Maintaining a professional website means staying aware of changes in web design over time. Even if your site is performing well, there are always new innovations around the corner that could reduce bounce rates and help visitors to your site become patients. Staying aware of the changing face of web design will help your dental practice maintain a professional and modern website that remains attractive to users. Here are some emerging trends and best practices to incorporate into your web design going forward.
Simplify Menu Options
Making sure your site is clean and easy to navigate should be your first priority. If users can find the options they’re looking for in seconds, they are more likely to stay on your site rather than looking elsewhere. Generally, if your header menu includes multiple options, they should be reduced to three or four choices.
Say Goodbye to Stock Photos
Visitors to your site are looking for a personal connection, not a generic image. They are potentially trusting you with their dental care, so putting some thought and effort into presenting actual photos of your office and staff will go a long way towards building relationships. Users react much more quickly to imagery than text, so quality photos are of the utmost importance.
Minimalism in web design means providing a simple UI/UX that optimizes speed and reduces clutter. If users are not distracted by competing design elements and slow load times, they will navigate your site more quickly. This increases the likelihood that they will enjoy their web browsing experience and consider becoming patients.
Rethink Parallax Scrolling
Although parallax scrolling (a design feature involving foregrounds and backgrounds scrolling at different rates) is distinctive and visually interesting, it often negatively affects site performance. In addition, it can cause SEO to take a hit, since sites that employ parallax scrolling often rely on graphics rather than text. It can still be an effective technique to give your site a unique style, but it is best to bear the possible drawbacks in mind.
Consider Material Design
Google’s Material Design guidelines have become an important barometer for web designers keeping tabs on emerging trends. The stated goal of material design is to create a “unified experience” for users across multiple devices and platforms, and it incorporates the bold graphics and colors and simple UX familiar from flat design. It also includes realistic surfaces and edges—learn more about material design at design.google.com.
Duotone is a web design trend that is simplifying websites across multiple industries. It involves combining imagery and text elements in an organic, unified way. Usually, this involves a half tone reproduction of an image (much like the large hero images prevalent in current web design) that emphasizes the middle tones, often with bright colors. This results in a mostly monochromatic background image that allows text to visually pop, an important consideration for mobile browsing. This design trend is especially useful for creating arresting blog header images and homepages.