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Web Design and Development Trends You Need to Be Aware Of

Web design and development has come a long way in the last few years. Technology has evolved at a fast rate, user consumption has changed, and users are responding differently to websites. Designers have also found certain styles that work better than others and have updated design standards for the best results. Here are some of the trends you need to be aware of to keep up with what’s going on in the industry and adapt this knowledge to your own website.

Using HTML5‘s Unique Features

HTML5 is a designer’s dream because of all the capabilities you can take advantage of. It comes with many benefits from a cleaner code, better multimedia support, improved mobile device support, to cross browser compatibility. It also comes with better APIs that allow you to deliver an amazing user experience such as being able to drag and drop. To top it off, web apps run smoother than the previous version of HTML which opens the doors for site owners to allow more features to be used by their visitors.

Larger Fonts and Custom Fonts

One of the more common changes that is observable is the use of larger and custom fonts. Many websites are ditching the standard arial and using fonts that are more readable, especially if they’re going more design heavy. Designers are also using custom fonts for headlines to draw attention to content and ads. Some are going with text displayed as images as it looks smoother and more attractive to the eye.

Responsive Websites

By now most people are aware of what responsive websites do. However, only a small percentage of site owners have made the jump to this format. This may be due to the fact that redoing an entire website into a responsive one is difficult and costly. That said, responsive is getting more affordable and designers are becoming more adept at making sure that their web development projects are also optimized for conversion, UI and UX.

Retro Style Design

Old school designs are making a comeback. It’s all about putting complexity to bed, then bringing out a simple and refereshing look. One type of design that’s being used is flat design, which drops shadows and gradients to create a sleek look. Another is minimalist design which strips away all the unnecessary aspects of design to create contrast that makes the eyes focus on the most important parts of a website. Finally, there are the large hero boards which uses a headline followed by a large image and minimal text right below it to create an eye catching effect.

Back to Javascript

Rather than developing apps in PHP or MySQL, more developers are using javascript. HTML5 has made javascript more user friendly and the addition of client side javascript will open the doors to many more possibilities. Many industry experts think that other programming languages will become less popular as being able to develop on Javascript takes away the technical challenges of development (requiring knowledge of multiple programming languages) and allows developers to focus more on the creativity aspect of development.

Heavy CMS Web Design and Web Development

More and more websites are being built on WordPress, Drupal, Joomla and Magento. Using a CMS is now the standard but more site owners are serious about getting custom work done for WordPress, Drupal, Joomla and Magento (the most popular CMS platforms). Free templates and themes are great for beginners but site owners are realizing that they need to hire a professional designer and developer if they want a unique site that accomplishes everything they’ve set their sights on.

Web Design for Startups

As a startup, you only have one chance to make an impression. In the beginning, you’ll likely get a lot of press and coverage about your company. If people start flocking to your website and find it lackluster, it will seem like a contradiction to all the great things that they’ve been hearing about. In addition to creating an impression, you need to create a connection with your brand so that your company is remembered. So how do you go about crafting the right web design?

The first part of designing a great website starts with the actual look. The design needs to be concise and clear as to what it is about and what it is offering. The communication needs to be benefit driven and directly lead users towards taking the next action. The copy will need to be brief and impactful but in some cases, startups have used short videos rather than copy to explain what they’re offering. It’s all about having a focused and clear presentation.

The second part is to create a strong brand identity. Startup branding is a big part of making the website memorable. The visuals and overall presentation needs to have a strong personality that is clearly distinguishable from similar products or services in the marketplace. The brand also needs to communicate the right message to the target audience and connect with them at an authentic level. Integrating all of these startup branding qualities into the web design is very challenging but integral to the success of the startup.

The third part is to design a great user interface (UI). Startups do not need a complicated UI but it does need to be intuitive, concise, clean and organized. The aim here should be simplicity as you want to really get across your message as a startup. You want users to interact with your site as effortlessly as possible and not get your website muddled with too many options as corporate sites often do.

The fourth part is creating a great user experience (UX). It’s not enough to provide an intuitive UI and aesthetic presentation to the user. You need to think about what they’re going to take away from using your website. Unfortunately, creating the optimal UX is a long process of research, analysis and testing. That doesn’t mean that you should ignore UX in the beginning. Investing in research and putting a lot of effort into creating a relevant and purpose driven design can set up a strong foundation.

The fifth part of creating an outstanding design for your startup is to use social proof. As a startup, you have very little brand equity and you’re trying to win over new customers. If you’ve worked with well known brands or prominent figures in your industry, make sure you reference that on your website. All you need to do is mention a short text saying “as seen on x,” “works with y,” or “partners with z.” Displaying brand logos that you’re associated with will lend you an immense amount of credibility and trust.

To sum up, startups have to prove themselves with their web design. As a startup, you only have once chance to really make a lasting impression. Your website will be a big reflection of what you are about, so you need to cover all areas of design to make it count. Following the tips outlined in this post will give you a good idea of what aspects of design are important and how to go about making these elements work.

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