Posts Tagged ‘Web Design’

Why You Need to Add “A Site Redesign” to Your Resolutions List

January 11th, 2016

new_look

We’re well into 2016! We hope you’ve created a list of bright, shiny, goals that you WILL achieve this year. Here’s a resolution you won’t want to put off: revamping your website. The benefits of getting a fresh site design are too numerous to count! But if you need more convincing, we’ve listed a few of the benefits for you:

Build credibility with visitors

A site that harkens back to the stone age won’t win you any favours from site visitors. From a visitor’s perspective, if your website appears out of date, your products or services must be outdated as well. Freshen up your site: you’ll look rad and your visitors will trust you more!

Gain trust from search engines

Search engines such as Google Search are not too keen on stagnant websites. Update your site to keep your SEO strong. Adding a blog to your site (as well as contributing to it consistently) is a great way to keep your website dynamic.

Get others to care about you

You know what they say: (social) sharing is caring! Adding social media sharing buttons to your site will allow others to brag about you, which increases your credibility immeasurably.

Plus, updating your site with valuable, new content (see point #2) or an interesting new design gives visitors something they’ll want to sing about. Let others toot your horn- you deserve it!

Reduce bounce rate with enhanced UX

User eXperience is an important part of your web design. Have you looked over your current website to see how users will interact with it? Make your call to actions clear, convey information concisely, and ensure that visitors won’t get stuck in a dead end.

Increase exposure

A responsive or mobile version of your site is now a necessity, as mobile usage is now exceeding desktop usage. Make sure your site redesign includes a mobile version- it’s the “smart” thing to do!

One way you can easily redesign your site is with the new Website.com builder (included for free with all Doteasy hosting accounts!). Just drag and drop to create your new website, no sweat. Yes, you can make a mobile version. Yes, it has cutting edge design elements you can add right into your site. Yes, your new design will look amazing!

Try it out and let us know how it goes! To get started, login to your Member Zone. Here’s to a bright and shiny 2016!

Trend Spotlight: Video Backgrounds

April 1st, 2014

Remember our predictions for Web Design Trends in 2014? Now that we’re well into the year, let’s take a closer look at one of the more controversial design ideas that we mentioned: video integration.

To be more precise, we’re talking humongous videos in place of background images or in the large hero areas. Need some examples? Check out:

Exhibit A:

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Gladeye uses this feature sparingly, choosing to use video only on its contact page. They also cleverly tie in their video content (of swooping angles of their location) with the page content (their physical address).

Exhibit B:

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Savelli-Geneve takes a bolder approach with a more intimate video right on the homepage.

PROS:

  • Videos can quickly convey your brand to your visitor.
  • It can grab attention and leave a memorable impression with your viewer.
  • Videos can add a little extra oomph to your web design!

CONS:

  • Web users are now more concerned than ever about browsing the web at their own pace – does an auto play video take their control away?
  • Videos can have a jarring effect – does that suit your brand?
  • If not done well, videos can distract away from your content, or even annoy your visitor.

Weigh in with your thoughts! Is this a trend worth keeping or is it a distracting design gimmick?

Our Web Design Trend Predictions for 2014: Part 1

January 8th, 2014

We’re now officially in the year 2014, and what better way to kick off the new year than with an exciting new web design! Here’s our list of web design trends that we predict we’ll be seeing a lot more of this year.

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Flat Design

Flat design focuses on simplicity, without gradients, shadows or beveled edges. The emphasis of the design is on functionality, with fewer visual cues or skeuomorphic design elements. Most give credit to the start of this trend to Microsoft for their flat design, with Apple also adopting the look.

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Make it Mobile-Friendly

By now, you’ve probably heard all about responsive web design as one way to optimize your site for mobile use. More and more users are choosing to access the web on phones and tablets rather than desktops, so now is the time to step up your game! This can mean making a separate site just for mobile users, ensuring that your visitors can engage with social media while on mobile, or having more scrolling navigation. Also make sure your design is simple and clean for easy navigation on those small, shiny phone screens.

Videos, videos, videos! (as well as animated GIFs)

This is one trend that we think will be picking up this year. Using video in place of text can entertain the most stimulation-needy visitor. For the adventurous, experiment with implementing video as part of your design, in place of a large background image, or nestled in the hero area. This example showcases the drama a video background can bring to your website.

video_site

A warning, however! Before jumping into using video in your design, be aware of how this can affect the user experience: consider site loading times, user navigation, and whether a large video playing in the background can be just plain ol’ fashioned distracting for your intended audience!

As you consider implementing any of these trends, remember that aesthetics are only one aspect of web design. Keep in mind the user experience, placement of content, and site navigation.

These are our top 3 predictions for trends we’ll see in 2014. What are your thoughts? We’ll be adding more predictions to the list, so stay tuned for our next article!

Trend Spotlight: Scrolling Websites and Parallax Design

October 28th, 2013

If the Mid-Autumn Blahs (translation: gray skies, rain, and a diminishing justification for ice cream) are getting you down, you might be needing something to perk up for spirits. We know just the thing… a web design revamp! In this article, we’ll take a closer look at one of the growing web design trends of the season: a scrolling website.

What is a Scrolling Website?

A scrolling website is one where visitors can simply scroll down (or across, depending on the design) to reach each section of your site and see new content. Rather than having to load a new page, the motion is continuous, and users will see the images move incrementally.

Take a look at an example of a scrolling website here:

Oakley: Fear and Loathing in Australia

oakley

Many scrolling websites use a parallax scrolling technique. These designs are dynamic because the background image of the website moves slower than the foreground elements. A great example of a parallax design is here:

SOS Global

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PROS:

Guide Your Visitors

A scrolling website can help you take your user through the entire story of your site – you guide their experience and the order of how they view your content.

Unique

At least for now, a scrolling website is not yet the norm. Your site will stand out as cutting edge and on-trend. While it’s not the norm; however, scrolling is becoming a more popular navigation technique. Because scrolling is becoming more common with social media giants such as Facebook and Pinterest, the idea is not too far-fetched for users to grasp.

Visual Impact

A scrolling website is a great way to capture attention, especially if your website is visually driven. The fluid motion of one page seeming to transition to the next can give your users a more relaxed and interesting user experience.

CONS:

A scrolling technique can create a stunning site to impress your clients, associates, and hip friends. But before you jump on the bandwagon, consider if the “pros” outweigh the “cons.”

Effects on SEO

Be aware that many scrolling websites have an entire site on one page. However, this could cause trouble for SEO, for a number of reasons. There are many debates in the cyber world on this topic, but one of the most prevalent concerns is that Google Spiders do not know how to scroll to look at new content. Another issue is that Google may not like big pages with a lot of content, as they can take too long to load. There are many different proposed solutions to the SEO problem, so if you do take the plunge into Scrolling Design territory, make sure you do your research!

Here’s an article with some SEO solutions to parallax design: The Perils of Parallax Design for SEO

Text-Based Websites are Not Ideal

Remember when we said a scrolling website would be perfect for image-based sites? The opposite is true for text-heavy websites. Unless if creative typography is your thing, a text-driven website could be messy, intimidating, and not visually stunning.

Navigation

Imagine this dreaded situation: A potential client of your eCommerce site can’t seem to remember where they saw that item they wanted to buy earlier. They scroll a few pages down, get rust rated, and promptly leave. Ouch.

Because scrolling websites often have an entire website on a single page, rather than having multiple pages, it could be difficult for users to bookmark exactly what they want. One solution to this problem would be to include a menu and pagination, while still implementing the scrolling technique.

Wrong Clientele

Sometimes, visitors don’t like change. All of a sudden, they don’t know how to navigate your site, they can’t find the page they were expecting to see, etc. So before you make the leap to a scrolling design, consider what kind of clientele your website attracts. Will they be open to change? Will they appreciate this modern look? Will they stick around to adapt to the new navigation technique? These are important questions to consider.

Conclusion:

So is a scrolling design right for you? It looks great, can create a compelling user experience, and can give your site a clean and modern look. However, be sure to pay attention to the individual needs of your website before making the switch.

If you’re willing to tackle a scrolling design, our hosting includes an instant script install for WordPress, which has many themes to try. If you’re not exactly the most tech-savvy, we’ve got some tech-savvy people at Doteasy to help you implement this design with a website design package only at US$695. Give us a shout if you need help!

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Popular Web Design Resources to Jumpstart Your Website

September 9th, 2013

One of our main objectives at Doteasy is to provide services to help our clients get a great site online as quickly and easily as possible. We have a variety of options to help you quickly create your website, including our Website Creator to allow you to create your website without any techie experience, Softaculous to install WordPress to build a hassle-free site, as well as an option to subscribe to our Web Design Service at an affordable price.

However, for those of you who love to get completely involved in the DIY process of web designing and developing, we’ve written a few blogs on the subject of web design, which you can access from our Archives. In addition, we’ve put together a list of even more online resources that can help you put together an attractive and “wow-worthy” website:

 

Web Design Resources

 

These popular websites offer tutorials and resources for web designers and web developers to enhance the functionality and form of their website.

Agile Designers

Agiledesigners is a sharing site which offers both free and premium resources, easily categorized so you can filter them by topic or popularity. A great community to get involved in or just to drop by.

Noupe

A great blog for both designers and developers, Noupe is full of tutorials and tips for both web designers and developers.  We especially love their categorization, which makes it easy to find what you’re looking for by just clicking on a category title. Article categories include AJAX, CSS, WordPress, as well as graphics, typography and more!

Web Appers

This blog features a plethora of open source web resources for web development, such as Ungit, Dripicons, and EasyDropDown, to name a few. Check it out to find resources for functionality and design.

Web Designer Depot

A blog mediated by “experienced designers and developers all over the world,” this site is a goldmine of information, ranging from tech news to tutorials. This is a great place to check out web trends. Also, we love that there’s an entire section of the site dedicated to offering free downloads!

 

Typography

 

Text on your site is incredibly important, and the balance between readability and creativity is often difficult to maintain. These sites can help de-mystify typography.

Incredible Types

Get inspiration from this collection of typography designs from around the globe.

What the Font

Have you ever been curious about a font you’ve seen on one of your favorite websites? By submitting an image, this site can help you find out what that font is by finding font matches in their database!

Thinking With Type

This guide can teach you all the basic and not-so-basic information about typography, helping you make the best text choices to improve the readability and look of your site.

Web Designer Depot’s Typography Compilation

This article includes a variety of website designs that implement the use of text well. Check it out for some great ideas!

 

Stock Photography Resources

 

In this visual culture, the power of good-quality images on your website cannot be ignored. Check out these resources to find royalty-free images- some that are free, some that aren’t.

 

Shutterstock

One of the big ones, Shutterstock boasts a massive library of over 28 million premium royalty-free images, vectors, and videos. They also have a variety of pricing options- either pay as you go or choose a subscription package.

Veer 

Veer is one of the most popular stock image sites on the web. The site includes flexible payment options -save money by purchasing “credit” bundles, choose a subscription package, or pay as you go.

stock.XCHNG

stock.XCHNG is incredibly easy to navigate, allowing you to easily find the images you’re looking for. Their categorization and browsing tool makes it simple to search for both popular images and uncommon finds. The collection is compiled from contributors in the SXC community who offer their work for free to gain exposure.

Stockphotosforfree

If you want to include stock images on your site without having to spend money, stockphotosforfree offers over 100000 photos that are absolutely free for both commercial and non-commercial use. Most of the images are still shots taken from HD videos.

Also check out our blog written on this topic for a longer list of stock photo websites.

There are a multitude of resources on the web to help you design your website, and we hope these will give you some inspiration and keep you informed about the latest web trends. The world of web design is constantly changing, and we hope these resources will help you make informed decisions about the direction you want to take your website!