Modern Web Design Elements Every Website Should Have

HTML5 and other online technologies have vastly changed the way the web works. Here are only a few website elements no website is complete without.

Modern Web Design Elements Every Website Should Have

Image by citrixonline via Flickr

The modern web has been consistently changing and evolving since the inception of the original hyper-text protocol that enabled our visual online experience.

From video codecs that allow us to watch real-time high quality video to modern “social” media platforms and applications that help us better communicate; the web has come a long way.

It seems that only in 2015 has the web as we know it come to a fruition of sorts, and that after much debate among internet pioneers –the web has finally become a utility instead of a beta-phase luxury.

Today, contemporary website designers and developers will all agree that these elements underpin a quality website.

1. HTML5

With the advent of the HTML5 programming language, all of the technologies that make the web great are able to cohesively work together in a smooth, fluid way. And it did not come without its own bureaucratic hurdles –did you know there is actually a difference between “HTML5” and “HTML 5”? The latter didn’t make the cut, but at one time there were two competing forks of this now staple programming language.

HTML5 did away with many proprietary technologies (remember Adobe Flash when it was owned by Macromedia?) and created a number of defacto standards we rely on to prevent another Internet Explorer 6 from ever coming to market. Boy, were those days rough.

2. Responsive Web Design

Following on the coat tails of HTML5 is responsive web design. Used in website design by Quikclicks, responsive website design allows one website design template to automatically reshape itself depending on the device and screen-size viewing said website.

The result of responsive web design is that elements on any given page can shuffle around to still be functional and look great. In fact, grab the corner of your web browser right now and drag it to a smaller size –go as small as you can slowly and you will see responsive web design in action. Elements fold, move around, change in appearance, and extraneous widgets might completely disappear for faster loading and a less cluttered experience.

3. Search Engine Rank Indicators

Any modern website worth its weight in gold will have many little hidden “messages” that speak to search engines to ensure that they are easily and rapidly indexed properly. From page meta information to minimal, clean code, search engines rank all of these factors in addition to the page content itself to measure whether the page is worthy of the front of the line in search results.

Due to the mystery surrounding search rank, many web design companies mess up on this one. Google is unwilling to reveal what makes a page score high in their search engine to avoid scrupulous players from gaming the system. As a result, if you are going to choose a vendor for SEO, it’s wise to go with one that’s been around the block for more than a few years. Knowledge is one thing but wisdom will always light the way.

4. User Experience Design (UX)

Once upon a time, non-technical stakeholders used to decide what a corporate website would look like. And one tell-tale sign this was the case with a given website was the need to put the company before the website visitor; un-skippable bulky company introduction videos, nasty convoluted colour schemes, and content organized in a completely illogical fashion were only a small handful of the tell-tale signs that screamed a website was ruled by internal bureaucracy instead of its true purpose: the user.

Today we have statistics, case studies, and best practices that will take a business objective and make it an online reality. CEOs can now sit back and sit in the big chair where they belong and leave the heavy lifting of website creative decision to professionals who can lead the way effectively.

5. Call to Action

Early websites were once gimmicky, and schlocky –and existed almost solely for the sake of existing (and maybe flaunting a marketing budget). Today, websites are purpose-driven business machines. Every pixel of a website must serve a purpose if it is going to justify its own existence.

Call-to-actions strategically placed just to have revolutionized website conversions from ecommerce to corporate portfolio website lead generation. Everything online must serve a purpose (and load lightning fast) because studies indicate that today’s website visitor is nearing a one second intention span. That doesn’t leave much time to make a first impression, does it?

6. Hidden Complexity

If a company or its website is rife with technical complexity, it sure better not look like it. The use of loud colours, over-doing the bells and whistles like rich media, super slow-loading uncompressed images, and any one of the aforementioned technologies must work together cohesively without looking ugly, crowded, or just plain pointless.

In Conclusion

There are new design best practices that are evolving with every website refresh, and the average website needs to shed its skin once every 3 to 4 years otherwise it might not have an aesthetic or navigation logic that website visitors are familiar with.

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