Understanding Contemporary Web Design
Underwhelming. Boring. Flat. These are common first impressions of contemporary design, and often the case when it comes to current website design trends. But there’s more to the story…
The Way It Was/Is
The prevailing wind in the New Zealand webspace continues from the previous decade. We’re looking at websites which today look over-designed, cluttered with ornamental and superfluous features. Textures, shadows, flash objects, busy, busy, busy! These features add character and a sense of value for money for a website owner, but for your customers they’re really just distractions from what they have come for. As a business owner, your true value for money lies in what you don’t see.
Challenging the Status Quo
It can be a challenge for us as designers to “sell” the philosophy of modern web design to a market that has been conditioned over time to expect more.
It’s true; the framework of many modern websites is simple. True, it can be flat. However there are very sound reasons why this “less is more” approach to web design is critical to it’s success. It’s a design strategy which we wholeheartedly believe in.
Give the People What They Want
Less is More
The rise of “flat” website design is a direct response not to your desires as a website owner, but to the desires of the people who are using your website. Take off your business owner’s hat for a moment and step into the shoes of your average customer. Or just consider what you want from a website when you’re researching a product or service.
Clean & Clear
More than ever, web users simply want answers to questions, and fast.
- What is this product/service?
- How can it help me?
- Why this product/service over others?
- How much is it?
Content is King
Don’t miss that first opportunity: give the people what they want! They don’t want to work to find the answer; it should be obvious and up-front. When more and more of our lives are taken up with distraction, it makes sense that design gets scaled back and let the content come to the forefront.
Let content come to the fore
We need to put this idea under the microscope, because without quality content, contemporary web design really does fall flat. Take out the action shots, remove the diagrams, the icons and the big, descriptive headings and what’s left? An underwhelming, boring, flat shell of a design.
Show your product or service in action.
Tell people, clearly and succinctly, what it is.
Provide an opportunity to engage with you (ask you a question, fill in a form).
It can mean a bit of work from your end; sourcing the photos, finding your inner wordsmith. But hey, you get out what you put it. Content is important. It’s a whole new conversation for another blog post but take it from us, it deserves your attention when building a website. Luckily you’re not out in the cold – we have some expertise in this area and can help.
What’s important to your visitors and what’s not
- Easy navigation
- Easy to read: see what you do at a glance
- Relevant, real-world images
- Easy point of contact
Not Really Important
- How big your logo is
- How much you’ve been able to throw at your home page
- Anything which is an obstacle to their reason for visiting
After all, what’s most important?
By unanimous decision it’s your website visitors that are most important. Make it easy to find what they’re looking for, and easy to engage with you, and you will start winning the marketing game.
So, have we convinced you? Let us know!