Gone are the days of trying to wow your website visitors with over-the-top visuals that look nothing like anything their eyes have seen before. The visual web continues on its path of simplification, lead by minimalist design and the need to function well across multiple platforms. Instead of facing the challenge of creating a website design to knock your customers’ socks off, web designers are now tasked with making websites that are incredibly simple, yet somehow distinct. How can you design minimally while still giving your brand’s website distinction?
Life in the fast lane
Thanks to a nice little nudge from Google Fiber, the United States’ average broadband download speeds have reached a whopping 34 Mbps. What a time to be alive! Due to the increased speed, photo and video are becoming the forefront of the visual web, and full screen images and videos are now a standard for a website’s home page. For some industries, this is the greatest thing ever! Patagonia can show a sprawling photo of a climber decked in their gear scaling El Capitan in Yosemite, but what if you’re designing for a bank? That stock photo of the banker in a suit shaking hands with a happy customer is a bit overused. Focus on the goals your customers are trying to achieve by visiting your site. Whether it be a family moving into a newly purchased house, or a teenager getting her first car, these are moments your customers are after, and an image of that goal can really engage them with your site and have them looking for more.
This image on the Patagonia.com home page is nearly half a MB!
Be who you are!
What is it that makes your brand unique among your industry? Embrace that special part of your brand that makes you you!
When emfluence relaunched Big Shot Bracket this year, we wanted to bring it up to date without sacrificing the personality the site had developed over the years. The solution was a mix of flat design, a retro basketball color scheme and imagery that gave us distinction from the larger online bracket sites, like ESPN and CBSSports.
Don’t lose focus
In the end, minimalist design is really about eliminating the things that distract from the ultimate purpose, which is showing what you have to offer your customers. If you really do have something to offer, a simple design should let it shine right through!