Web design is a bit like house design; different trends evolve over time. If your business website was designed 10 or more years ago and you’ve never changed it, you might be wondering if you need to upgrade. Much depends on what your website was designed to do – and if it is still performing as you would like it to.
There have been many changes in website design over just the last few years. Some are excellent; others not so good. Once it was thought that if a website had all the bells and whistles that were available and popular at the time, it would be a success. Then it was found that adding all that stuff not only confused visitors, but made the page load slowly.
Both of these results ended up turning visitors away from the website. Visitors to a website are looking for something specific and the quicker they find it the happier they are. If they have to wade through the muddy waters of too much stuff that’s not really what they are after they’ll leave. And of course, a page that loads slowly is a turn-off right from the start.
While it seems that simple is best when it comes to websites, remember that your ancestors had a simple house. They thought it was great because there was nothing else to compare it with. But it may not have had running water or electricity. Similarly, you can be too simple when it comes to websites.
For a start, these days when people purchase goods online they want to know their credit card details are safe. So your website needs to have the latest in encryption, at least on the shopping cart pages. Customers know that if the beginning of the URL doesn’t include that ‘s’ they can’t be assured of safety.
Whitewash may have been the way homes were painted in the olden days; these days there are not only lots of different colours; paint lasts a lot longer and there are cladding options that don’t even need paint. Thus, when it comes to newer trends in websites, the old, boring colours –usually shades of grey – are not so popular any more.
These days we know that colour attracts the eye and people like using a website that looks attractive. Humans tend to be prewired to appreciate aesthetically pleasing surroundings so if your website elements combine to produce a pleasing effect people will be more likely to stay there. Even if the information they want is not available, they will often stay and admire a really beautiful picture.
However, information is essential; that is why you have a website – to offer valuable information that potential customers are looking for. When your website meets people’s needs it can be said to be successful.