20 May 2021

4 Trends in Website Design for 2021

During a national workshop on Electronic Commerce last year, Foreign Secretary Carl Greenridge said that Guyana cannot ignore the potential of E-Commerce. There are more than 294 thousand internet users in Guyana and internet penetration in the country stands at 37% [1]. A number that will continue to grow over the coming years. Greenridge pointed out that changes triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic were “symptomatic of a paradigm shift” in global business. E-Commerce is revolutionizing how the world trades [2].

Whether you plan to enter the E-Commerce space to cater to domestic customers or for international trade, you will need a website. A website plays a crucial role in the success of an online business. It gives the business legitimacy, authority and acts as a digital storefront. It is important for a business’s website to be well designed and feel modern. Web design has changed significantly over the years, a poorly designed website can feel dated and customers feel less confident interacting with such businesses. In this article, we explore four website design trends that businesses should consider in 2021.

 

1. Large Typography

Fonts are a big part of a business’s brand identity. A unique font can help customers distinguish your business from its competitors. Typography is the use of fonts as an element of design. By playing with font type and size, you can give your website a unique look and feel. Using large typography to highlight key points and buzzwords is a great way to create visual impact and catch a customer’s eye.

Once you have selected a font, make sure you keep it consistent across all your materials and assets. Using Google Fonts on your website is highly recommended. There are over 900 fonts to choose from, they are free to use and can help boost your website’s page load speed and performance.

 

2. Flatish Design

Before 2013, when it came to UI design, the approach was realism, also known as skeuomorphism. In this approach to design, the interface of a website or app is meant to mimic real life. Icons and elements are 3 dimensional, with lots of shadows, depth, and highlights, ‘it should look real’. In 2013, Apple changed all of that with the release of the iOS 7 update that embraced 2-dimensional, flat design. Flat design became the standard.

However, an emerging trend is the evolution of flat design i.e. flatish or semi-flat design. An approach that combines the best of realism and flat design. Instead of overdoing shadows, highlights, and overlays, semi-flat design strategically uses a few of these elements to create depth and add character to the UI. When it comes to modern website design, the world is no longer flat but not realistically round either, it’s somewhere in the middle.

 

3. Large Product Images

Both B2B and B2C businesses have recognized the power of images. Modern website development and design incorporate large product images. 90% of information transmitted to our brains is visual, the human brain processes visual information 60,000 times faster than text [3]. Using multiple large images makes it easier for web designers to communicate the features and benefits of a product. This is why quality images are an essential part of modern web design. Paired with concise text, visuals can have a powerful impact on users.

 

4. Card design

Instagram has over a billion users worldwide and Pinterest has approximately 478 million. These are two of the most widely used social media platforms in the world. The popularity of these platforms has increased the use of card design in modern websites. Today, cards can be seen in the UI design of both B2B and B2C websites. Cards allow designers to break information into bite-sized chunks. They can be used to show multiple products and solutions, side by side in an organized manner that does not overwhelm the users. The layout feels familiar and comfortable.

It’s important to ensure that the card layout is responsive. This means that depending on the size of a visitor’s screen, the number and size of the cards will automatically adjust. To help ensure that these types of important considerations are not overlooked, you should consider working with a professional web design and development company like WebFX.

 

WebFX provides digital media and website development services to businesses in Guyana. They have a team of experienced designers and developers who stay up to date with the latest trends and will build a modern website for your business that is attractive as well as functional.

 

Sources:

  1. Feb 2021, S. Kemp, “Digital 2021: Guyana”, Datareportal, [available online] available from: https://datareportal.com/reports/digital-2021-guyana [accessed May 2021]

 

  1. Aug 2020, “Guyana cannot ignore the potential of e-commerce, Greenidge says”, Stabroek News, [available online] available from: https://www.stabroeknews.com/2020/08/02/news/guyana/guyana-cannot-ignore-potential-of-e-commerce-greenidge-says/ [accessed May 2021]

 

  1. Jul 2014, “Studies Confirm the Power of Visuals to Engage Your Audience in eLearning”, Shift, [available online] available from: https://www.shiftelearning.com/blog/bid/350326/studies-confirm-the-power-of-visuals-in-elearning [accessed May 2021]

 

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20 May 2021

The importance of Google’s Core Web Vitals in Website Development

Google is the largest search engine in the world. 90% of search queries worldwide are handled by Google. In Guyana, it has an 87% market share [1]. Recent studies have shown that online research also impacts how users purchase in-store. A study by Bazaarvoice showed that 82% of smartphone users will check their phones and research online about the purchase they are going to make in-store. They check prices, read customer reviews, and even visit brand websites. Therefore, ranking well on Google’s search results is essential for continued business success.

How does Google rank websites?

Google considers a variety of factors when determining how to rank websites. These factors are referred to as ranking signals. There are over 200 signals that Google’s algorithm takes into consideration. In the early days, these signals were focused solely on website performance and technical factors, but increasingly Google is paying attention to user behavior. How users interact with a website, gives Google information about the quality of the website. If a user visits your website and then leaves without taking any action or scrolling on the page within a few seconds, this can indicate a negative experience for users. On the other hand, if a user visits your website and makes a purchase, this indicates a positive user experience.

To ensure top rankings in Google’s search results it’s important to optimize your website’s technical and performance factors. A professional web development company will have to know how to optimize for search engines and increase your chances of ranking high. In recent years Google is focused on encouraging website owners to deliver a quality user experience on their website.

What are core web vitals?

In early 2020 Google introduced Core Web Vitals, a set of metrics that aim to improve user experience. These updates are expected to come into force this year. Before 2020, Google evaluated the page experience of a website based on the following factors: Mobile-friendliness, safe browsing, HTTPs, and no intrusive interstitials. With Core Web Vitals Google has added the following factors to evaluate page experience:

  1. Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)
  2. First Input Delay (FID)
  3. Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)
  1. LCP | Largest Contentful Paint for page load speed
    This metric measures the amount of time it takes for the largest image or text block on a page to load after a user clicks on a link. LCP is a metric designed to encourage faster load times. 2.5 seconds for LCP is considered good, between 2.5 to 4 seconds means there is room for improvement and above 4 seconds is considered poor.
  1. FID | First Input Delay for interactivity
    FID measures how long it takes a website to respond after a user interacts with it. For example, if a user clicks on a menu option how much time does it take for the browser to process that event. For pages that do not have interactive elements, like a blog post, scrolling would qualify as a measurable interaction. 100 milliseconds or less for response time is considered good, between 100 to 300 milliseconds indicates room for improvement, and above 300 milliseconds is considered poor.

    Note that FID only considers input delays, hence if all of the interactions on a webpage are less than 100 milliseconds and there is no delay, you will not see an FID score for that page. This is a good thing.

  1. CLS | Cumulative Layout Shift for visual stability
    CLS measures how stable a page remains as it loads. The goal is to have visual stability as the page loads its resources and elements. This means, users should not see unexpected movements in the page’s layout, like links and menu options shifting positions.

    Layout shift can take place because of a variety of reasons such as; Images, ads, iframes, etc. being used without defined dimensions. The layout is considered to shift when elements that have loaded on a page, shift their start positions. A score of 0.1 or less is considered good for CLS, 0.1 to 0.25 indicates a need for improvement, and more than 0.25 is considered poor.

    You can find your Core Web Vital scores via Google Search Console. Once you have the Core Web Vitals report, you can make necessary optimizations to your website to improve your scores.

Working with a web design and development company like WebFX will ensure that your website is built optimally from the start. This reduces the chance of coding issues or poor development causing problems with CLS scores down the line. WebFX provides professional website design and development services in Guyana. If you are looking for a partner to build your website, contact WebFX today.

 
 

Sources:

  1. April 2021, ‘Search Engine Market Share Guyana’, Statcounter, [available online] available from: https://gs.statcounter.com/search-engine-market-share/all/guyana [accessed May 2021]
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