Even though Internet has only been a buzzword in the last decade or so, it has exploded and revolutionize the way we function today.
From professional to personal to everyday work, a lot has changed because of the internet. And at the center of it is are websites.
Websites have come a long way from the drab version it used to be. Designing aspect aside, the operations and possibilities too have changed dramatically.
How are websites today different from the ones 10 years back
Today, everyone from your local bakery to cats has a website of their own. In the yesteryears, it was only the technology-centric companies and institutions that had a web presence. This then gave way to e-commerce platforms like eBay and Amazon popping up on the scene.
It wasn’t known of small, medium, and even large-sized businesses to even consider getting a website up. And the number one reason for that was the lack of audience.
The internet was like a closed clique, it was only in the past decade that it has become an ecosystem in itself, bringing in market groups that go beyond territories. And which ushered in a need for a strong web presence.
Flashy texts to pop up ads, a lot has changed and thankfully so. While designing is a sort of art in itself, it also has to encompass a lot of other factors.
As the audience changed over time, their perception and preferences changed, the designing world evolved. Also, websites and designers involved in building and designing websites realized that the competition has gone too far to not evolve.
With designing being an important component of a good website, the need of the hour is to focus on being different – good different. And since minimalism is all the rage now, it’s gladdening to see flashy texts and eye-scorching color palette dying out.
Features and Functionality
Think about quick page load speed and intuitive predictions, websites have completely had a rebirth when it comes to functionality. This also could be made possible with the innovation in technology and how it affected the way websites are made and maintained.
And with more and more people interacting online – from searching for things to making hefty transactions online – there is a need to treat functionality as one of the paramount components. Besides the fact that websites have to pay special attention to increasing functionality because of the increased user engagement, there’s also the added pressure of this increase on the overall performance of the website.
Cross Platform Operations
In the recent past, when websites were almost getting the recipe right, up pops Smartphone. Mobile devices are redefining the way websites should be built and operated on. From responsiveness to creating a separate website for mobiles, there’s a lot to be done.
While websites have come a long way, they still have a long way to go. Here’s looking at how websites can use certain techniques and tips to stand out of the crowd and steer ahead of the competition.
No matter the niche the website you’re designing has to cater to or the eventual objective, a menu option is an indispensable part of it. You have to have one of the website to guide the readers to where they want to go. But does it really have to be so bland and uninviting? Agreed that it has a more functional than aesthetic take to it, but menu options can be played with.
There’s the drop down mega menu option that e-commerce websites usually prefer and choose for as it showcases a lot of categories in one go. But there are others like semicircular and circular menu options that float on the page and is a great way to add something new to your site plus make sure they have that option right on the part of the screen they are at.
Music-based websites already have these, so the menu option, in this case, turns into more of a control board, but you can take the same idea and use it for any other website.
There are tons of effects that you can use on a website to make it stand out, one such effect is the Parallax effect, which has become quite the go-to option for a lot of designers. The Parallax effect which is a scrolling-based effect that divides the website into foreground and background with each loading at different speeds creating a 3D feel to it.
A lot of websites you see would have this feature, if there isn’t Parallax scrolling on the entire website, it would at least be on some products. When used particularly for products, the scrolling lends a quick 3D feel to it without actually working on creating actual 3d elements for each product.
Just like how themes can complement the overall type of a website, special effects like the snow effect, the rain effect, or some animated effects in the background lends support to the overall theme of a website. These effects could be temporary or permanent depending upon which effect you choose and for how long do you want it up.
Another famous effect is the Ken Burns effect. Based on the technique be notable documentary maker Ken Burns. The effect essentially revolves around a panning and zooming technique. A static image is zoomed and panned into to bring focus to a certain part of the image.
The panning and zooming technique is commonly used in movies where the subject in an image is shown zoomed into and panned, while a voice over plays in the background. And now this technique has become quite common in certain websites.
The Ken Burns effect can be used on the website itself, drawing focus to the CTA or to certain parts of the website that could keep them intrigued and make them stay on the website a little longer.
Additionally, you can also use the Ken Burns effect on a slider. Sliders are attention-grabbing elements anyway, and with Ken Burns slider it’s double the impact.
Talking about sliders, designers have a love-hate relationship with. Sliders obviously do their work just fine, they grab attention but these also are completely passe now. And some even slow down the website affecting the user experience.
But there are some that not only boast of superior functionality but also increases conversions. Take the Accordion slider for instance, this has known to increase click through rate and conversions and it also increases the aesthetics of the website.
Sliders help to showcase portfolio items in a quick seamless way that brings eyeballs to your best work forward and which in turn helps you get clients. But sliders can also be used for product-based websites where your bestsellers could be up on display or if you have a sale going on, go ahead and put your best pieces up.
A major consideration to factor in when you’re looking for sliders is the responsiveness of it. Responsive sliders are a must since your website could also be viewed on a mobile device, and given how quickly mobile usage numbers are increasing, chances of your website being viewed on a mobile device is higher. So you need to ensure that your sliders don’t get lost in the transition from desktop to mobile.
A Few Extras
There’s just something about it. It’s so simple and so effortless to introduce but it has a sleek appeal to it. The navigation blur is when most part of the website is blurred out with one (or a few) elements that remain unblurred.
The idea is to draw focus to where you want it to be but the smart way. A lot of people mightn’t like this idea but some of are all for this effect.
The same principle is also applied on the background fade technique, where when you click on an object or a tab or a product, the background fades and the element pops up.
This looks particularly well if you have an image in the background, and this technique is also commonly used in e-commerce websites.
When you want to de-clutter a website without compromising on the quantity of content that you want to put out, use the branch out effect that tucks in the lengthy content under a tab or a bar. This leaves the overall page free of a lot of content, and which also means that your readers can choose what they want to consume and aren’t overwhelmed by content.
A swatch book effect adds a bit of zing and quirk to your website while breaking content into quick process-able and enjoyable chunks. These are extremely easy to create and integrate and adds a fun element to the website.
When it comes down to creating and designing a website that is actually of any value, you don’t really need to go all out. Sometimes you just need to use your creative juices and come up with something kick-ass. Or sometimes you just need to draw some inspiration from experts’ works and use it to create something new. Whichever option you choose, we believe you would be putting the aforementioned effects of using.
Swati is a nature-freak, loves traveling and capturing unforgettable memories along the way. She loves singing and driving – often, both at the same time. Her favorite passtime is to hangout with her family and friends. She believes in work hard and party harder. Swati is responsible for updating DealFuel blogs – a daily deals site for web designers and developers with some really good deals and freebies.