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Major Web Development Trends For 2017

Latoya Robinson

By Latoya Robinson

Month: March 2017

Major Web Development Trends For 2017

Major Web Development Trends For 2017

By Latoya Robinson

Website development has always been in constant evolution thanks to technology. The internet has something new and this means that websites can develop further every year. It is important to state that technology is not the only thing that influences change in web development. There are also other factors but the main one is human behavior. Websites are developed for humans and this means the user’s experience plays a major role in setting the rules of development. We will look at the major web development trends for 2017 to understand how they will influence development.

 

As a business, you must be ready to take advantage of new trends to better your website. The internet is literally made of competition and being left a step behind will greatly cost your business a great deal in profits. It is only safe for you to assume that your direct competitors are taking all steps possible to beat you. This way, you will be working extra hard to be a step ahead in your industry. Websites are important parts of a business and you should make sure that yours is giving your target audience a great experience for increase engagement and conversion.

The Minimalist Design Trend

The minimalist design is taking over the development world. This is where a website is developed in such a way that it focuses on the input of users. All the content and elements that are unnecessary are eliminated to create a streamlined website. This trend has two main advantages, the user gets a better experience and the website is fast to load. Some people argue that the minimalist design trend is taking the flare and visual appeal from websites. Well, the fact that many organizations are putting it in use means that it must be providing more benefits that outweigh any existing drawbacks.  It however, depends on the industry you are in and what the website is supposed to do.

More Focus On User Experience

Today, the process of building a website is more focused on giving the user an experience they will not forget. In place of basic frameworks that build websites that are rather boring, developers are using additional tools to enhance the experience of the users. The additional changes results in things such as the parallax design where the background and the foreground move in different speeds. It also includes the highlighting of links such that they are easy to identify on computers as well as smaller screens.

 

Cinemagraphs are the movements within that are improving the experience of users. They are becoming popular and use less bandwidth compared to videos and bring more versatility to the table. Developers are now pushed towards the story telling end. This is because story telling keeps the audience glued to the screen and this trend just makes this happen.

Interface Improvement For More User Engagement

The evolution of web design and the internet at large has greatly influence the development of website layouts. Instead of a basic link in the navigation, developers are now going for creative user interfaces that lean more on being interactive. The experience users get is more like controlling an application as opposed to a website. The main reason why this trend is major is because of the fact that most people are now using mobile phone to access the internet. There is the touch screen factor that results in larger links and buttons. Responsive design has proven that it is not simply about ensuring a site fits well in smaller screens, it is also about making it easy to navigate the site.

Long Website Scrolling

Close to two decades ago, experts were against long-scrolling and encouraged developers to avoid it. This trend has however become popular and all credits go to social media and the flat design. Since mobile phones are leading in internet access, you can understand why long scrolling is a major development trend. Users use their fingers to navigate the web. For most of them, it is easy to scroll long and not sit waiting for a page to load after tapping the ‘next’ button. For this reason, developers are now focusing on long scrolling that will most probably get rid of the many pages of a website. This brings us to the next trend which is lazy loading.

Lazy Loading Trend

Lazy loading is a new concept by web developers. The concept involves loading certain elements of the website only when they are really necessary. This is aimed at increasing the site’s efficiency and loading speed. The concept works well on any platform whether it is using a reseller hosting account or a shared server. In conventional sites, all the elements of the website, including graphics and content load at once. If the page in question is full of materials, the loading is delayed. Lazy loading makes sure that the website will load faster and this is exactly what users are looking for.

 

This trend has greatly helped the slow internet connection problem. There are also older mobile phone versions that have a problem in loading heavier websites. Instead of trying to load all elements, this technology ensures that only the necessary materials load and this gives mobile and computer users a better experience. Keep in mind that there are more people accessing the internet using their mobile phones than those doing it using the traditional desktops. This simply means that any development element that involves improving mobile user experience cannot be overlooked.

Conclusion

Web development trends are always changing and what was hot a few years ago might be dead today. As a web developer, it is important that you know the major wed development trends of 2017 to make sure that you are a step ahead in your industry. These trends are all geared towards improving the website to give users a better experience. There are other trends that will go big this year but all we can do is sit watch as we use the existing trends.

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Is Web Design Dying

Is Web Design Dying?

By John Dion

In the past few years, we have experienced significant evolution in the world of web design. At different points, critics have stated that web design is a dying profession due to the many changes driven by technology in this industry. Is web design dying? Well, a lot has been said but we need to have a better look at this argument from a different perspective. Changes are always happening across industries and this does not kill professions. What happens is that professionals who change with technology are always valuable in their line of work.

 

While web designers that used Photoshop and later sliced the designs into HTML lost their spot, designers with vast experience and great skills are valuable members of this industry. Even critics have said that UX designers will continue to be in demand and this just tells you that the professional is not on its death bed. Let us look at some of the reasons why web design is not dying.

Website Maintenance And Security

To safeguard the reputation of a business, website security is an important element. Web structure, design and maintenance are also important in SEO. Hackers are always going through the web looking for sites that have outdated security. Poor security might lead to a leak of users’ details or infection of the visitors’ computers. The main reason why a business needs a web designer and an SEO expert is to make sure that the website’s security details are updated. If you have a complex website, such as those that require personal customer details like e-commerce websites, you will need an experienced designer who is updated on security elements.

Exceptional Online Branding

Web design plays an important role in the facilitation of high-quality content that has been created for branding purposes. If you doubt this, you should look at large corporations. These companies have a marketing and branding team that also includes web designers. Web designers have the ability to create website pages that work positively towards marketing a company’s brand. This is the point where web design and marketing are integrated. The line that existed between marketing and technology has long been crossed. Designers have diversified their skills through the learning of marketing, branding and content which is why they remain relevant.

Special Website Functions

Technology is evolving rapidly, and almost everything we do on a daily basis is somehow connected to the internet. For this reason, design and development have not been left untouched. This is a clear indication that the skills of designers should evolve with the ever changing technology for them to remain relevant. Designers need to learn different skills such as customized blogging, customized apps, and android coding because this profession has gone beyond what they were used to. Is web design dying? No, it is not, this profession is just evolving and this should not be mistaken for dying.

Marketing Expertise and Online Branding

When a website has a digital marketing strategy, the budgeting will be efficient and will cover all the necessary marketing plans. Digital strategies also give way to correct online marketing and schedules for appropriate content. There are content planners who can work on these activities but the experience and skills of designers will go a long way to help you optimize your marketing strategies. As stated marketing and design work together in new-age design concepts to create a high-quality website. This is a website that is not only visually appealing, but one that will get to the target audience and serve its purpose which is to market the business.

Web Design is A Form Of Art

If a designer is still willing to learn new skills and ideas and incorporate them into their work, this profession remains highly viable for them. Today, user experience is an essential element and a hot topic. It refers to the look, feel and the content expected by visitors when they visit a website. The expectation of users is continuously growing especially when it comes to elements such as how the site feels and how it looks. Elements such as backgrounds, fonts, infographics, layouts, videos, color schemes and other related things will always be important to web designing. For those that take their time to learn a few more skills every year, the profession will always be in demand. Designing a website is now becoming more of an art than a normal process. We all know that art is more valued and plays an important role in the appearance of the things it appears on.

Quality vs. Standard Sites

A lot of the websites you will find on the web today are created using frameworks such as Magento, WordPress, Drupal and many others. These frameworks only provide standard websites as opposed to quality website that is foundational and have shortcuts that allow website owners to save money and time. There have been advancements in the web and you can find templates for almost anything. You will find themes with templates that can help you make almost all websites you have ever imagined. Though this is the case, there are complexities that need to be dealt with and this cannot be done with mere website templates. According to some experts, automation will be popular but it will never replace the need for a quality website but it might lower the opportunities that designers have in this field.

 

Though most small business owners are only interested in a website that will give them web presence, there are still many businesses that value a high-quality website that will have more elements to improve the user experience. Designers who sharpen their skills will still have a lot of opportunities.

Conclusion

Is Web design dying? As you have seen, there are many reasons why this profession is not dead. As long as designers are willing to change with technology and embrace new ideas, they will continue playing integral parts in the designing of websites across industries especially now that most people are shifting to the more flexible responsive web design.

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Create Your Small Business Site

Why Have A Website Design Company Create Your Small Business Site

By Latoya Robinson

So, who needs a web design company when do it yourself seems easy and cheap? Is it not just about downloading some software and using a web hosting firm to make a working website? Well, there is more to this is and this is why you need a professional handling your website. You might still be asking why have a website design company create your small business site and this post will shed some light on the reasons.

 

The biggest mistake that small business owners make in the digital world is to underestimate the importance of a website in their operations. Your website can make or break your business in this era. This is because it is better to not have a website at all than having a site that does not work properly. The websites we have today are not what we had a decade ago. Today, a website is a marketing vehicle as well as a tool that makes life easy for consumers. Here are some of the reasons why you need to let a professional web designer work on your small business website.

First Impression Matters

What your visitors see when they first visit your website determines how they perceive you as a business. It is therefore, important that you make sure that what they see first is the best representation of your business. The best way to do this is through using the services of a professional web designer. Even if your business is selling the best products in the market, the website will play an important role in marketing the products. This is the main reason why you will need a website that can speak to consumers and convince them to buy from you as opposed to your competitors.

New Mobile Technology Compatibility

If you are not an expert web designer, then you probably have limited knowledge of the latest mobile technology in relation to websites. If you decide to go the DIY way, you might miss out on very important elements that can help your business flourish. A professional in web design will show you the importance of a responsive website as opposed to a mobile website. This will in turn, save you hundreds of dollars in maintenance of the mobile version website. It will also save you a great deal of time used in maintaining the desktop and the mobile versions.

Reliability

You can get an error message after the website has been live for a month. This is a common problem in the world of websites even when using reliable systems like WordPress. In most cases, most website owners will go through multiple Google searches trying to find an easy solution. Eventually, they give up and call a professional, something they would have done a long time ago. The professional will fix the site but this does not take away the risk of it going down again. To be on the safe side, it is a good idea to work with a professional right from the beginning. This will make sure that when the site goes down, there is an expert on standby ready to solve the issue as fast as possible.

A Great Design

If you use the many website builders available online, you will probably be using a template that is available to many other interested people. This is why you will find many small business websites that look the same even if they deal with different products and services. In a competitive line of business, uniqueness pays. You need to stand out to attract attention and this is not going to happen with a pre-made template. A professional web designer or company will make sure that your site is custom designed to meet your needs and stand out. They will go an extra mile to recommend an ideal hosting company since this is also a big deal.

Google Ranks

When designing your own website, you will probably not be thinking about the search engine optimization. When a professional is handling the web design process, they will be incorporating SEO every step of the way. This means that your website will have a higher chance of appearing in Google search result pages. This means you will enjoy more visibility. There are a lot of people using Google to search for businesses and it only makes sense that yours is where they are looking. This will only happen if you let an expert weave in all the necessary SEO strategies that will see your website appear at the top of search result pages of relevant keywords.

More Money

A good web design will not only attract potential consumers, it will also ensure that they stick around enough to make a decision to purchase your services or products. With a good design, you have endless possibilities of making money and this ensures that your business is growing financially. This is in addition to attracting more traffic which means more sales and profits.

Fast Website

Speed is an important element when it comes to website loading. This is the thin line between a visitor staying and leaving your site. When a professional designs your site, they make sure that it is fast enough to keep the visitor there. Any delay that lasts longer that the visitor expects will see them go to another website. This other website will probably belong to your competitor.

Cheaper Than You Think

Most people think that web design by professionals is expensive. This is the case because of the initially cost. When you look at the bigger picture, you will realize that designing your own site will actually cost more money and time than just letting an expert handle it.

Conclusion

This post answers the question why have a website design company create your small business site. If you own a small business, do not think that you do not need a professional website because you do. This will play a major role in taking your business to the next level. It is crucial that you work with a professional website designer to bring out the best in a site that will help your business grow.

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Web Developer vs. Web Designer, How Do You Differentiate

Web Developer vs. Web Designer, How Do You Differentiate

By Derek Robinson

Everywhere you look, you will not miss someone calling themselves a web developer or a website designer. So, what do these terms mean? Can a person be both and what are the differences. Because of the confusion that people have, you will find a person looking for a web designer while what they actually need is a web developer. This has always been a topic of debate because people do not really understand what these two professionals do in the process of building a website. For this reason, we will look at web developers vs. web designers, how do you differentiate them and the actual part they play in website building.

 

It is important that we look at each of the profession on its own. To differentiate them, look at the parts they play together to make a functioning website.

Web Designers

A designer designs the website. They use programs such as Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign to create the visual aspect of the web site. Once this is done, it is merged with coding which brings the website to life.

 

The designer is in most cases not the person writing the code. His work is to simply create the components that the website will have including the layout. They will then hand over this design to another expert who will write the code and make it a functional website.

 

A large part of the work the designer completes is based on imagination and situation it is all about creativity and the consideration of the people who are targeted by the website in question. Professionals in this line of work can get involved in other fields but they are mostly active in arts and graphic design. They always collect portfolios which they show to potential clients. A strong designer is always skilled in different concepts such as special relationships, user experience, and color and typography.

Website Developer

While there are aspects of a website developer that appear similar to what a designer does, the two work on two different levels. Remember the expert who the designer gives the design for coding? That is the developer. Web developers are the people behind the building of the website’s backbone. They understand languages specific to the web and build this backbone from the ground up. The developer’s kit is full of tools such as CSS, JavaScript, HTML, and JQuery among others. Developers will not focus on making the website look attractive. The only focus on steps that make sure the code they are creating is technically sound and clean.

 

Historically, developers have been thought to be left-brained workers. Their skills and technical ability are exceptional and to work efficiently, they must think logically. Most web developers have degrees in different fields with the most common being programming and computer science. They also need portfolios to show potential clients. The best developers are keen on specifics and are detail-oriented because their profession involves a lot of coding.

Two different Jobs, One Main Goal

Web designers might work on different parts of making a website but at the end of the day, they have one goal, to make a functioning website that is safe to and interesting to use for the target audience. To accomplish this, the design must be on point and the development must be sound. For a site to be complete, it needs to look good and also function properly. The appearance of the website needs to reflect the brand and the interface should encourage users to obey the call to action.

 

As more and more designers learn coding, the line that exists between development and designing starts to get blurred. Developers on the other hand are paying attention to the theories used in web design. This means that in the near future, the job title will most probably be web developer/designer.

Working Together

One of the main reasons why web developers and designers might find it difficult to work together is communication. Both of these processes involve a lot of jargon that the other expert might not understand. To bridge the gap between the two and make working together a smooth affair, you might want to consider the following

  • A reduction in the jargon used
  • When one needs to explain something to the other, showing is a better method instead of telling. Using working sketches will make work easier for everyone.
  • In a world where everything is run through ideas, it is important to be open-minded. A designer should accept design concepts suggested by the developer and the developer should accept user experience ideas from the designer.
  • Learning about each other’s profession is a great idea. This will make sure that whatever you are working on will merge perfectly with the next steps handled by the other professional.

Can a Developer Be a Designer?

The web developer vs. web designer, how do you differentiate them information can show you that the two are different. The truth is that they do not have to be. With the advancements in technology used in web design and development design and development are converging.

 

As mentioned, designers are learning a lot about development and vice-versa. The answer is that you can be both but you will need to learn all the new skills in both processes. Some critics might be saying that web design is dying but it is not. The only thing that is happening is that it is evolving.

Conclusion

While at the end of the day web design and development achieve the same results which are to make the website functional and attractive, they are different processes that follow different steps. Design involves making the visual element of the website such as layouts, topography and fonts. The developers will take the design and give it life by making the components created by the designer functional. At least now you understand web developer vs. web designer, how do you differentiate them and how these two work together to make a functioning websites that you visit.

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Trends You'd Like To See Die Off In Web Design

Trends You’d Like To See Die Off In Web Design

By John Dion

Web design has trends that come and go while some stay longer. Some go after new technology is invented while some stay longer than we expect. There are some that are overtaken by time and still hang around. These are the trends we would like to say goodbye to. Web design trends are evolving faster than before and while we can all agree that page counters, pop-up windows and scrolling marquees are dead and buried, we already have modern trends that have become useless. We will look at the trends you’d like to see die off in web design and why they need to exit this industry.

Sliders and Carousels

There is a bunch of reasons why sliders or carousels are bad. If it is not the bloodless design move, it has to be the conversion and usability. From a user’s perspective, auto-forwarding sliders have to be among the worst element you can incorporate into your website. Look at it this way, if a user does not like what they see, they will probably scroll away and not just sit there waiting to see if the next slide is as boring as the first. What if they were in love with a slide and you just take it away? You invested in a website for them and it only makes sense that you give them time to digest what they like and the control to go to the next item. You should make sure your website is conversion-oriented because everything on the site needs to be encouraging the user to do what you want them to and anything that hinders this should be thrown out of the strategy.

Flat Design

A while back, flat design was the in thing and it was invited to sit at the table of hot trends in web design. People said it was sophisticate, beautiful, and simple, but according to what we see today, we are not sure it was all these. Flat design allowed for minimizing through stripping things down and focusing of important things such as usability instead of simulating familiar experiences users are accustomed to. Additionally, websites with flat designs look cool and are pretty fast.

 

Though this is the case, flat design is not short of usability challenges. Those who have been following can remember Windows 8 Metro UI which was more than flat. The design did not pay attention to the context and signals that users need to interact with the web intuitively. Google then came and introduced Material Design which puts some motion back to the screen. This framework that comes with guidelines and tools that are needed. Though Material Design is effective and intuitive, it limits some essential things such as expressions and creativity.

Distracting Or Complex Animations

Animation is a hot trend today. It is a powerful tool that designers can use in reinforcing concepts and enhancing the website’s usability. It is common for new trends to be abused. At one point, we were all kids and were susceptible to new toys. We all fell for the shiniest coolest toys and in some cases, we overused and abused them. We have grown up and this susceptibility is still with us. New trends are grabbed right off the table while they are hot and some people tend to use them inappropriately. Animation, can and is a great tool but once it is over used, it becomes a distraction and joins the list of your website’s undoing.

 

Excessive use of motion on a website is among the trends you’d like to see die off in web design. Designers should make sure they limit the use of animation because overusing will do the exact opposite of what it is meant for. It is a good idea to validate all the motion that shows up on a website and make sure that any animation used is working positively towards the good of the website. If you can’t moderate the motion, eliminate it all together.

Scroll Jacking

Can you think about being in a situation where you have no control? Well, is the situation pleasing? We are humans and we like being in control especially when we are dealing with machines. Scroll jacking is like a supervisor who is always on your shoulder. This can be annoying and patronizing. If you have done research on a product and been forced to go through explanation slides that tell you why you need the products, then you have been a scroll jacking victim. This can be frustrating and annoying. This is a serious challenge to the usability of a website and can work negatively for a website.

 

A website and digital products need to be intuitive. It should be open to the exploration by users freely without having to be forced to view a certain slide or content. Scroll jacking interferes with the freedom users need to view what people want and assumes that one size fits all.

Sidebars

Purposeless side bars have refused to completely fade away. They have been hanging on a string since 2014 and we can all agree that they need to let go. Some of the working designs are doing well because they have eliminated these annoying sidebars. The main question is why is the sidebar important? Most people claim that it helps in navigation but what is the primary navigation for? The side bar content does one thing very well and this is to distract users from what you want them to do on a particular web page.

Conclusion

Some of these trends were really big deals when they first appeared. However, time has passed and technology has changed. Some of them are now senseless and distracting to say the least. As this year progresses, we look forward to using the current trends and others that come. Their use will purely be based on results which is why those that don’t deliver are sent to their grave. There are many other trends you’d like to see die off in web design but these somehow found themselves in this list.

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