2010 set the stage for many of the web design trends we see this year including simple design, interesting typography and the introduction and integration of social media services. In 2011 however, the lines between web development and design are being blurred offering a completely new experience for users. This years users are living in a fast paced environment where the demand for quick and interactive information is overwhelming, requiring small businesses to keep up. Looking at three new trends; the use of colour, user accessibility and Quick Response barcodes we explore what you can do to upgrade your website and appeal to this years users.
Love colour? In 2010, there was a strong focus on effective use of white space and negative space using white, black and grey tones. Colour trends in 2011 however, are bringing back colour! Using bright, vibrant colours on your website is an effective way to grab your user's attention and add excitement to your site. The key is to keep your colour pallet simple by choosing two or three colours and working within the shades of each colour family. This adds visual interest, yet doesn't overwhelm the eye.
The next trend is designing a website that is easily accessible to your potential clients. There has been an explosion of social media and "life streaming" sites which have changed the way small business interact with their potential clients. These sites have made accessibility very easy through social media tools like facebook, twitter, and foursquare which offer more options to your small business to broadcast each milestone, advertise and update to the public in real-time.
Another emerging trend is the use of Quick Response (QR) barcodes. These small square barcode are popping up everywhere including; business cards, newspaper and magazines. By taking a picture of the barcode with your smartphone you have access, within seconds, to the company's mobile website. As well, your business can use QR's to run contests, collect client information like emails and track visitors. You can also feature your QR on your website to give your visitors a shortcut to your mobile website.
Although these trends are not exhaustive, it is important as a small business to stay current with design trends. Even minor changes to your site can have a huge impact on visitor interest and traffic to your website. Today's users demand a simple, esthetically pleasing and easily accessible website. Is your website prepared for these new web design trends?