Website Design Trends Any Small Business Can Use

Thinking of doing a complete overhaul of your website this year? I ran across this article on B2B website design trends and found myself nodding in agreement as I read it. I’ve seen quite a few changes take shape on websites I’ve been working on over the past few months, many of them subtle, but all of them important.

The list of design trends below will not only make sure your new website reflects the quality your small business is known for, but looks very 2016, too.

Subdued movement

A few years ago, websites with parallax scrolling (foreground images sliding over background images, creating an illusion of depth) were springing up like weeds. Parallax is really cool, but it can easily be overdone. If there’s too much movement, website visitors will become overwhelmed and your message and content will get lost.

If you want to go with a website template that uses parallax, look for one that is more subdued – or that your website developer can easily tone down. Remember: Eye-catching and modern is good; distracting and confusing is bad.

Fewer slideshows

Slideshows, or carousels, that display different images with different messages on the home page were pretty standard until four or five years ago. As we shifted our lives onto smartphones and tablets, the utility of a slideshow got lost. They’re not really compatible with responsive design, and we now scroll down the page so quickly we don’t see them anyway.

Instead, highlight your top services right on your home page in content boxes (sometimes called editor boxes). That way, website visitors will see your messages whether they’re on a desktop or smartphone.

Scrolling pushes out clicking

Yes, we’re talking about scrolling again. As the two above examples show, scrolling is a very hot topic. Mobile devices making tapping harder and more cumbersome. Since mobile is where we’re consuming information, it only makes sense to design a website that provides a fantastic mobile experience.

Illustrations over photography

Stock photography is often so obvious that it instantly translates into a bland experience. Your brand isn’t bland, so the images on your website shouldn’t be either. If you find cool, edgy stock photography that aligns with who your brand is, awesome. Otherwise, choose custom illustrations (which don’t have to cost a fortune, by the way – ask your website designer for pricing).

Bold color and typography

Bold, saturated colors have long been used in fashion photography, and now they’re migrating onto websites. Likewise, designers are using typography that is fun, creative, and unusual (check out Adobe Typekit for inspiration). Be fearless, but again, be sure you’re staying on-brand.

What would you most like to change about your website? What’s stopping you?

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