As web design reaches new technological heights and user attention hits all-time lows, website designers are tasked with striking a tricky balance. Designers must captivate their target audiences without overwhelming them. Advances in technology enable web designers to execute never-before-seen interface ideas, but the core of a website must remain a seamless, intuitive experience. Today’s user interface (UI) is more open for innovation than ever before, but web designers must prioritize ease of use above all else.
Master User Engagement
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The lifeblood of web design is figuring out how to capture an audience’s attention. Websites nowadays must not only grab awareness, but also encourage user engagement. Users who can’t engage and interact with a website will lose interest in the first few seconds of visiting a page. Today’s web designers have a world of potential at their fingertips with burgeoning new technologies and methods of engaging with users.
Content, for example, is still not a tired subject. There are new ways of creating content, including interactive graphic interfaces with custom-made illustrations. Web designers are discovering new ways to incorporate video content onto a webpage that best capture audience attention or use original photography to make a bold and beautiful statement. UI of the future optimizes user engagement in every way possible, including stimulation of senses – sight, sound, and touch. The more content speaks to a user, the more likely he or she will remain on the webpage.
Adopt a Mobile-First Mentality
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Modern consumers don’t simply appreciate a webpage that’s optimized for mobile – they’ve come to expect it. Brands that are still trying to trim their large websites down to fit on smaller screens need to recognize the importance of switching to a mobile-first mentality. Mobile-first enables web designers to optimize their sites for mobile devices first, and then expand the interface to work on desktops. This shift toward mobile-first has been on the horizon for the last few years, but now it’s here. There is no longer any question of mobile’s power on e-commerce sites and beyond.
Mobile-first web design considers all the variables that change when a user switches from a desktop to a smartphone or tablet. The user now engages with a website via touch, making it important for designers to put icons easily within reach of a user’s finger. The screen is much smaller, as is text that’s not optimized for mobile. Make navigation easy with larger text, dropdown menus, and long scrolling. Typography needs to be readable for users of all age groups. Transitions should flow from one page to another fluidly, creating a seamless user experience.
The rules of web design change significantly when optimizing for mobile first. It’s important for web designers to embrace these differences and create the best user experience possible for mobile users. Instead of just including mobility as an afterthought, web designers need to make it their first priority. This mentality is the only way designers can stay ahead of the technological curve and create websites for the user of the future.
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