Website Design and Marketing in 2013: Back to the Future
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Demands for captivating and informative websites increase every year. Not only is it vital for marketers to keep tabs on the increasingly high expectations of web-savvy customers, it’s also important for them to identify which of these flashy new website design options will work best for their brands and clients.
I’ve stumbled across some creative website designs in my day: websites that upon visiting immediately launch a mini video-game or an eye-catching, interactive graphic. Some sites have been so adeptly designed and advanced, I was almost positive I traded in my Civic for the Delorean and jumped forward a few decades. Those creative, forward thinking website designs were impressive – but in recalling the sites themselves, I cannot remember what services they offered or products they sold. Yikes, that’s a big no-no. In Steven Krug's Don’t Make Me Think, he reminds marketers that if a visitor can’t identify what you do within seconds of landing on your website, you’re already losing them.
So how does a marketer create a captivating website design without losing content value?
One of the newer website trends for website design fulfills the desire for visitors to be impressed at each page load, as well as informed: Parallax Scrolling.
As Website Magazine pointed out in their 2013 trend article, parallax scrolling is an “innovative website design technique [that] enables developers to build single-page sites with multiple layers, which move across the screen at different speeds as visitors scroll.”
Sounds cool right? It is. Some sample parallax website scrolling sites that are almost mind-blowing include:
So what is it about these website designs that draw the users in? For one thing, they’re giving a specific experience for their website visitors. These company’s don’t have much in common, yet they’ve each utilized a trendy theme to present their services in a way that’s vastly different than the typical website design.
The Saucony site features running shoes that actually transform as you scroll through each level. Without overwhelming the user, each scroll includes the addition of supportive soles or removal of extra weight weighing the runner down. A consistent right-hand navigation allows you to find where you are within the shoe build out, and aptly names each branded version.
Another important feature for all websites are the call-to-action buttons, so it was relieving to see the “find out more” buttons slide into view while scrolling through the Honda CRV website. Once clicked, the CTA’s take you to separate parallax based webpages within the complex Honda site. There is plenty of content on the Honda CRV website, but it’s hidden in various pages and tabs – adding a cooler image to the recently re-vamped car model.
If you offer a service (like marketing) more so than a product, check out whiteboard.is. They did a phenomenal job of making the “about us” section more appealing to read. Their bold typography (also mentioned in the Website Magazine article as a top trend) and photography are intriguing without being overbearing, and the parallax scrolling actually makes all that content worth the read. Content adds value to your website, but overwhelming amounts of text on a screen do nothing for the reader. This parallax scrolling website combines a forward-thinking user-experience with the ability to contain as much content as needed – preferably the right kind of content to attract customers and WebCrawler’s alike.
The standout feature of parallax scrolling websites is its’ ability to be completely customized. It’s not a uniform trend: it can be implemented throughout a complex site, or done solely to showcase a specific project. It can scroll horizontally, vertically, even diagonally and marketers of every industry are finding ways to incorporate this new trend into their website designs.
Parallax websites allows brands to fuse interactive aesthetics and accessible content in a unique, stand-out-from-the-crowd kind of way – and that’s so 2013.