Before the almost-flat or semi-flat web design, there was the flat design. The idea behind the latter was a look stripped of all fluff and frills – using bold colors, simple shapes and simple typography. The most well-known example is the Apple iPhone interface.
Better Use of Typography
Typography isn’t just the art of designing letters. Done right, it can breathe life into your text content, enhance the rest of your site’s design elements and help your brand stand out. Done badly, it can become a huge flaw in an otherwise flawless site.
High-Quality Static Images
Think your website’s too plain? Try adding an image or two to the background. It can be a single, eye-catching photo spanning the entire page, or a series of photos that tell your brand’s story.
High-Quality Moving Images
If you’re undecided on whether to use a photo or a video for your site, consider using a cinemagraph instead. A cinemagraph, or moving image, expresses more words than a still photo, but uses up less bandwidth than a video. It can also liven up your site’s background, break up excessively long blog posts, and keep a curious visitor entertained for up to 15 percent longer than usual.
When you present an intriguing question for a site visitor, such as “How many slaves work for you,” you flip the curiosity switch in that visitor’s brain. He or she will then click one arrow or the other: “What? Slaves work for me?” or “Find out: Take the survey,” then another, and another. By the time the visitor is done, you’ll have ended your story, and converted a new fan/paying customer.
How is this possible? Well, for one, humans love stories. We love to hear about – and imagine ourselves as – characters who get thrown into conflict, and somehow find a way to resolve that conflict. We love to ask the question “What happens next?” and once we get a specific answer to that, we ask it again. Once the story ends, we’re left feeling either satisfied, or wanting more. Your job, as a marketer, is to make them want more.
Minimalist, User-Oriented Design
When it comes to web design, less is often more. Even the most tech-savvy, financially privileged visitor can appreciate a site that isn’t overloaded with graphics, or doesn’t use up too much bandwidth.
Not that your site has to be boring, though. You just have to strip it down to the essentials and work your design from there. If you have to add extras like sidebars and submenus, you can hide them, and let your visitors discover these for themselves.
Responsive Web Design
A responsive site adjusts according to what device it’s viewed in. By now, this is pretty much considered mandatory for anyone who has a website, but it’s still worth noting in an increasingly mobile world.
This was designed for mobile users. A visitor simply has to scroll down, and down, to find what they’re looking for.
In a website that uses parallax scrolling, background elements move slower than those in the foreground, giving the illusion of movement. This one really helps your site come to life – as long as it’s used well.
If you’ve used one, or more, of these design elements, evaluate whether they’ve contributed anything positive to your conversions – or, at the very least, your traffic. If the answer is yes, it won’t hurt to keep them on your site just a little bit longer.