Spring 2014 Must List
There are many things for web industries to look forward to in the spring. Some of the more popular web design trends include mobile first design, deeply focused landing pages, and putting a face with freelance web development. People are building better sites and writing better blogs, and these trends are at the heart of it all.
Mobile First Design
Yeah, yeah, seems like we've been talking about this ad nauseam, but I recommend that you look at some real stats for a change. Have a look at your analytics to see just how many mobile browsers visit your site these days. This trend has been going on for a few years now, but it's only now getting to the point of overtaking desktop clients - - at least for some sites. This makes responsive design increasingly more important. Please share with us what you find.
Now that the transition to an internet dominated by mobile devices is clear, it's time to flip the way to approach your new web design. As you do, try to imagine your visitors navigating your site on their 70" smart TV, 21" desktop monitor, 11-13" laptop screen, 7" tablet, or 4" smartphone. So what does that mean?
You need to start with a design that considers mobile devices first and then work back to the desktop. Responsive design is only one part of a mobile first design ethos. You must also think about button size and placement for touch interfaces, and much more. People interact with your site differently when they're on mobile devices and it is increasingly likely that's what they're browsing with.
What about e-commerce for mobile design?
Does your site send a lot of direct mails? What is the purpose of these? Are they meant to sell, right then and there on the email or are they more likely designed to bring the customer back to the site to get a better view of the product? This means that they will likely open the direct mail on their phone or tablet and then follow the links to the site to view the product. Question still remains, will they buy and go through your checkout, right from the mobile? Many might. Is your checkout mobile ready?
Deeply Focused Landing Pages
Regardless of your choice between other lesser CMS's besides Joomla, content and social media marketing are making a big impact. This means landing pages are more important than ever. 2014 is the time to develop deeply focused landing pages. Strip away anything that detracts from your call to action and get to your elevator pitch. Tell your visitors exactly what you want them to do and what you offer in exchange. The faster you get to the point the better. Here's a list of great landing pages for inspiration. You'll notice that these landing pages have no more than a hundred words, and many of them have less than ten words. It's mostly an image combined with the least number of words needed to convey the idea, then there's an opt-in form or more info button. You should strive for such simplicity with your landing pages.
Are you one of the many who are annoying everyone with your retargeting ads from Perfect Audience or Adroll - - I know we are guilty. Are these ads sending people to a focused landing page? What about your ads from Facebook or Buy Sell Ads? Remember to look at your analytics to see how people are arriving at your site, your home page may not be the number 1 point of entry.
Putting A (human) Face To Freelance Web Development
Building sites is a good business to be in this spring. There has been a continually growing demand for competent developers for several years. At the same time, more and more people are finding that they can use the internet to develop websites while living as practically anonymous digital nomads. These people can code, write content, execute marketing strategies, and much more - - all from their laptops anywhere in the world. However, it's important to form human connections while living and working online.
This spring, take some time to create a focused landing page in which you present yourself beyond your technological abilities creating a personal portrait of who you are and what you are pasionate about. Try to give customers something to relate to: family, kids, pets, sports, social service, but dont bore them. I would encourage you to do this in a visual way (one that showcases your design talents might be nice), rather than doing it only in writing in what could be an endless paragraph no one will read. These can be large background images like the one used by Andrea Mann or a Facebook image like the one used by John Lee Dumas of Entrepreneur on Fire. Remember, people like to do business with people they know, like, and trust. Putting a person's face on a website helps to build that personal connection.
Let us know if you have noticed these trends in web design lately. Share with us your opinion and feel free to comment if we missed anything.