When I finally get the call that someone is ready to get a new website, it’s usually followed by a string of complaints about the old one. I can look at a site and usually pinpoint the exact year it was made. I usually follow-up, “Don’t be too upset with your designer, that’s how we did things in 2013!” Not long ago, eh? It’s true. Website design is like fashion – it changes constantly and it’s difficult to keep up. Every 2 years you should schedule a complete overhaul to keep in the game.
Color Scheme. Pantone has chosen the below green as the “color of the year!” People tend to associate green with new beginnings and growth. In this bull market, people are associating green with their new, improved outlook. But not every website needs to be green! Bright colors are huge this year and are not likely to go away. See material design palette for their “best-selling” colors. Choose two combinations and it’ll provide a complimentary color scheme.
Cinemagraphs. This is a brand-new technique that utilizes a photo with an additional layer of animation. It’s cool looking, but suffers from the same limitations as embedded video. The large files can eat up your website’s availability to maintain a speedy load time, so people can be waiting a few extra seconds for the coolness effect. If you are interested in this sweet animation technique, try to limit yourself to one on the home page to minimize server load.
Bold, Creative Typography. No more is the internet limited to Times New Roman and Sans Serif. Browsers are capable of reading thousands of different fonts across the globe! Also, expect larger headers than you’ve seen in the past. With new studies showing that people are skimmers, not readers (as previously theorized), designers are taking the initiative to get basic points across with bold, large text to point skimmers in the right direction. If a potential client is only interested in selling their property, they need to be able to see that heading quickly and easily. Don’t make them scroll through tons of tiny text to find their interest.
360 Video & VR. The real estate industry is already familiar with the virtual tour. While less common in commercial real estate, it can be a big selling feature in a Class A building. Especially if you’re having a hard time leasing a particular suite or area. VR is brand-new and may take a little while before it catches on to commercial real estate, but keep in the idea in your back pocket. I have a feeling VR is going to be huge in 10-years.
Microinteractions. What the heck is this?! Microinteractions are small, fun pieces to your website that add a tiny bit of “umph”. Examples include when you roll over a clock and it spins, clicking on a box that flips and changes color, moving your mouse over a photo and it turns from black and white to color. Think of tiny details that make your website a little more interesting. Like the neat looking cover on your cell phone! It’s not necessary to making calls, but it’s more unique than a plain, aluminum case.