The answer relies on various factors including current design style trends, web innovation and limitations such as the devices used to view web content.
Much of updated online design is driven by/from…
– updates and advancement in website viewing hardware and software
– how easy and successful current viewing devices are
– how easy and attractive new or updated devices and platforms are to use
– the initial outlay cost and ongoing access costs, i.e. value for money
Information, its presentation, style, perceptions and legacies
In the world of business to business and industrial website design there are a number of well designed websites, led in general by the large corporates with lots of money. They will have spent months of research and time working out the structure of their website and what they want it to achieve. However there are also some websites that do not project the potential of what could be a really good company. Alternatively a slick new website could hide a less than efficient facade – the trick is to combine good research and development with great design.
The route through to a happy customer requires controlled design and a successful ‘hand holding’ process. The imaging style needs to be right for the customer and the marketplace. The messaging and information needs to fit with this at each level of the website. All the design elements, messaging and information needs work together “as a team”.
A designer can still produce individuality to the elements, image, font styling and layout. In each case though a designer must think beyond a desktop static visual design and capture the spirit and adaptability of different platforms and device types. The majority of new websites are built using responsive components to cater for the changes in viewer platform sizes, Realnet’s LeanCMS platform is a perfect example.
The standard design elements
Every company’s marketing is different, therefore the brand styling will create differences in design. As a designer your goal is to successfully match your design to their style and needs
The logo, strapline and contact points are standard components in a header area, however they still need individually arranging in order to match (or create) a brand style. The main image currently appears to be key. It is your shop window to the world and the first impact point so is very important. You also have your key product, service or up sell areas under these. They are the main entry areas or categories of the website after the banner image. If the company is active in producing content such as a news, blogs or specialist information, these can also be placed underneath the portals to keep the site looking fresh. There is flexibility for design even within the footer.
At mobile screen sizes, creating differentiation in design is more complex but subtle changes can have a visual impact and help the end user find what they need and contact you. At the larger screen levels there are various magic tools in a designer’s and a developer’s toolbox which can evoke various reactions or feelings required to attract customers or subscribers.
We can’t have the websites on the internet all looking the same! It would be boring and predictable and sterile. Pushing the boundaries is the way to a more successful designing future.
Is there still scope for web design? YES, and long may the intelligent design ideas continue!