Chamber Website Design Trends 2012: The IKEA EffectFriday, March 2, 2012
I recently had the pleasure of making a trip to IKEA, a store that never fails to delight me. I am always intrigued by how even the tiniest of spaces are designed to be functional, organized, and aesthetically pleasing.
The same can be said of a well-designed chamber website.
The bloggers at Web Design Ledger have released their predictions of the upcoming trends in website design and it got me thinking about how chambers could best utilize some upcoming trends. I would like to share with you four design trends that I believe will greatly enhance your chamber website – and give it that “IKEA Effect.”
The “TIME magazine” concept
What do you see when you pick up a TIME magazine? A clean, eye-catching image that is relevant to the news of the day. To supplement, there are always a few promoted article titles to peak your interest. Your home page should emulate a well-designed magazine cover. It should be eye catching, simple and begging you to open it up to read on.
A premium will soon be put on efficient user interfaces. Your interface should be built to move a visitor to their desired information in as few clicks as possible. A simple layout, clear navigation and a direct call to action should do the trick.
Headers and footers
Large headers and footers can add both aesthetic and organizational benefits to your site. Increased space in the header allows for a larger logo, making your brand more prominent and memorable. A large footer can contain images, buttons, links and much, much more information – without looking like a castoff section of the page. Just be careful not to overdo it, or you could quickly begin to waste page space.
Responsive web design
“Responsiveness” refers to the way your page automatically adjusts to fit the user’s current screen size, whether it be a large or small monitor, a tablet, or a phone. This is critical because a viewer should always have comfortable access to your website.
The aim of this post was to introduce you to some of the latest web design principles that can greatly impact the “IKEA Effect” – the functionality, organization and aesthetics – of your website. But when applying these design principles, remember these two rules:
1. Leave out the “eye-candy.” Excessive design elements often become distracting and make your information more difficult to access. Take a cue from the Swedish retailer’s sleek and simple living spaces.
2. Don’t let complex design slow down your site. While you want your site to look sharp and professional, make sure it is fast-loading and functional for visitors. IKEA is known for their long “natural walk” – but they also have multiple shortcuts and clear directions for shoppers in a hurry.
Next week, I will continue to discuss new website design trends that can be implemented by your chamber. We will take a look at banners, typography, images, layout and style. If you have an opinion on any of these topics, let me know with a comment or an email! I look forward to hearing from you.