The information superhighway, more popularly known as the internet, has arrived in a new avatar and sports a look that is more than what can be called just appealing. Websites that are crammed up with textual information and poorly-managed content are now a passé. The internet users of today are more likely to ignore such websites, even before the browser finishes loading the page.
We must admit that we have come across websites that have generous amounts of invasive text; rich, bold colors that barely bear a subtle resemblance to each other as if the information served on the palate (read web browser) was meant for the internet surfer to gulp down at one go!
A recent report of a BBC article stated that the brain takes decisions about a website in just a 20th of a second. It demonstrated further that a website that looks good is likely to attract the attention of the users to its content. Further, a good first-impression and well managed, precise content can make the users come back to the website more often.
Earlier, the trend of website design was seen more towards dividing a web page into frames and then populating those frames with content. In certain scenarios, information and data was presented in such a manner, that users usually lost patience scrolling down and across the page, looking for relevant areas of interest. Today, the web page designs focus more on a double column, commonly known as the web 2.0 style or a single column layout, central orientation and simple navigation menus with only relevant information being displayed within the scope of a particular page. Scrolling down the page is a matter of choice and users do not mind scrolling down to take a look if any relevant information is available.
The use of colors have also witnessed substantial change. Web pages with pastel shades, glass buttons and an overall Zen-like appearance seem more appealing to the audience of today. The use of bold colors is reserved for the occasional choice of distinguishing headlines or areas that seek attention from usual content.
“Skip-Intro” videos and advertisements that welcome you to a web page are most unwelcome and professional websites avoid such design patterns. Design should be simple. This ensures that a video is displayed where needed; advertisements that users don’t wish to view or are not of the user’s interest are separately positioned and gadgets are not just creative distractions, but functionalities that users may wish to add on one’s homepage. Web designers are using more of intelli-smart icons that precisely describe and complement the message that needs to be conveyed.
The good news is that more and more websites are implementing such design patterns and the trend is gradually shifting to quality from quantity with additional focus on design around content.