Every year brings news wed design trends, and 2015 is no different. Although there are many specific trends surfacing, such as getting rid of large header images and using large text to draw attention to important details on your site, there are are three main categories that most of the current trends fall into. Web sites are catering to the mobile user by having easily accessible interactions, returning to more simple, less busy layouts, and telling your story. If you understand these three basic principles, then you can work with your dental website design team to create a more useful website for your clients.
Easily Accessible Interactions
Many internet users are accessing the internet via mobile, touchscreen devices. This means that they will be viewing your content on a smaller screen and can navigate your site more easily with gestures and large button links as opposed to small hyperlinks embedded in your text. This means that long sites that a user can scroll through are more popular than sites where a user has to click between pages. Also, slide out menus are more popular than a text menu pinned to the top of your site.
To help your design achieve this, think about how you can reduce the number of pages in your site. For instance, you may want to combine your employee profile pages and your office tour into one long page as opposed to several pages with clickable links. Also, consider doing some simple research to see what areas your clients are viewing the most on your site and moving those sections to the top of a long, scrolling page.
Simple layouts not only make information easier to find on a small screen, but they also allow websites to load faster on mobile devices. For this reason, design is going away from large header images and complex backgrounds and focusing on simple, clean layouts. These clean layouts allow you to feature your content and use higher quality photographs without greatly reducing your site's loading time and frustrating clients.
To prepare for a clean, simple layout you should focus on your content. Consider paying a professional photographer to do a photo session at your office so your designer has many great photos to choose from. Additionally, consider having a professional writer go over your written content to cut unnecessary parts and make notes of areas that should be highlighted in your new design.
Tell Your Story
The final area where design is changing this year is that it is starting to focus on engaging the users rather than passively supplying information. This can be done most efficiently by improving your content. Streamlining your information and using photos, videos, and text that draw your user into your site and make them understand who you are is important. Another way to engage readers is to implement interactive features, such as clickable icons, info graphics and GIFs.
While it is important to have engaging content, it is also important that you do not add low quality or irrelevant content simply because it has more interactive features. You need to strike a balance between simplicity and engagement, so you may talk to your designer about doing away with sections of your website in favor of fewer pages that are interactive and specialized to your practice.
You do not have to be an expert in web design to have a great website. In fact, it is probably more cost effective to leave most design decisions to professionals in that field. However, if you understand the basic trends of current web design you can make informed decisions and prepare appropriate content for your designer to use when they are creating or updating your site.