You could have the best content and marketing plan on the planet. If you don’t have the right design to package it all together, you’re not going to get very far. After all, we’re visual creatures, which often makes us more inclined to buy a product or use a service if we like what we see. To be honest, web design can be pretty intimidating, and just like everything else, it can be hard to keep up with the trends. We’re here to tell you that you don’t need a degree in computer programming and graphic design in order to create — or at least conceptualize — your perfect website. Below, we’ve listed a few web design ideas that are always guaranteed to wow.
1. Clean, Simple, Organized
Simple sells — just ask Apple. Merchandise photos that are brightly lit and shot on sparse backgrounds are super trendy right now, and for good reason: they show the customer exactly what they’re getting. No distractions, no frills.
Customers also tend to associate minimalist design with high-end brands. Think about it: are luxury stores ever packed with merchandise? Not usually, and even if you do have a lot of products, your customers shouldn’t feel overwhelmed. Visual space helps clear the mind and makes choices easier. With pared-down images organized into grids, your customers will be more likely to appreciate variety without getting overloaded.
2. Multimedia Components
There are a lot of cool things happening with video right now, and one of our favorites is the “infinite loop.” These are videos that are static on a page and play automatically. They also seamlessly loop over and over again, and almost give the impression that you’re watching a live feed. This is a great way to make a personal connection with your customers, because it adds a level of realism that goes beyond just having product images and written descriptions. Rather, it helps connect them to more of their senses and makes them want to be a part of whatever world you’re showing.
Another great movement-based component is a 360-degree product view. Whether you do this as a video or allow customers to use their cursor to move around an item, it’s a simple way to let people interact with a product, and gives them a lot more information to help guide their purchasing decisions.
3. Custom Art
Simplicity is the name of the game, but that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice color by any means. In fact, the combination of clean lines and a unique color scheme is truly the ultimate recipe for success. Some of the hottest trends right now? Flat design and vector art.
Flat design eliminates any kind of shadowing, shading, or other 3D effects. To keep things from looking too stark and rigid, you’ll definitely want to inject some color into your page header and also into any buttons or menus, while the rest of your page can remain somewhat neutral to keep the focus on your images and text.
On a technical level, vector art uses mathematical equations and basic lines, points, and shapes to create sharp, clean images that can be scaled up or down without any loss of quality. Because of the way vector art is made, the end result tends to look very solid and bold. A great way to incorporate this into your site is by making your logo or any identifying signs and symbols as a vector image. This is not only versatile for you — you can easily make this image small enough for a sticker or large enough for a wall mural —the graphic nature of the images could also be easier for people to retain.
4. Unique Navigation Bars and Menus
You want to make it as easy as possible for people to navigate your site. If a customer can’t instantly find what they’re looking for, they’ll go elsewhere. It’s that simple. Sidebars are the typical choice, and they are a great way to categorize information. However, we’re really loving fixed headers with drop-down menus, especially when a menu opens by simply hovering your cursor over a word. This will allow customers to easily get to the information they need, and a header often takes up less visual space on your site. That way you can keep the focus on your products and images, but getting around is still a snap.
5. Instantly-Recognizable Logo
If you invest in one design feature for your site — and for your brand — make it a killer logo. Although typography has been around since, well, pretty much forever, we’re loving the recent resurgence in unique typefaces and more intricately-designed brand names that have almost a hand-crafted feel. A unique logo not only makes your brand easily identifiable, it also gives you the chance to visually showcase your brand’s identity and point of view. Design elicits emotions in people, and you’ll want to make sure you’re hitting the right notes. Is your brand fun and effortless? Maybe an intricate, loopy script is right for you. Want to evoke seriousness without being stuffy? Think thick, even lettering in darker colors, maybe with a just simple underline.
Inspired by all of these design ideas? We hope you got a few tips and tricks to help streamline your site and enhance your image. Coco Chanel advised taking off one accessory before leaving the house, and we think the same holds true for web design as well: when in doubt, simplify. Did you just revamp your site, or have a logo design you really love? Let us know in the comments below!