Top Web Design Trends for 2019

Let’s be honest, web design trends are moving much faster than most people would like but at the same time, the world is a much more beautiful place with some of the latest tends out there. It’s true, automation is slowly improving the online world and with unique illustrations and more detail, websites in general are a lot easier on the eye.

But what can we expect in the upcoming year in terms of web design trends?

Let’s take a closer look at the facts and some of the most effective web design trends for 2019:

Top Web Design Trends for 2019


Mobile First and Everything Else Second

Web design is changing at lightening pace and even the word “responsive” can seem a little outdated. Now, that’s not to say responsive no longer matters but simply top point out that websites need to be far more than just responsive to stay relevant and efficient in 2019.

On the other hand, progressive advancement and graceful degradation sound a little more contemporary or up-to-date. More importantly, the comparison between these two give reason for thought in the same way that responsive design did just a few years ago.

As you know, responsive web design simply means that a website will fit the screen and change according to various devices. Needless to say, this improves and simplifies the user experience.

Progressive advancement refers to a process in which the website is designed for lower browsers in a very basic form and then improved upon to make the site more advanced for tablets and PC. Meanwhile, graceful degradation starts by creating an advanced version of the website on desktop and then simplifying this experience for browsers with a lower capability.

However, the problem with graceful degradation is that designers are severely restricted when they start work on the mobile version. After all, they are now stripping down a superior design and creating a simpler version which merely resembles the original without the same functions.

For this reason, mobile first is the way forward in 2019 and the best option for web designers who want to create the ultimate mobile experience and then go about upgrading this even further for desktop.

Chatbots for Interaction and Discreet CTA’s

If you’re like me, you think that artificial intelligence is highly effective and if you listen to Elon Musk, you might even think it’s about to take over the world. Whether AI takes over the world or not, chatbots will be highly important to web design in the upcoming year.

You see, there is now an entire industry dedicated to chatbots and experts predict a market value of $1.3 billion just five years from now. In fact, most major companies and websites are already using chatbots from Facebook and Ebay to a deep black hole called Amazon.

But why are chatbots so important for web design?

Chatbots improve and increase user engagement. If designed the right way, these chatbots are highly effective at retaining customers and providing valuable information without delay. That is to say, conventional customer service is unable to match the speed of chatbots and as long as the information is accurate, most customers care more about receiving this data rather than how it came about.

As if that’s not enough, chatbots are thought to be less intrusive than a standard call-to-action (CTA). After all, most people are tired of the same old prompts to register, signup or buy now and more likely to interact with a useful chatbot through which they can find the most relevant information.

Long Form Content and the Slow Death of Sidebars

When Google released the Medic Update this year, it showed a clear preference for websites with long form content. Interestingly, long form content was often the most confusing and infuriating to read! However, times have changed and as the speed of internet continues to increase, it’s much easier to publish this type of content without it appearing like a slow and cluttered mess.

At the same time, web design can certainly enhance the experience and one way to do this is by using wide pages with less clutter on the screen. Yes, this includes the beloved sidebar and as we move to mobile first, we might be witnessing the slow death of the sidebar completely.

As you know, search rankings are essential for every website and so the importance of simplicity needs to be respected going forward. With this in mind, imagery and infographics are certain to become even more important for long form content and essential for containing a ten-page article within just two or three pages.

Although long form content is usually the product of a writer, web designers will need to respect this trend in 2019 and keep things simplified – especially when it comes to a blog.

Typography for Increased Personality

You might be familiar with Buzzfeed or Mashable and the large typography they use between images. There was a time when large letters and elegant font would have been unacceptable for most websites but opinion has clearly shifted and custom typography is on the rise.

You see, at a time when content is everywhere and saturation is high, typography is now one of the quickest ways to make a web page stand out. It’s true, you need interesting content to capture the reader’s attention but custom fonts can bring even more personality to the words and create a much stronger bond with readers in the process. As if that’s not enough, contrasting fonts can be used for headings and sub-headings and we all know how much Google likes to see a clear and structured set of headings.

In case you might be asking yourself, the likes of Buzzfeed or Mashable are not great examples of this process but for a little inspiration, click here or here or for something more retro – here!

Custom Illustrations for Story-Driven Content

Just a few years ago, Instagram Stories amassed more than 100 million users within a month and more than 300 million monthly users just a few years later. It was the start of a meteoric rise for the platform and pretty much the end of Snapchat. In fact, recent studies show that 45% of professional marketers are now utilizing Instagram as part of the content marketing plan.

But why am I telling you this?

Well, story-driven content was the most successful marketing tactic last year and there’s every reason to suggest this trend will continue. More specifically, an image is worth a thousand words and custom illustrations are the perfect tool for storytelling.

With this in mind, you should see that web design with integrated custom illustrations is far more likely to increase engagement. What’s more, custom illustrations tend to increase dwell time which is highly important for search rankings. In other words, the longer an online user stays on a certain page, the higher Google will rank this page in search results.

At the same time, custom illustrations just look better and while they tend to be more memorable than text, they are often more accurate when it comes to portraying a certain message or identity for the website.

Either way, custom illustrations are already popular and this trend is sure to continue in 2019.

As you can see, web design trends continue to change and there is now a clear preference for function over form. In other words, websites and procedures might look really nice but without the right functionality, they serve as little more than negligent distractions to the average online user.

Function Over Form: Development Vs. Design

The terms web development and web design are often confused and thought to be one and the same thing. The roles that are involved in each of the niches are often thought to be composed of similar elements. Although, it is true that some factors have to be considered by both the parties in order to reach a consensus since web development and web design are both interdependent. The fact remains that both of these two lines of work that are crucial to the formation of a website are actually starkly distinctive from each other. When it comes to the roles associated with web development vs. web design, both differ from each other on various grounds.

What is Web Design?

Think of web designers as artists that help in building a story or an idea into something that can be presented in a visually appealing aspect. They help build a layout for a website that achieves the client’s vision regarding the user experience of the website. A web designer is a person who is responsible for how a website looks and feels. A web designer does a job that is similar to an architect building a plan before starting construction on your house. The web designer is the person who draws out the initial layout of the website (just like the plans of an architect) before a web developer can input his efforts to develop (similar to the construction of the house) the website.

The role of a web designer is not as easy as it seems. They have to create the initial impression that you would have when you visit a website and, along with it, integrate the elements of user experience in order to create an environment which appears to be welcoming. They have to transform an idea into a design that can be used while also serving the purpose of being a great user interface. They also have the task of creating a site that catches the attention of the user. If the website fails to adopt a well-knit design strategy before the beginning of the project, then it is sure to fail. In today’s day and age a web designer enjoys the same respect as a web developer because it has been realized that great coding would be futile if the user experience that complements it is not done properly.

The elements of typography, colors, design, aesthetics, textures, unity, branding, user experience, user interaction, and emphasis all come under the purview of a good web design. All of the visual elements that are capable of making a website look great while also serving the goals of the client, whether that is lead capture, promotion of an event, or ecommerce. Web designing applications include programs like Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, Mockplus, and UXPin can be used to help build up the user experience of a website.

What is Web Development?

Web developers are those people who are capable of transforming the design aspects of a webpage into a live and functional website that is actually capable of working. Different kinds of software tools and web languages that are used for programming and coding are utilized by web developers in order to create a functional website.

Even web developers are divided further into two consecutive sub-categories. These two categories are namely back-end developers and front-end developers.

Front-end developers are those people who have some knowledge in both the fields of developing and designing. They are the connection between a back-end developer and a web designer. A front-end developer is responsible for building up the interface of the website and making the website interactive in order to connect the layout at the user’s end along with the back-end servers of the website. The most important programming languages that are used by front-end developers include HTML, CSS/SCSS, and JavaScript (JQuery, React, Angular, and Vue being the most popular libraries and frameworks).

Back-end developers, on the other hand, are those developers who are responsible for controlling the requests and the server data of the website. Most websites which consist of dynamic data as part of their database require services on the back-end. If a website is designed to serve the purpose of storing user information and making said information available at a later stage, creating and managing a back-end database is intrinsic. Database connections are required in order to manage such queries and back-end developers take help of programs like ASP.NET and PHP in order to write these kinds of database queries in MySQL, SQL, MongoDB, or other database languages.

Function over form: Web Development vs. Web Design

When you talk about form of an object, it basically refers to how the object looks, or what visual features it possesses. In the world involving the intricacies of building a website this aspect refers to the web designing department. On the other hand, function of an object refers to the purpose that the object aims to serve. In the world of websites, web development is the department that best describes this term.

In the words of the famous American architect Louis Sullivan, “Whether it be the sweeping eagle in his flight, or the open apple-blossom, the toiling work-horse, the blithe swan, the branching oak, the winding stream at its base, the drifting clouds, over all the coursing sun, form ever follows function, and this is the law. Where function does not change, form does not change…It is the pervading law of all things organic and inorganic, of all things physical and metaphysical, of all things human and all things superhuman, of all true manifestations of the head, of the heart, of the soul, that the life is recognizable in its expression, that form ever follows function. This is the law.”

What these words try to mean is that whatever be the entity, it is always the functionality of that entity which decides how the entity shall be formed. Modernism has impacted these philosophies and therefore led to the conception that it is the functionality of an object which decides how it should look. Even in the world of building a website, this notion holds true whereby it is the function of a website that decides how a website should look like or how it should be formed.

It is true that designing, in most scenarios, involves designing the website first before the developing is started. However, every time a web designer designs a website, he/she has to keep in mind the function that the web page is being designed to serve. A web designer must keep in mind the basic interactive experience that the web page must provide and the features that need to be highlighted in order to allow the users to do a particular task on the webpage. Therefore, it is without doubt that a web designer must always design a web page depending upon the factors that are most important to its functionality and thereby shape the webpage to look a particular way that best serves these functionalities. The web developer simply tweaks the web page at the end of the designing process to enable the functionalities that the web page has been designed to serve in the initial place. Hence the function is always considered before the form and the entire webpage is designed based on that, only to be programmed later to activate those functionalities. Therefore it can be easily concluded that in the debate of web development vs. web design, function always triumphs over form. This is especially true when you look at the goals of the client and the user interaction on that website. If a website has not been coded and optimized for SEO will not rank and will not draw visitors to it. If a website has not been optimized for user interaction, then the visitors who do come to the site will not give information or buy your product.

Many times designers use client sites to pad their design portfolios and win design awards, but this does not benefit the client at all. A pretty website will not generate as many leads or sales as a fully-functioning, optimized, and user-friendly site.

What is Content Marketing?

This week, we have guest blogger Jessica discussing content marketing.

Like many people, including business owners and managers, you may have heard of content marketing but are not completely certain what content marketing is all about. Content marketing generally is defined as a form of marketing that focuses on creating, publishing, and distributing content for targeted audiences on the internet.

Content marketing has a number of general goals that include:

  • attract attention
  • generate ideas
  • expand customer base
  • generate online sales
  • increase online sales
  • establish brand awareness
  • increase brand awareness
  • establish credibiity
  • enhance credibility
  • establilsh online community
  • enlarge online community

Forbes Magazine and Content Marketing

Forbes magazine was the first business publication to begin closely examining content marketing in the digital age. On some level, Forbes presents a more esoteric definition of content marketing when the magazine writes “content marketing is the mercantile version of thought leadership. As such, it is increasingly becoming one of the most powerful ways to drive and support new business development.”

Forbes goes on to explain that content marketing is the creation and distribution of:

  • meaningful insights
  • perspectives
  • best practices

These concepts are all developed and distributed to a specific audience or market niche. More on identifying a target audience or market niche is discussed in a moment.

The Real History of Content Marketing

Many marketing industry experts argue that content marketing is not merely a creature of digital age. They content that the roots of content marketing can be traced back to 1732. In that year, Benjamin Franklin issued Poor Richard’s Almanack. He published and released Poor Richard’s Almanack as a means to promote his printing business.

Another historical example of pre-internet content marketing is found in 1888. In that year, Johnson & Johnson published Modern Methods of Antiseptic Wound Treatment. This publication was targeted to physicians that used bandages.

John Deere got into the content marketing game in 1895 with the launch of In 1895, The Furrow. This is a magazine that provides information for farmers, specifically about enhancing profitability. providing information to farmers on how to become more profitable. It is still in business today, with a circulation of over a million readers. he magazine, considered the first custom publication, is still in circulation, reaching 1.5 million readers in 40 countries in 12 different languages.

At the turn of the 20th century, Jell-O salesmen, going door-to-door, distributed a cookbook at no cost. During the Depression, Procter & Gamble began to broadcast a radio serial drama sponsored by the company’s product Oxydol, a soap powder.

Content Marketing Trends

In order to fully understand content marketing at this juncture in the 21st century, you need to consider content marketing trends. One of the most significant, important content marketing trends is the rise of what commonly is called long-form content. This is lengthy, complex content that provides more than just a direct, to-the-point answer to questions.

With the rise of digital assistants like Siri and Cortana people no longer have to go to websites to get concise answers to questions. Thus, in order for content marketing to attract or snare people it needs to be more comprehensive and concise. In other words, it needs to be longer.

Another content marketing trend is that the ever-expanding role social media platforms play in regard to this form of marketing will continue to enlarge into the future. Research reveals that articles glean more attention when published on a social media platform like Facebook than they do when published on websites.

An additional note on social media and content marketing warrants a mention. When a business utilizes multiple social media platforms, as many do, an effort must be made to coordinate content marketing across all social media platforms. While there may be some differences in what is presented on one social media platform as opposed to another, there needs to be appropriate consistence in themes, data, and objectives between different social media platforms.

Defining a Target Audience

At the heart of a successful content marketing effort is defining your target audience or market niche. In some instances defining a target audience is not all that difficult. On the other hands, there are businesses and brands as well as products or services that present a bit of a challenge in really focusing on a suitable target audience.

There are content marketing professionals that can assist a business in appropriately identifying a suitable market niche for a content marketing effort. With that said, there are many instances in which a business needs to target more than one market segment separately for different content marketing efforts. For example, a business may have a product that is used by disparate market segments. What is suitable for one audience, what is effective in one market niche, may not be appropriate let alone effective somewhere else. This is a reality despite disparate market segments naturally having a use or interest in the same product.

Metrics of Determining Success of Content Marketing Campaign

As with any marketing endeavor, the success of content marketing needs to be assessed. As a consequence, a set of metrics commonly is utilized to ascertain the success of content marketing. These metrics are:

  • number of visitors to a page
  • time spent on a page
  • click-through across pages
  • click0through photos
  • number of email addresses collected

Other metrics can also come into play depending on the nature of a business undertaking a content marketing effort. In addition, the focused goals of a content marketing campaign necessarily impact the specific metrics utilized.

By taking advantage of content marketing, a paying close attention to the specifics enumerated in this article, you place your business in the best possible position to develop, launch, and run an ultimately successful content marketing endeavor. The net effect of this is to enhance a businesses revenue and profit.

 

Jessica is a professional blogger who writes for Faxage, a leading company that provide Internet fax service services for individuals and businesses.

Is There a Goldmine in Influencer Marketing?

For the love of short stories, I’ll go ahead to say, “yea, there is a goldmine in influencer marketing”. As a matter of fact, it is a relatively untapped goldmine. While the majority of internet business owners are channeling resources into driving traffic from SEO and social media ads, the minority are reaping the rewards of affordable influencer marketing.

You might be asking “what is influencer marketing?” Influencer marketing is a form of digital marketing where internet business owners (mostly those with products to sell) hire highly influential social media users to promote their stuff to their followers or audience. It’s similar to paying an email marketer with a large email list to blast emails about your business his contacts for a fee. Like every other form of internet marketing, you must find a winning strategy to reap the full benefits of influencer marketing.

MOST COMMON FORMS OF INFLUENCER MARKETING

Testimonial Video

Nearly every social media platform allows the upload of multimedia content — including videos. Influencer may upload a testimonial video explaining and narrating a sales-oriented description of product or services being advertised. This strategy works effectively since videos are maybe the most contents out there. The use of testimonial videos is usually the priciest form of influencer marketing.

Shout Outs

This is the most common form of influencer marketing and is often less expensive. All it takes here is a shout out to the product, service, website or social media page of the client. It comes as a text post for Twitter & Facebook, or picture post for Instagram. Shout outs are good for a low budget campaign.

RECOMMENDED STRATEGIES TO ADOPT

Research The Influencer’s Followers/Audience

So much as influencer marketing can guarantee engagement, you do want to make actual sales. If you hire an influencer with followers over 40 years of age and advertise fidget spinners, you’ll get views but maybe zero sales. Age range is just one of many factors to consider; gender, interests and hobbies all count here. An easy way to find this out is looking into the public profile of prospective influencer, his followers probably like what he likes. So, as much as you can, do a quick research into prospective influencer’s followers to see if you are a good fit.

Let the Campaign Run A Little While

This is important if you’re just getting into influencer marketing. Shell out a few bucks to let the campaign run for a while, at least, a week. While you’re at it, be on the lookout for days and hours that sell better than others. This knowledge will come in handy in helping you spend more effectively in the future.

Remember how we started off saying influencer marketing is relatively untapped? It means unlike most opportunities on the internet, there is no sign of saturation yet. It is totally affordable and effective. There’s no harm in exposing your business to an extra source of traffic.

 

Mr. Transmission

We used an existing national site to create a local site for a Louisville-based Mr. Transmission franchise. We created a custom WordPress template with a custom backend so that the franchise owner would be able to update the site by themselves.

We also have an ongoing SEO and content marketing campaign for this particular Mr. Transmission location. We will continue with a PPC campaign later this year.