4 Design Trends to Modernize Your Site

Redesign to make your content shine.
Just like clothing and car styles, websites styles are constantly changing. If your site was created any time from 2 to 15 years ago, the change may be happening more rapidly than you ever expected. But just like the mullet you rocked in kindergarten, your website may need some major updating if you want to be taken seriously. Consider making over your site with one or more of 2017’s site style trends.

 

Let Content Lead Design

 

Modern websites let their content lead their layouts. This means that your design should be purposeful, directing your visitor through each page. It’s tempting to put everything you can “above the fold” or on the top of the website. But realistically, this only serves to confuse your audience. To communicate a compelling message, chunk your content into sections, gradually leading your visitor by creating a logical flow of information through the page. As an example, check out University of Arkansas’s R.O.C.K. Camp site.

 

Big, Bold Type

 

With content leading the way, let your site’s copy draw in your readers. Use big, bold type to state your mission or tagline, anchoring your homepage. Keep the copy simple and to the point, and dedicate a sizable amount of real estate to your message. This is a great option if you don’t have many images—place it in front of a white background for a clean, minimalist look. Of course, it looks great over images as well, especially monochrome toned images, or even over a GIF or looped video. Just make sure that the background does not inhibit the readability of your message. The University of Arkansas’s Enactus site is a great example of how to do this well.

 

More, and Brighter Color

 

Keeping your design minimal and content focused will allow you room to experience with color. Try using Divi’s new gradient tool for a fresh and fun pop of color. But don’t go too wild! Reign it in with a limited two or three tone color palate. Check out Asana for an example of this technique.

 

Mixed Type

 

Keeping in mind readability, you may want to revisit your website’s typeface. Instead of using a single font throughout the site, consider pairing two fonts together, perhaps a sans serif for headings and a serif for paragraph text. Google fonts is helpful tool for this, as it will give you some suggestions for which fonts pair best together. You also may be used to using 10pt or 12pt fonts if most of your work is in print, however, on the web your paragraphs should be no smaller than 14pt.

Let’s talk No-Nos:
A lot has changed in the way we view and interact with websites, and some features that were once all the rage will date your site. In some cases, they may even cost you a bit of credibility, so let’s avoid the following:

Intro-Video (captive audience)

play icon

Intros used to occupy time while a site loaded, but with modern internet speeds their function has changed. Regular visitors don’t want to watch the same content over and over before being able to access the information they want.

Checkout crystalbridges.org for a great, modern example of how to do it right.

Counters

website counter

While once a cool way to display the popularity of your site, having a site-views counter is outdated. Besides, now you can mine much more data from your site views that helps you make informed decisions about your audience. Google Analytics is one of the most popular ways to access this data, but it’s best to keep the information to yourself.

Sounds

sound icon

Just no. Automatically playing sound is a better way to get someone to immediately click away from your site and never return than it is to entice them to read further. If you want to include music or audio, make sure the viewer is control of when it plays, and at what volume.

Be sure to let us know how your site redesign progresses. We’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment below!