Strong Focus on Videography
Videos are likely going to replace hero images on many sites this year. This is a trend that has been up and coming for a few years, but strong videography is going to be a huge asset to websites this year. With a video, you can tell a more complete story about your business and what makes you unique and stand out from the rest. This trend will likely be videos that either have no sound or have some sort of soft background noise. The goal is to portray a feeling that the audience can connect with and be the first thing that captures attention when people visit your site.
Overlapping Design Elements
This trend isn’t new to digital media but is being more widely embraced on websites now. More and more sites are using design elements in unexpected ways and experimenting with overlapping elements like photography, vector art, text, and more. This goes hand in hand with the collage trend that is currently popular.
User Friendly Buttons
Not having buttons that are large enough to click is a huge user experience error on mobile websites. A trend to counteract this is having oversized buttons on your website. Large, easy to use buttons, are going to dominate web design this year. Another button trend you are likely to see is the outline design. This just makes the shape of a button around text without the traditional color fill or gradient that people are used to and plays right into the next trend of minimalism.
Modern minimalism is a way to utilize current trends in a clean and concise way. This trend keeps the color palette minimal, often just black and white, and the design elements simple (i.e., line art icons, monochromatic vector art). This is a great design choice if you have strong photography or videography that you really want to showcase.
One Page Websites
This has been a trend in the past but is coming back in a big way this year. Whenever a one-page site makes sense and can be strongly utilized, it is a great option to go with. It streamlines the experience for people visiting your page and can be impactful. Oftentimes websites end up with so much content because there is literally no limit to how much you can include but stripping it down to the basics of what you do and what you offer can help your brand. Not only will it make it easier for people to understand, but will also give the site a modern, clean feel.
This trend started to take off in 2021 and is here to stay this year as well. Type is going to be big, eye-catching, and in your face on websites this year. This trend plays well with many other trends on this list including overlapping design elements, videography, and modern minimalism. Large text is a great way to get your message across quickly and easily. Make sure what you are writing is worth reading and people will be hooked as soon as they see your site.
By Chelsea Bray- Elle A. Design
We have all been in those meetings before where one person in the room sounds like they are speaking in a different language. We want to make sure when you meet with us you are as prepared as you can be and have a good understanding of the basic terms we will be using. Read through this list of website design lingo that we think everyone should know.
Content refers to any text, photos, graphics, videos, and anything else that will live on your website. When developing a new website, all the content that goes on it will have to be created. Copy will need to be written for each page, photos will need to be shot, videos will need to be created and even icons and graphics will need to be produced. If you are refreshing the look of your current website, some of the content can be reused or refreshed to fit your new site.
A favicon, also known as a shortcut icon, website icon, or bookmark icon, is the small graphic that accompanies the name of your website in the address bar on your web browser. It makes your site easy to identify with just a small image. The favicon will show up in website favorites, bookmarks, and on some browsers even in the history.
Resolution is a word used when talking about photos or videos. The resolution of an image is the detail in which it holds. The higher the resolution of an image, the more detail you will be able to see. If the resolution of an image is too low, you will start to lose detail and the image will become pixelated and blurred.
4. Responsive Layout
A responsive layout is something that has become more of a standard in the past decade. When your website has a responsive layout, it will render well on a variety of different size screens and devices. The rendering is based on percentage rather than size and can help make your website accessible to anyone, no matter what device they are viewing it on.
5. Back End
You will often hear people refer to the back end of the website. The back end of a website is a portion of the website not viewable to the public. This is where website changes and updates can be made. Once they are made and published on the backend, they will appear live on your website.
Hosting is a service that allows your website to be searchable on the internet. Buying hosting is basically buying space on a server where your website can store its files. Every website that you have ever visited is hosted on a server somewhere and takes up physical space! There are different types of hosting, and we can help you figure out what is best for your site.
7. Below the Fold
“Below the Fold” is a term that started in the days of newspapers. It literally means below the fold of the newspaper’s front page. Nowadays, “Below the Fold” refers to the portion of your website that is not visible unless you scroll down the page. As a good rule of thumb, the most important information you want people to see first should live above the fold on your website.
Your domain is what people will type into their web browser to view your website. Your domain name generally should be the name of your business, but sometimes you might find that someone else already hosts a site with that domain. You will want your domain to be easy to spell and easy to remember so people can find you easily!
Navigation refers to the menu often found at the top of your website, although side navigation is currently on trend as well. These are linked to other subpages on your website that visitors will require quick access to. If your navigation is confusing or too complex it will make it hard for people to find what they are looking for and ultimately they will leave your website unsatisfied.
By Chelsea Bray- Elle A. Design
Parallax Scroll Effects
Parallax scrolling is an effect where background images move slower than foreground images. This effect has been around for a while, but in 2021 you can expect to see it used in new creative ways. When using a parallax scroll properly, you can create depth on a website, draw visitors in, and tell a story. Parallax scrolling is an especially useful effect when working with a one-page website that requires more interesting and compelling design to keep your audience engaged. Check out an example designed by us here: www.champaignworks.com
Retro and vintage typefaces have been a top trend for the past few years. What makes this trend stand out this year is the way new and old have come together. Mixing more modern typefaces with retro typefaces brings new life to this longstanding trend. It is also very much in-line with retro-futurism, which is a huge print design trend for 2021. The retro typeface trend will engage your audience instantly and give them a sense of nostalgia.
Check out an example designed by us here: www.monumentsquaredistrict.com
Muted Color Palettes
Color is a great way to give your site a distinct feeling. Muted color palettes are typically softer on the eyes and can tend to feel more natural. They can make a great backdrop for a hand drawn text or illustration style. Muted colors are popular in everything from fashion to interior design right now, so it is no surprise that the trend also extends into web design. Muted colors can be light pastel colors or darker tones depending on the feeling you want to give off. They can tend to look more sophisticated and natural than bright, vibrant colors.
Check out an example designed by us here: www.thecarpetgallery.net
Focus on Texture
Just like the parallax scrolling effect, one of the main reasons that texture is popular this year is because it gives depth to a website. This versatile trend can be subtle or bold depending on how you are using it. You can use texture to give your site a softer, more natural appearance, or to give it a bold vintage look. No matter what textures you like, they are sure to give your site a tactile illusion that your audience will love.
Check out an example designed by us here: www.bobbisbungalow.com
Outside of work, I like to spend time with family. I have been married to my husband since 2003, and we have a 16 year-old daughter and a 12 year-old son. My son is autistic, and for most of his life, I've stayed home with him, taking him to special schools and therapy. Now that he's a little older, I enjoy working from home, building and updating websites whenever I get a free second!
I love to read and hike, and I'm a lifelong Cincinnati Reds fan, but my passion is travelling. I've been to 46 states and all over Europe, Canada, and the Caribbean, and there's plenty more on my bucket list. I spend a lot of my free time planning my next adventure!
The Holiday shopping season is quickly approaching! This year is going to be a little different from any year before, but there are things you can do to make sure your store is prepared for this shopping season. Here are five things you should consider adding to your holiday plan:
With a lot of retail shops having limited space for customers this year, people have started to get creative as to where shopping can take place. You could set up a tent outside your store to have more room and show off your product to people walking by. Also, consider expanding into an empty space for the season. If there is a building in town for rent, see if you can rent it month to month and have a second location to double your traffic.
Keeping your online store up-to-date is going to be very important this year. If there are any upgrades for tracking inventory you have been putting off now is the time to make those happen. Anything that will help you keep your online store running smoothly will be beneficial. More shoppers than ever before are going to be shopping online exclusively this year, but that doesn’t mean they can’t still shop local!
The holiday season is a time when a lot of retail shops extend their hours anyway, but you might want to consider how you add those hours to your schedule. This spring and summer we saw many stores open early for seniors and immune compromised individuals. If you want to attract those buyers, it might be good to have some morning hours specifically for them, along with later evening hours for people who work 9-5.
If you are reading this, you should already have an idea of what your holiday shopping season will look like for your retail location. People are going to start shopping early and trying to beat the rush. This even applies to online shopping because there have been many reports that shipping this year is going to take much longer than normal. Don’t wait until after Thanksgiving to start your Christmas marketing!
With shipping times taking longer, store having less capacity, and people still socially distancing, having a curbside pickup option can change the game! People can shop locally and get the product the same day all from the comfort of their home and car. It is the best of both worlds, bringing online shopping and shopping local together in the perfect way.
If your business hasn’t started thinking about how to make the most of the holiday season yet hopefully there are some ideas on this list that can help. We hope everyone has an amazing holiday season and we encourage everyone to think about shopping local. More money spent local will stay local and it will help our neighbors all have a happy holiday season!
We often read articles on where websites are headed, what trends are in, and how to handle the basics of designing your own website. But there isn't nearly as much coverage on the bad practices of website DIY'ers. You know a bad website when you're on it, but it can be difficult to pinpoint the "no-no's" that make you bounce from the bad site and give your attention to a site that does it right.
Here are a few of the "no-no's" we think are important when it comes to website design in the Year 2020.
Don’t get cute with font colors. Stick with black text on light backgrounds.
When was the last time you checked out your own website?
Often, this is something even WE overlook. We understand. In this day and age, it's easy to get caught up in the day-to-day work. Like us, that work probably has you on dozens of other sites all day long and before you realize it, a lot of time has flown by since your last check-in on your own site. It may feel it may feel like you just launched that "new" website last month, but maybe a couple years have gone by, and in the digital world, a couple of years can be a lifetime. Best practices, new trends, search optimization, and algorithms are ever-evolving and constantly changing, but try not to get too overwhelmed with it all.
Here are a few simple signs it may be time for a little website work:
We always recommend checking out a couple of competitors' sites, especially competitors that may be surging ahead of you lately. See what's working for them and put it to work for you!