Have You Updated Your Website Lately?
Your site may need a facelift. Sure it might look great, but do you have the features that users are looking for as they search the web? They may not even know they are looking for these trending features, but they will be drawn to the sites that utilize them because they make the sites more user-friendly.
Parallax scrolling is a computer graphics technique where background images move past the camera more slowly than foreground images, creating an illusion of perspective and depth in a 2D scene. This isn’t a new technique. It has been used since the 1930s, in the early days of animated film, when Disney and other animators used multiplane cameras to simulate the depth of their 2D scenes. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was the most popular of these early parallax movies.
Parallax Scrolling in Web Design
It wasn’t until 2011, with the introduction of HTML5 and CSS 3 coding, that the technique became popular with Web designers. It is a simple way to embrace the fluidity of the web, giving users an added sense of motion as they scroll through your site. Parallax scrolling is a great way to make web page sections more dynamic.
A little goes a long way, so in web design, we usually choose specific elements to enhance with parallax, and we are careful not to overdo it.
A good example is a website we created for Thai 1 On Kitchen. We added parallax to their service pages. Look at their cuisine page. We added parallax to the window halfway down the page on the left. This gives the effect of seeing the image through an actual window as we move down the page. This subtle behavior makes the content more engaging.
Consumers Want More Video Content
As videos and media platforms rise in popularity, it’s crucial for your business to integrate videos into your website, if you want to remain competitive. Videos creates unique engagement points. They also add diversity to your site, breaking up lengthy blocks of text. Videos are especially popular with on-the-go audiences that may not have time to read all the information on your site, but can watch a quick two-minute video and get all the information they need.
Google is generating more mixed results that include listings and videos, so it’s a great time to start integrating videos into your marketing plan. Video offers you an opportunity to engage new leads and gain more exposure for your business.
Broaden Your Audience With Accessibility
Inclusivity and accessibility are more than a trend. Unfortunately, most websites aren’t built with accessibility in mind. 97.4% of the world’s top one million websites don’t offer full accessibility(1). A site that every visitor can navigate and interact with offers more benefits than good customer service and an excellent user experience.
Benefits of Accessibility
- It improves your site’s overall SEO performance
- Page load faster
- Properly formatted content means AI search engines can find it
- It improves the lives of people with disabilities
- Your business’s services/products are available to a broader audience
- Accessible websites provide a better user experience for ALL visitors on all devices
- It increases brand awareness and positive public relations
Some of the Elements That Improve Accessibility
Maintaining an accessible website is a process. You don’t need to do everything at once. There are a few things that you can do in the meantime to make your site more accessible for users.
- Make text easier to read with strong color contrast between the text and background
- Add focus indicators, such as an outline that shows up around links when using keyboard navigation
- Label form fields with instructions rather than using low-context placeholder text
- Add functional alt tags to images
Micro-interactions are small animations on a website that offer subtle feedback to users. One of the most commonly used micro-interactions, which everyone is familiar with, is seeing a link change colors as a user glides or hovers their cursor over it. This instant feedback lets the user know that there is something relevant to focus on here. They have a choice to can click and open a new link or continue to move through the content.
Beyond giving the user directions and cues, micro-interactions have one primary purpose–to delight the user. They make the user experience more rewarding and engaging. One example of this is a website we created for Adhesive Label. The links change shape and color in a fun way.
Chatbots have been popular for several years, and as AI and machine learning continue to get improve, we expect to see chatbots become a commonly used feature on websites to manage simple customer service requests.
A couple of great examples of chatbotsinclude Inspecta-Homes and Straightline Performance. Inspecta-Homes, a home inspection company, offers users the option of getting questions answered via a chat bot or through an integrated voice caller that uses your device’s microphone. Straightline Performance, a snowmobile, UTV, and ATV parts specialist, uses a chatbot powered by Messenger.
For example, if a customer visits your website looking for a specific product, sales special or the status of an existing order, the chatbot can quickly answer their questions without them having to wait for a representative. This gives the customer a positive experience while saving your business the cost of employing a live person.
You Need an Experienced Web Designer
Your Web Designer needs to understand the latest trends and how to implement them into your website in order to engage your audience in more inventive ways.
1 Cudd, Geoff, and Stefan Schulz. “53 Web Accessibility Statistics [Updated for 2022].” Don’t Do It Yourself, 9 June 2022, ddiy.co/web-accessibility-statistics/.