While we specialise in content marketing – which, don’t get us wrong, is one of the most important aspects of any website – what a lot of marketers tend to forget about is the packaging of their content.
Design, believe it or not, can play a huge role in content marketing, search engine optimisation, conversion rate optimisation and lead generation.
One thing is certain: a dated website is unlikely to help generate business. However, there is more to design than simply appearing modern; current design trends have arisen for practical reasons, too. Because of this, failing to keep up with them means a company is not only out-of-the-loop, but is also failing to provide the best possible customer experience.
The importance of mobile
Let’s start with user behaviour. The latest trend is the increased use of mobile devices which currently account for about a third (31%) of all web traffic, according to Econsutancy. In order to tap into this source of traffic, a business needs to have a mobile-optimised site. The problem with this is that there too many different devices with varying screen sizes. Developing separate, device-specific versions of a site would be an overwhelming task for any company, both in terms of budget and time.
Responsive website design
The good news is that businesses don’t really have to do this anymore. During the last few years there have been rapid developments in web design technology that have led to the wider adoption of responsive and adaptive designs. What this basically means is that designers can now make sites “float” according to the screen size, automatically resizing images and text, and making sidebars disappear by turning them into drop-down menus. The website adjusts itself to the screen it is being viewed from.
This is a practical solution but responsive design then starts to dictate what website aesthetics should look like. Many visual elements that were aesthetically pleasing on desktop-only websites now get in the way of the resizing sites undergo to appear on a smartphone screen. This is why flat design has arisen as the dominant aesthetic approach for websites in recent years.
The rise of flat design
Flat design, Amber Leigh Turner explains in an article for The Next Web, is a style that does away with any elements that make an image appear three-dimensional. This means no gradients, no texture, no outlines, no drop shadows and so on – only simple colours and shapes. This crisper look shifts focus away from the visual element to the content and its message, she explains.
It also works well with responsive designs, because unnecessary visual elements like shadows and outlines doesn’t look as good once it’s scaled down to fit a smaller screen. Flat design also benefits more from advancements in display technology, with HD screens being able to display the crisper images and typography more efficiently. This is why leading companies like Apple and Microsoft have embraced flat design.
Do you plan in investing in flat design for your website? We know it can be hard to balance not only the content of a website but the design as well, which is why we’re more than willing to take some of the marketing-related stress off your hands.