This week in my weekly roundup I’ve picked out five of my favourite web design blogs displaying innovative solutions and ideas that small businesses could experiment with on their online presence. I enjoy seeing new trends in design and how small and large companies use these design trends to increase user engagement and sales.
Take a look at the articles below and let us know if you draw any inspiration from them. We’re keen to hear your feedback!
In UX, the main focus is the way in which you deal with customers, and what they feel when using the product. All details (even the smallest details such as particular fonts) on your website must be analysed. Top UX designers know how to get a user hooked, but how can you get them to go all the way and become buyers/subscribers?
In this blog, they talk about why micro-interactions in UX can help to achieve this. Particularly, interactive animations that fit seamlessly into the website to help achieve your website/business objectives. For example, see the animation below. Animations can help with providing feedback, help site visitors visualise the results of their actions.
I suggest taking a look at this article as they post fantastic examples of how micro-interactions in the form of animations are being used by companies.
I enjoyed browsing through this article and taking inspiration from an innovative array of interactive websites designed for events.
These designs are for a variety of events such as music festivals, food, sports, cars, business, and many other markets. With web design, it’s fun to be creative with designs and here I see a variety of colours and interfaces being used to market particular products and events. These designs are all different and unique.
If your small business is promoting an event, then I suggest looking through these 22 designs and perhaps taking inspiration from some of them and relaying your thoughts/comment back to your designer.
A web design trend I’ve noticed recently is the use of full-screen video backgrounds on website homepages. Paypal have started doing it, as well as other large companies, and I think it’s an excited trend, particularly for small businesses. For example, I saw a fullscreen video background being used for a local cafe in London recently and it works perfectly! Instead of a basic picture of the cafe, the video helped to capture what the cafe was like with a sped up time lapse video. On the flipside, I’ve seen many poor uses of video backgrounds that have caused me to leave the site almost instantly. The article focussed on some fantastic examples of how many different companies in a variety of markets are using full-screen video backgrounds perfectly.
If you take the time to read the article, they touch on the key components to making a fullscreen video background work. These range from
- Making sure the video is high quality
- Checking to see if the video will be compatible on most browsers
- Muting the video sound (or at least giving the option to toggle on/off)
- The perfect length video
- and being sure to optimise the site as much as possible so the load time of the video isn’t slow.
Landing pages are a web design aspect that I love to play around with, run tests, and analyse results with AB testing. However, I don’t see too many small businesses doing this. Perhaps because they don’t have the capabilities or knowledge. Or it could be that they have the right team and talent but have never focussed on landing pages because they didn’t realise that it can be extremely valuable to a business. Landing pages are perfect for lead generation when tested and optimised regularly.
In this article, they cover what you need to know about landing pages, and why they are beneficial. They also go through what makes a landing page successful, from testimonials to the placement of the call to actions. For me, this guide is a crash course on what you need to know about landing pages to get moving. There are more comprehensive guides on the web, but this is perfect to begin.
Also, if you would like to try out software to create landing pages, then I highly recommend LeadPages.
Generating traffic isn’t always the issue I find most small businesses have. In fact, it’s converting those visitors into email signups or paying customers.
This article is an infographic and was created by a company called FormStack, and it shows the five most common reasons that harm your website conversions.
As mentioned in this infographic, businesses suffering from poor conversions have issues in these five areas
- Using social media incorrectly
- Having poor calls to action
- Lacking a marketing strategy
- Poor website load times
- No customer ratings or reviews
What design trends have you seen lately? Are there any other tips that you would recommend a small business to focus on with their website? I’m going to be following up this article with more detailed posts on eCommerce and UX design. So stay tuned!