4 Web Elements to Consider RedesigningFriday, March 9, 2012
Channel Your Inner Artist
When was the last time you picked up a paintbrush? Or a colored pencil? Or a Crayon?
Unless you’re a designer or an artist (or the parent of a young child) chances are you spend the majority of your day planted in an office chair without these flair-inspiring tools.
But it’s Friday, so for the next five minutes, I’m going to give you something a little more creative to think about.
In last week’s post, I discussed how IKEA can inspire us to develop websites that are functional, well-organized and pleasing to the eye. Today, I would like to go a little more in-depth on the subject of “eye pleasing” by sharing with you some of the latest trends in chamber website graphic design that I believe will greatly enhance the look of four common web elements. So crank up the right side of your brain – it’s time to channel your inner artist!
(Thank you to Web Design Ledger for inspiring this post.)
1) MENU ITEMS
Trade your navigation bar for one of today’s most popular design elements, the multi-column menu (a.k.a. mega menu). Rather than a typical navigation bar, these menu items look like a grid of cells. There is only one level of dropdown, but that level can contain additional multi-columns with headings for each section. This is a dramatic style that departs from what most chambers would consider standard - but don't let that intimidate you! Below is an example of how this bold look can enhance a chamber website.
To increase click-through rates, rethink the way you are presenting traditional elements such as banners, bookmarks and buttons. Create a banner that is visually integrated into your chamber website design. That way, in addition to promoting your latest offering, it will also add to your website’s style.
Currently, large images are all the rage. Images attract the eye better than text does, but remember: an attention-grabbing image is only effective when the visitor is offered intuitive and clear guidance on what to do next. Always include menu options or a call to action to move the visitor through the conversion process.
When determining how to display your images, consider using the “it shape” of the season – the circle. According to Web Design Ledger, circles and rounded edges have made quite a splash in recent months. So, if your website has been feeling a little drab, try using some circle-framed images to freshen up your look.
Many people claim to be visual learners, which could be a big reason why infographics have become so popular. Infographics present text and data in a very creative and easy-to-follow way. These graphics are highly shareable, especially on Facebook and Twitter.
4) LAYOUT & THEME
Today’s most popular layout style could best be described as “minimalist.” To achieve a clutter-free look, incorporate heavy white space into your website design. White space creates a welcoming, clean and crisp look that encourages a visitor to stay and explore deeper into your site.
While minimalist styles are clearly in, don’t be afraid to introduce some vibrant colors into your website design. Cartoons have made a comeback into the professional sphere, and these illustrations pair nicely with minimalist designs and brighter color schemes. Use vector art to ensure the best quality.
I also suggest experimenting with textures to give your design some depth. According to WebDesignerDepot.com, you can achieve a great retro theme by introducing some texture to simple geometric shapes. What colors, shapes and textures can you combine to create a unique look for your website?
I hope this two-part series on website design trends gave you a lot of great chamber website design ideas and got you excited about planning your new look. These days, premium online interaction is assumed, regardless of the device used to connect. Your chamber must remain on the cutting edge of functionality and presentation.
Next week, I will cover 4 chamber website design best practices which will help you decide how to implement the trends for 2012. If you have any opinions or thoughts about this post, I’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment or drop me an email!