Trends in web design tend to go from practical to zany. Some of the best user experience (UX) designs stick around for years, while others don’t quite meet expectations and fall by the wayside. One of the best ways of learning how to create a beautiful site is by studying what others do well.
There are approximately 174,300 web developers in the United States. They specialize in different areas, but you’ll find plenty of inspiration both in America and globally. How can you know what is attention-grabbing and what is just OK?
A daring design makes a statement about a company. If your brand seeks to grab attention, try new things and become memorable, a bold look may be just right for you.
We’ve sorted through dozens of well-designed sites and come up with five favorite methods sure to get your creative juices flowing. Check these out and see if you agree that these designs are cutting-edge.
1. Unique Photographs
One way of making a bold statement with your website is featuring eye-catching images in the hero header area. The pictures should be relevant to what your business does. However, the colors in the shot and the angles can give them a modern look, grabbing attention.
RAK Art Foundation features images of some of its more exciting artwork. The textures and angles draw user attention and keep site visitors engaged with the morphing pictures as they shift from one piece of art to another.
You can copy this type of style for your site no matter what kind of business you run. For example, if you sell teddy bears, hire a high-end photographer to pose them in a unique setting. Your photos should set your site apart from all the others out there.
2. Large Typography
A current trend in design is large, bold typography. Huge letters pop even on a photo background. You’ve likely noticed this style in the latest techniques. Typically, there aren’t many other elements on the page, putting the focus on the words.
PSI uses an image of a building it services for its background. The image fills the screen. Layered on top are giant white letters with their tagline of “Going Places Others Don’t.”
Keep in mind how the type appears on smaller screens. Make sure you design your site so it responds to mobile devices. Many of your visitors may use cellphones exclusively to get online, so you don’t want to lose them because they can’t read your large headlines.
3. Amazing Headers
Your website header design is often the first impression users have of your business. Many factors make for a great header, but you have to think outside the box if you want to be bold. Create a shorter title, remove the transition space between it and the body copy or go with a pop of color.
Buff City Soap meshes its header with its body, removing the transition between the two. Note the stripe of soft green at the top to draw attention to current deals. However, the logo lives at the top center, and there is no notable transition between the background from the header and body of the landing page. The overall look grabs attention and puts the focus on what users might like to order.
Think about the information your users are most likely to need first and how you can make it stand out within your header.
4. Hero Video
As connectivity continues to be faster and people have higher screen resolutions on their laptops and cellphones, you’ll see more hero images. A video immediately engages site visitors and pulls them into a story about your brand.
KatchMe runs a video in the background as soon as you land on its page. It also overlays the footage with some animated geometric elements to draw the user’s focus to different areas. The effect is very subtle but creates a parallax effect as the scene plays and the circles bound ever so slightly at different speeds.
If you’re going to use more than one animated effect, make sure they mesh and aren’t too overwhelming for the user.
5. Illustrated Elements
Illustrations aren’t just for superhero comics. You’ll notice many of today’s top brands sprinkle in cartoon-like images for a more custom look. Many of the collaboration tool websites turn to illustrations to showcase what they do and use bold colors to interest potential leads.
Boldare offers collaboration boards for individuals and teams. The landing page is bold and looks like something out of a cartoon. However, the information points you clearly to what it offers businesses and individuals and why you should give it a try. It also animates a few of the elements to draw attention. The site is made interactive with a giant cursor pointer.
Try new things. Don’t be afraid to be the first one to combine a color palette or add a new feature not used in your industry before. The worst thing that can happen is your users hate it, and you can always change it back to the old version. You won’t know until you take a risk. Conduct A/B tests to see how users respond and keep trying new methods until you stumble on the perfect combination for your site.
Lexie is an IoT enthusiast, an aspiring Olympic curler, and a web designer. She enjoys hiking with her Goldendoodle and checking out local flea markets. Visit her design blog, Design Roast, and connect with her on Twitter @lexieludesigner.