2011 Trends for Web and Design

2011 Trends for Web and Design
15 February 2011 | | Creative Design, Internet

Website trends for 2011Every year there are new technologies, features, functionality and designs that become popular and used by the mainstream. Some of these are due to the continual fast paced update of browsers and the possibilities with CSS, while the design aspect is highly impacted by fashion, seasons and what those at the forefront of design create. So whats instore for 2011.

1. Integrate your social media

If you havent already signed up on Twitter and/or Facebook, you are missing out on easily engaging your existing and potential new patients. You can update your followers quickly and easily with offers and updates in bitesized chunks. If you are already active are you linking to and from your website? and what about the possibility of a twitter stream on your website? Does your Facebook and Twitter account reflect the image of your website? If not, why not?

2. Embrace design details that are reminiscent of print

For years, designers have struggled with the lack of control that is at the heart of web design. And while there will never be a way to control every detail from one browser and viewer to the next, that doesn’t mean we need to strip away the qualities of great design. Because of this lack of control, for a long time there was a simplicity in web site design that was not about beautiful minimalism, but rather about just playing it safe. Now, there is a return to some of the things that print, because of it’s long history, has done splendidly. Many details such as texture, imagery, hand-drawn effects, and contrasting typographic styles can also be part of great web site design. This return does not mean the end result is print-like, but it’s the idea of taking the time to put in the many design details that really make a web site gorgeous.

3. Use HTML-based text when possible, rather than graphics

If your site is more than a year old, then the chances are that some, if not alot or all of the heading text will be graphics based rather than live HTML text. If you still have a lot of graphic-based text images on your site, think about replacing them with HTML and CSS based text. This will make the text readable by search engines, make content more easy to update, and it should load faster. If you’re not sure whether your website contains graphic based text then contact us, and we will be able to tell you and advise you on the best way to make it HTML based and SEO friendly.

4. Say goodbye to the cheap clipart and poor photography

As a designer im amazed at the amount of websites that still use tacky illustrations and poor photography throughout them. Good imagery can completely change the look and feel of a site. They say a picture is worth 1,000 words, so you can calculate that by using Clip Art based imagery, which instantly gives you a negative impression, the damage that this could do to your appearance on the web and in your printed literature. Poor images look cheap, quick and easy, rather than professional, exact and clean.

5. Move your mailboxes to your domain

If you have a domain “www.domainname.com” and then have an email address of “[email protected]” or any other provider other than your domain name, nows the time to move it.  Im still surprised at how many people have an email address that isnt tied to their domain name such as [email protected]. I appreciate that a lot of them were made before there even was a website, but matching email addresses look more professional, neat and clean. People feel more encouraged and safe, if the company that they are emailing have a website with the domain that matches the email address.

6. Keep it real

If you are a small business owner, don’t try to make yourself into a faceless organization. Talk about yourself and your employees by name and ideally show your face, too. If someone meets you at a an event, or at the practice and then goes to your web site, there should be an authentic connection between the two. And always include a physical address where you can be reached. Having no contact information on your web site is a big red flag that makes people question the legitimacy of you and your company.

7. Does your web site quickly sum up your brand?

The logo, the colors, the imagery, the navigation and the text should all quickly assure your visitors they have come to the right place. If your web site design doesn’t match your other marketing/corporate identity, or the tone of the writing is too stuffy, or if the design just doesn’t the feel right, get some help assessing how to fix it. Often an outsider can help you pinpoint what the problems are and prioritize a plan for fixing them.

So what are you going to implement and change this year?

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