. Colors schemes are getting simplified. Think: One primary color with neutrals or neutrals with a splash of color. This is the equivalent of wearing all black with one outstanding accessory. It highlights the accessory by contrast.

If your site is black with one red button, who could resist hitting the red button?

“Simplicity is the ultimate form of sophistication.”
~Leonardo da Vinci

5 Modern Web Designs: Flat World

So, I take back what I said about color. It’s a carnival of color, but only when web designers go for the flat look, which means no shadows or optical illusions we’ve been so in love with for the last decade. Hey, if Apple’s doing the flat design, this is a look that is around to stay.

Flat web designs are baseball caps and jeans. Get used to it.

6 Modern Web Designs: Retro Styles

Go back before it’s too late. The retro movement is alive and well. Those flat designs I talked about above are retro. So are manipulated images that look like they’re from the 1970s. Why? Because we love retro. It makes us feel warm and safe. It’s like a big hug of nostalgia.

Go retro to avoid the tacky trap while you spread the love.

“Trendy is the last stage before tacky.”
~Karl Lagerfeld

7 Modern Web Designs: Single Page Websites

This is one of the most natural results of the shift to mobile browsing. People don’t want to adjust and click links. So, developers found a solution. Everything you need to know on one page, within reason. Warning: It doesn’t work for all businesses. Infinite scroll is not the same thing as single page.

If you want a single page design, know that the page must end.

8 Modern Web Designs: Parallax Scrolling

Parallax scrolling is when the background image and the foreground images scroll at different paces. You might like it, you might hate it. It’s happening. The more single page websites become popular, the more parallax scrolling you’ll see. Why? Visual interest.

Keeping your eyes on the page is always the goal.

Modern Web Designs: The Takeaway

You can have it all (with a little help from a professional web developer, of course):

  1. Hero Image
  2. Succinct Content
  3. Video
  4. Minimal Color
  5. Flat Styles
  6. Retro Styles
  7. Single Page Websites
  8. Parallax Scrolling

That being said, all it takes is one more shift in technology for the whole landscape to change. For the moment, these are the styles that work best. These designs show consumers who happen upon your website that their browsing experience is your first priority. And putting your customers first is always a winning strategy no matter what’s trending.

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Jon Whitbeck

As a web designer and developer, I have managed, built, launched, and maintained websites that meet my clients' objectives. I develop dynamic websites with content management systems based on the latest design trends. My background as an educator and instructor helps me create user-friendly interfaces and teach my clients how to update their own sites.

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