The trends in how startups design their websites and other visual components aren’t as obvious as trends in fashion, but they certainly existing. And getting behind the curve can mean that the sites you build can give visitors the feeling that you’re behind the times — not a good characteristic for a project that’s supposed to be cutting edge technology.
- Responsive web design: No company can afford to ignore mobile users at this point. But most of us can’t afford to create multiple versions of our websites for every platform that comes along. Responsive web design is the logical answer. It may not be the sort of visible trend that a drop shadow or the blink tag were, but your users will notice the lack just the same.
- Creative and clear typography: In 2011, embeddable fonts made it possible to choose from a lot of options beyond the traditional web safe fonts. Some of us are going a little wild with that freedom, just as designers went a little overboard with animated GIFs once upon a time. Most web designers will probably step back from the crazier fonts out there in the next year or so, but good typography and fonts that stand out have become a must for newer websites.
- Better content integration: Not every startup has a blog, but more and more companies are making a point of adding better content to their websites. Anything from a testimonial to a tutorial can be valuable in terms of search engine optimization and building relationships with clients — but if the content gets drowned out by your website’s design, you aren’t going to get the full benefit.
- Scroll all the way down: The one-page site that still manages to incorporate a slew of different parts of the website has become very popular of late. You may not even notice you’re visiting such a site until you click a link and it takes you all the way to the bottom of the page. There are some truly elegant implementations of this approach as well as incredibly bad versions.
- Popups: I’d almost thought that popups were dying out. I was wrong. With plugins available for practically every content management system, designers have been spending time on creating attractive popups. They’re still popups but they can at least look good.
And while this isn’t a trend yet, there is one that I would love to see adopted by more startups: clear calls to action. When I visit a website for the first time, I want to know where to click first — and offering a choice between an about page and a price list doesn’t cut it. There needs to be an obvious focus that pulls in attention and leads the user to the first thing you want them to do.
What design trends have you seen among the startups rolling out new websites lately?
Image by Awwwards