Content remains king in 2015, but design is moving up the ladder when it comes to attracting visitors to your website and keeping them there. In fact, design is more important than ever before because we are becoming a culture of skimmers. We are interested in reading the highlights about a topic, but we rarely finish the entire article. Time.com reports that the average reader of an online article will leave after only 15 seconds!
So, if everyone is skimming and skipping, what can you do to keep your visitors reading? For starters it helps if you include photos and videos on your pages. However, just throwing these elements onto your site won’t cut it. You need a functional and finished design that will attract visitors to your site and keep them there long enough to discover what you have to say.
Getting the design just right can be tricky business. Too cluttered or wordy and you risk frustrating the reader, but a responsive design with interesting graphics, white space, stylish fonts, and well-chosen colors will attract and engage viewers.
A functional and finished design is key to attracting visitors and keeping them on your page
If you are building your site on your own, you might feel like professional-looking design is way over your head. But you can do it and we can help. Call our site design team or check out some of our video tutorials on WordPress and Weebly. Web building has a learning curve, but if you spend the time to familiarize yourself with it, you can access a vast world of readers and customers for your blog or business.
These eight web design trends will help you attract and keep readers on your page:
- Responsive design. Designers have traditionally been encouraged to create different versions of sites for different audiences, such as desktops, laptops, phones or tablets. Responsive design means that the site automatically resizes itself to fit any size screen. Because people are accessing the internet from smartphones and tablets in ever greater numbers, this is pretty much a requirement.
- HTML5. Though Flash made it relatively easy to program motion, it had Apple-sized flaws, and this lack of compatibility was especially noticeable to iOS users. HTML5 is a better choice for multi-platform motion.
- Vertical scrolling. In the past, websites sent users from the home page to other linked pages, possibly to increase time and interaction on the site (think slideshows or multi-page articles). But design expert Karl Hodge says the focus today is on keeping the user on the main page where they are less likely to lose interest and leave.
- Mobile first. Desktop and laptop use is shrinking while phone and tablet use is growing—with smartphone use in the lead. So if you want to reach the largest audience, focus on the mobile audience first.
- More WordPress options. WordPress was introduced in 2003, and over the last decade more customization options have become available at all skill levels, including free and for-purchase templates. They include drag-and-drop options for non-coders, and templates for talented designers. WordPress is easier, more affordable, and more search-engine friendly than ever before—and looks great, too.
- More hidden elements. We’re talking about elements that appear when you hover over them—like menus. Amber Turner of TheNextWeb.com says tablet readers are becoming accustomed to knowing where menus should be, even if you can’t see them.
- Larger type. Turner says many visually exciting sites are experimenting with different size fonts to create variety and appeal, including larger words for emphasis.
- One dominant color. Tom Laurinavicius from Designmodo predicts that more sites will rely on one prime color in several areas, which can help continuity and branding. The opposite can be true, too—an element that’s deliberately not the uniform color will stand out for added focus.
To conclude, investing time, effort, and money in your website design are some of the best things you can do to attract new viewers and keep them on your page. Try to incorporate the design trends we mentioned above or find trends of your own that are proven to enhance usability, readability, and visual appeal.