Thursday, January 15, 2015

Trending Website Design

    Lately there has been a trend in website design. For awhile, everyone wanted a landing page. But SEO managers soon realized, through bounce rates and other analytics, that visitors coming to their site were not going further. If you think about why, it actually is logical. Why should a viewer have to click through 4-5 pages to find what they are looking for? 
Too much redirection.

    Website visitors want to access the information or subject they are looking for as quickly as possible. By going to a landing page, reading through that, then clicking a button to a homepage, and reading through that, a visitor will have to almost click and load three or four pages before finding what they want. If they are on an older or slow computer, this makes it seem like an eternity! Result: they leave without even viewing any other page n the website, and you lose a potential customer.

    Website designers have adapted to this and now are using Long Form homepages.

    A Long Form Homepage will have your basic heading with a navigation bar, and those buttons will lead to other pages. But where the Long Form comes in, is that all the information on the website is represented on the homepage. So for ex. there will be an About section, a Service section, a Contact section etc... on the homepage. Usually with a link to that respective page within the website. These sections are brief overviews.         There is also a page menu with all the sections of the homepage listed. These are linked to their sections, so when clicked, the page will automatically scroll down to that section.

    At SMR Website Design, we also will put a "back to top" link in every section, which will bring the viewer back to the top of the page, which is where the page menu usually is. This way the viewer doesn't even have to scroll, it's all just clicking.

    This makes navigating through a website for a viewer quicker and easier. It also results in a viewer seeing more of your companies products and services. Once the viewer finds what they are looking for, they can click a link to be taken to that page for more information, or there may be enough there for them to use, and they can fill out a contact for (placed on the homepage) without ever leaving the page.

"The quicker and easier a potential client can find what they are looking for, the more likely they are to use your service." - Frank, SMR Website Design

    Our latest website design for Nozze Marketing, incorporated a mini version of a long form homepage. The homepage consists of a fading message, then a little "About" section. There is a menu with links to their respective pages and then a contact form. But even though this is a smaller version of a long form, the viewer can still very quickly and easy locate what they are looking for, and get there with only a click.

"UI is one of the most important features in helping your viewers find what they are looking for." - Frank, SMR Website Design

    While before the long form, website owners wanted slideshows to promote different topics on their sites. That practice is quickly fading. Slideshow galleries, while still very popular, are trending down due to slowing down the loading of a page as well as having a viewer wait for the info they are looking for. 

    Instead, they are being used with taglines, a company motto, and even
testimonial quotes. This can have a positive effect on the overall design by basically being considered "in the background." Meaning the message is not unimportant, but certainly not the most important. They are also showing only one or two slides as to not have a great effect on the load time of a web page. Again, in our client's website, Nozze Marketing,You can see how this holds true. While reading about the company you can see the company's motto and a quote, fading in and out. While it's not overwhelming, it subtly gives the viewer a little more of what the company is.

    There is also another way that we here at SMR use the long form style. We also put what we feel, is the most important information for a viewer on the homepage. 

In one of our other client's sites, Next Level Speed, we wanted to send viewers to the sections we wanted them to visit first. We felt these sections would sell the product the best. We felt that this was the most important information for a viewer to see.

    In summary, website designs trend for a reason. It is clear that the long form, for now, will be used more and more. It provides the user with an easily navigate-able experience, letting them find the information they are looking for quickly and easily. While at the same time, it provides the owner with more of their services and products being seen. I believe eventually we will see material design work its way into this as they seem like they would be a perfect fit for each other.

Would you like your website designed using this long form style?
Contact Us or you can visit our website a SMR Website Design

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