You’ve probably started the year by taking a look at your diet, fitness, mental health and a holiday wish list but how’s your business looking? Is your website looking toned, healthy and on-trend? Most people know the importance of creating a consistent image to raise awareness of their brand but how many take time to audit their site each year and, at the very least, restyle their ‘shop window’ and promote new ranges and services to those visiting?
Good design is essential
The best looking website that you can afford is essential. Even if you’re on a really tight budget, I can promise you that if it’s done well you’ll reap the rewards almost instantly.
A well designed site should immediately convey why you do what you do and why people should want to work with you or buy your products. It should be the one place you can signpost people to enable them to find the piece of information they need. All in a quick, engaging and enjoyable journey. What you say communications.
Rolling back the years
At Splice Creative, we have been creating clean, simple yet stylish websites for optimum performance on whatever device the user is using for a long while but it wasn’t always that easy. Back in the 2000’s when I first experimented with web design; to get a title, some copy on the page and a couple of low-resolution images to add some colour was a good day’s work.
Awful download speeds, a handful of useable fonts and different browsers meant your beautifully hand-crafted site often ended up being displayed in whichever way the device fancied from one day to the next.
If you are looking for a new distraction go to the Wayback Machine and share your original site with the youngest members of your team or post on Twitter so we can see it!
Back to the future
Roll forward a few years to 2010 when we started our agency and things had improved markedly and a number of new tools made web design an incredibly exciting skill to have. However, as the sizes of our screen changed, us web designers had to catch up quick to ensure your site looked great on everything from 27” iMacs through to thousands of different handheld devices.
The number of mobile searches is constantly increasing and mobile-first design for websites is considered a necessity, not just an option.
I’ve always preferred a clean, minimalist design as opposed to a garish, cluttered approach when your senses are overloaded. I always imagined businesses who have messy looking sites to have cluttered offices with desks strewn with paper, overflowing bins and piles of dirty cups. Strange I know but I’m probably not far off the mark.
Top trends for 2018
• Bright and bold minimalism. Simple will never go out style and with advances in monitors, colour saturation and brightness, it doesn't have to be boring. Large fonts, vibrant colour and lots of space to breathe.
• Engaging photographic content. Gone are the days of cheesy corporate stock photography, people want to see real images of real people and places. If your site relies on stock imagery a simple refresh could make all the difference. I love to commission bespoke photography but if you’re on a tight budget think about buying stock images that feel like a collection. Select images with colour pops of your brand and match the style.
• Content. Content. Content. Well-crafted copy will never go out of fashion, so even if your site feels tired ensure your words say the right thing about your business.