So your tutoring business has a website. You gave it quite a lot of attention when it was built, ensuring that it looked professional and enticing and had an intuitive user interface whilst complimenting your brand image. It seems to be working fine and doesn’t attract comment, positive or negative, from your customers - but it’s not quite right...maybe it’s just...a little bit...2013?
Website design is a question of ever-changing fashions - the Google logo is a case study in changing design tastes.
The timeline is interesting - after a decade in which nothing changed, from 2010 Google have been hard at work flattening their logo by phasing out any 3D effects, shadowing, fading etc. and simplifying the font itself to a san serif look. We have seen this trend replicated across the internet - Android famously got there first and iOS followed suit, finally abandoning skeuomorphic design. That this evolution began in 2010 is no coincidence - it mirrors the consumer shift in internet content consumption from being mainly computer and laptop based, to mainly smartphone and tablet based. Smaller screens and handheld interactions demanded bolder, simpler designs. We no longer needed convincing to use iCal because it looks “like” to a really diary - many of us have now forgotten that paper diaries even ever existed.
But before you go back to your website and start flattening its look, let’s look forwards. The trend for 2016 seems to be a reintroduction of some depth and 3D effects - dubbed “flat design 2.0” in the industry. Google have been blazing a trail in this respect with what they call “material design” which is inspired but does not imitate physical materials. So you want to bring your website bang up to date?
Focus on Colour
- Colour is so important for brand awareness and identity and offers great continuity potential when other aspects of your website are evolving.
- Be bold, be confident. If your website really pops it really makes a difference to whether people hang around.
Incorporate material design or flat design 2.0
- Basic grid-based layout
- Think minimalist, be selective with 3D elements
- Simple doesn’t mean basic
- That a picture is worth 1,000 words has never been truer.
- Think big with image and video content
Rethink your site platform
- New static site generators like Jekyll and html frameworks like bootstrap are responding to these design trends, making it easy to build flatter website which use adaptive grid-based design