For as many years as the internet has ruled over marketing, the website has been the crucible for many businesses. From finding the right person to code to finding the right aesthetic to domain names, contact forms, and intricate internal structures that hide behind call-to-action buttons, websites have become the introductions to the world for most businesses.
But as with everything, websites are changing, due mainly to the prevalence of cell phones. Why buy a computer when you can carry one in your pocket? And if the website you currently have is loaded with copy and navigation that is not user-friendly on a screen a fraction of the size of a computer screen, then your website probably needs an overhaul. This year saw some of the biggest changes to websites, both relevant to design and content, than ever before. Here are a few things you need to consider when evaluating or contemplating a website refresh:
Just Your Type
Fonts are HUGE for landing pages, and you can take that literally. Landing pages are foregoing the hero image and instead utilize words in large, distinctive fonts. Whether it is a statement of inclusivity, a mission statement, or an affirmation related to the brand of your business, the first thing that the best websites of 2022 showcase are words. Get strategic with the placement of keywords in bold type on a white background or words that morph into images when the cursor is passed over them. We’re not talking links to another page; that page stays put and the cursor reveals a piece of an image as it moves back and forth, or a color, or an invitation. In fact, the cursor has become more important than ever.
More than a Click
The days of your cursor looking like your cursor on a website are over. In 2022, the arrow is replaced by motion graphics. Instead of a boring arrow, when a visitor lands on your website, perhaps they navigate with a large ball of color that reveals information as it moves, or a graphic behind the landing page as it travels. Cursor design is part of the huge, overarching trend of entertaining visitors to your website. Yes, it’s not just about information anymore; it’s about drawing them into staying on your website, and the motion cursor does just that.
For those who don’t remember the 80s, they will never know the horror of the local drug store is out of blue eyeshadow and Aqua Net hairspray. But this trend, Memphis design, is a straight throwback to 80’s design. Bright colors, geometric shapes, images cut out of the background, and standing on their own – all are hallmarks of the Memphis design that reflects primarily the fashion of the 80s. Don’t think Lisa Frank – it’s not that involved. Memphis websites usually boast a bright-colored background with COB (cut-out background) images that look like they are sketched in heavy black ink. Brightly colored geometric shapes move in the background behind the images and links live within those shapes as the user moves the cursor around. And mind you, that cursor is no arrow. This is the 80’s, after all.
This is a hard pill for web designers to swallow. It is a trend that is rooted in education, actually. Most information passed in the educational world within a district is in the form of an e-newsletter. The software used to create that newsletter is S’more. It is a simple drop-and-drag system that allows the user to pick a theme or create a theme and then design space for a piece of information to live. Links to other information are often built into text or an image, but there is no navigation bar at the top. Again, cell phone usage has driven this trend that to see everything that someone is offering, place your finger on the content and swipe.
Lines and Borders
Ahhhh, the beauty of negative space: the perfect image, the concise text, and it simply freely floats on a clean, white, elegant background. Get over it, because every single person who is visiting sites of related content is seeing the exact same thing and they are all running together. Lines and borders are trending, mainly because they contain content that does not need to be scrolled through.
Think about holding a paper flyer in your hand; all the information is right there. So again, taking a cue from the simplicity of software like S’more and even Canva, websites are catering more and more to the cell phone user. A simple colored background with a rectangle that is drop-shadowed to give it a three-dimensional look and information within that rectangle separated by borders is nothing new – it was utilized in newspaper design for literally hundreds of years. The best part about it: it is simple to do, although design should still be left to people who have been trained in the field. A website is never a DIY. It has to be something that appeals to the masses, not just to you.
Breaking the Code
Coding, and we never thought we would say this, is becoming obsolete. Coding for a website, a process that once took months, is being replaced by existing software programs that don’t require code. What they do require, however, is an expert in that design software. The software is not one of those things that you can just “pick up” in a weekend, especially if you have no idea what words like leading, kerning, and pixel parameters mean. And why should you? You are already an expert in practice. An expert web designer can have a fully functional site up in approximately two weeks. But don’t worry about the coding community. They have plenty of work on their hands designing and coding apps.
Tap the App
Where does a discussion about website design allow the app to sneak in? Ever been on the road and looked up a restaurant menu on the restaurant’s website? Now you have to zoom in on the menu to read it because they have a website and that is where you landed because they don’t have an app. A website app is now a thing, in fact, it is the thing.
The power of the app is this: convenience. The power of a website is information and persona. But apps are utilitarian. People don’t care if they are aesthetically pleasing to the eye; they want them to be easy to use, period. So an app DOES apply to website design because an app is a website designed for a phone. It does all of the things a website can do and usually more. Restaurants are now offering exclusive app-only menu items that are not listed on their regular menus. Incentivizing downloading an app on the website is one of the most important trends, period, as we move more toward a mobile nation that sees computers as sources of entertainment and “real work” and apps as a convenience.
Don’t be overwhelmed! Caledon Virtual is a full-service digital marketing service for elective surgeries and procedures. We know how important what you have worked so hard to build is to you and we would love to talk to you about how we can work together to showcase your expertise and your practice. From web to apps, to RealSelf management, to social media, we have strategists who will be dedicated solely to helping you navigate through the ups and downs and interests of the population at large. Caledon Virtual is dedicated to keeping you from being lost or stuck in the web that is digital marketing. Contact us now for a website evaluation and consultation. It is free of charge and we are more than happy to help.