At the start of a New Year it’s always fun to look at what new fashions, trends and styles are likely to become popular over the next twelve months. Whilst this is usually something done in regards of clothing and decor, website design is certainly not excluded from it.
Styles and trends tend to change with web design each passing year. One difference, though, is that the changes are usually due as much to practical considerations as they are aesthetic ones.
The most visible example of the above is a design change towards having fewer menu options listed in the main header bar. Whereas once it used to feature some 7 or 8 different options, now the trend is to limit this to no more than 3 or 4.
This is a change you might have noticed on some very well known websites. It’s become something which many of our clients are asking us to make for them. In the light of this, we’d like to spend some time looking at two key reasons for this change.
If we start with what’s arguably the most important reason, this change in approach can be described as being to give visitors to your site what they want. The most important ability any business website needs to have in place is being able to engage those who visit.
As is perhaps the case with virtually everything in life, the first impression normally counts a great deal towards the reaction people have when they open up a website. Research has shown that web users – in particular those visiting sites for ecommerce or business purposes – tend to find a large number of header menu options overwhelming and distracting.
This has led to the change. Rather than having all pages and services listed in the menu as part of the website design, there’s a preference for including a smaller number of main categories to browse through.
The other key reason is closely related to this. Making a site easier – and more enjoyable – to browse means that it must function no matter what device it is viewed on. This is crucial with so many different devices on the market at the moment and a need to ensure the experience is the same across them.
In terms of ensuring that a website works perfectly on a smartphone or tablet, having a smaller number of header menu options leaves the display looking less cluttered. It can also mean avoiding using the “hamburger icon” to open up a menu on a mobile responsive site.
Quite a few people prefer this kind of website design. The main reason for this is there are many web users who are unaware of the fact that the three horizontal lined “hamburger” icon is the one which leads to a full menu.
We, as the leading name for website design in the North East and across the UK, make sure we keep abreast and up to date of style and appearance trend changes such as this. Whilst at heart we’re here to create the website you want, it’s important that we consult with you about the factors that currently make websites successful.
Our website design is so successful because we build sites that look how you want them to whilst always ensuring visitors get the functionality they expect.