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Don’t chase design trends for your business

When it comes to playing your part in the design of your website, and its elements, you’re usually asked to provide examples of sites that you like. 

It can be tempting to fall for the latest design trends, but while they might look great, they’re not always the best choice for your business. I’m going to explain why.

Web design isn’t about looking pretty

There’s no doubt that your website needs to be designed well, it needs to look great, but that doesn’t mean it has to have all the fancy features or trendy looks just because everyone seems to love them. In fact the fancy features can actually detract from the website’s core function, and in some cases the sites you see that feature the latest design trend may not be performing as well as it seems, or they’re not designed for performance in the first place. By performance I mean converting visitors into customers.

You sacrifice function for fashion

Every element on your site should be assessed for its role in achieving the website’s purpose. Your website is a tactic, a vital pillar of your marketing and sales strategy, its role is to convey your message, to ensure your visitors see and trust you as the solution to their problem and are compelled to act. Chasing after the latest trendy feature could hamper this.

Pretty websites don’t sell things, words do.

Your brand becomes confusing

Your brand, and your messaging, needs to be cohesive for your customers, the people were actually aiming the site at. When it comes to your visual branding i.e your logo, colour palette, images, illustrations and style, adding a trendy new design choice, for the sake of it,  may leave your customers confused.

It may also annoy them. I know there are certainly things that annoy me on websites, like motion sickness inducing over use of animation, overuse of parallax,  sliders, chat-bots without real human interaction, and when was the last time you interacted with a popup to do anything other than dismiss it?

Your search ranking could suffer

Design trends may be fun, but everything comes at a cost to your site’s performance. That slideshow, or auto playing video, embedded content could actually be affecting how you rank in the search engines. Your organic traffic takes a hit and that could be costing you potential customers.

Trends always change

Trends change quickly, they become outdated, to keep up with them and avoid looking dated you have to spend enormous amounts of time, effort, and money. 

My best advice to you is keep it simple. Simple always wins, listen to what our audience wants, establish your brand, focus on function.

Pretty websites don’t sell things, words do.

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