How many websites that you came across in the recent times, made you sit up and take notice of its design? Every second website looks similar to the first one, be it in terms of photography, or layout or design. The major hurdle to be overcome in designing is, to make your website not look usual. It is a tough task to design a website that is unique and fresh. And when it comes to using photography on the website, we see that it’s often, not well planned. The major element in web design is photography. But, a photo, just by itself, is of little value. How you incorporate it on to the website plays a major role in the overall aesthetics of the website. Trends in website designing, come and go, like the fashion trends. But some of the trends we have discussed are here to stay.
- HERO IMAGES:Yes, aside the fact that Images are real heroes when it comes to digital communication, there is something very important called the ‘Hero Images’ for websites. Vision is the strongest human sense and websites that use this to capture the user’s attention, get more traffic. HD hero images are one of the most popular trends that have been doing the rounds, this year. Hero images are the large banner images, which is prominently placed on a web page. This is the first visual that a visitor sees on the website, and that is the reason why it is very important to use relevant, High-quality HD images to welcome visitors to the site. Websites like Medium, use Hero images to capture the visitor’s attention and gives the viewer’s a strong visual experience that pushes them to scroll down and read more. These are very useful in visually telling a brand’s story.
- NO FRILLS PLEASE:Ever since the transition from “Tell” to “Show” happened, there has been a huge spike in the demand for Images. Visual assets have been created and acquired all around the web. This is where stock photography plays a major role. Whether, it is an E-commerce website or a blog, using the right kind of images is very important. For a long time, the web was being bombarded with fluffy, cheesy looking images of people giving perfect fake smiles for the camera. But, thankfully, those days are almost over. The current trend is to use natural, images for the blogs and, or websites. The reason that websites opt for natural-looking, frills free images is because; these are just like those bags from the flea market, which you know are fake. A Nielsen study on eye tracking shows that people tend to ignore such artificial images.(You can read the results of the study, here:https://www.nngroup.com/articles/photos-as-web-content/).This year is the year of genuine, natural- looking, no frills attached imagery and websites must use genuine photos to connect with their audience genuinely. Read more about the other major trends in photography for 2016.
- FLAT DESIGN: The major trend alert for this year is the Flat design. Though it’s been with us for quite some time now, it has been constantly evolving. Gone are the days, when websites had 3-dimensional, eye-popping images. Now is the time for Flat designs. They bring in the much-loved, clutter-free, minimalistic look. The simpler the layout, the clearer the content, the easier it will be, for the visitors to use the website. With the surge in tablets and smart phones adoption, it is important to develop mobile/tablet friendly websites. The visitors to the website will be using any of these devices to visit the website. With most people opting to browse through their smart phones, it is important for websites to think of using designs that look good on all the devices. Having pictures cropped and having half the image them above the fold is a major no-no, and is the main reason that most sites go ‘mobile-first’. Especially, for an e-commerce site, which rests heavily on photographs of the items in their catalogue, it is important that the design is clutter-free and minimalistic. Sites like Amazon have made the shift to a cleaner, flat design website.
- SOCIAL MEDIA INTEGRATION: Integrating social media to the website is not a new trend. But, integrating photography-rich, social media channels like Instagram, Pinterest and microblogs like Tumblr is the new trend. Every website has a handle on all these platforms. But, linking them all to the website is important. The website trend for 2016 is having a live feed from all these platforms on the website. This makes it easier for the viewers to know what is happening on the brand’s social space. With Pinterest’s rising popularity as a social media channel for brands, having a “Pin It” button on the images makes it incredibly easy for potential visitors to get the brand’s photos on their Pinterest boards. The bonus here is, the ‘Pin it’ button will automatically direct to the website when someone clicks on the image on it.
- INNOVATIVE LAYOUTS: Web technologies, nowadays; allow a lot more freedom to be creative. The fold, invisible line at the bottom edge of the screen, is no longer paramount as designers have come up with creative layouts that are unusual yet creative. This is an interesting trend to note, because, this allows for a lot of creative ways to display photography on a website. The popular ones are the multiple-columned, magazine layouts that have been doing the rounds, especially in image- rich websites. New creative layouts work well for those sites that want to lure users through storytelling. These sites are visually rich and fit the layouts perfectly well. With the growing popularity of DIY websites, layouts and grids have become more creative as website owners customise it according to what their brand needs.
Photography is an important tool in designing. Hopefully, by following these photography trends for websites, you can keep your website fresh and updated.
Be sure to tell us which of these trends you are likely to incorporate, in our comments section. Till then, happy trend spotting!