If you think that today’s websites are much of a muchness these days, you’re right.
Is this however a bad thing or caused by lazy web designers?
It’s more about the need to have mobile responsive websites and the increased use of WordPress which makes websites look similar. This, and a need for a smooth UI (user interface). It’s not just about the need to view websites on mobile devices, it’s also about changed behaviour when viewing a website on a mobile.
In 2015, there was some resistance to the hamburger menu by some clients, insistent that visitors would not know what it was. They were possibly right for a few months last year but today, I don’t think that’s the case. The hamburger works, long may it live.
It’s weird. Three years or so ago, we all hated long scrolls. Thanks to mobile devices, today a scroll is the way to go. It also allows for neat storytelling.
So websites may be similar today (and that will change again) but, with bandwidth being less of a concern and data compression, the clever use of images attracts, draws interest and sets your website apart. We’re also seeing increased use of videos – give the visitor a choice of reading about you or hearing and seeing it all in 2 minutes. By the way, that’s the whole point of how an understanding of brands plays such a big role in websites today. If you know your brand and how it connects with your target audience, it becomes far easier to design your website to get the pertinent points across (see Brand Strategy) in minimal time, without any fluff, sideshows or distractions.
You also want your website visitors to absorb – in short seconds – who you are, what you offer and why it’s important. And you need to get a sense of your personality and culture across. Why? You have a few seconds for the visitor to develop a speech bubble which says: “I like this company!”
And, for us, that’s what the initial reaction should be from a visitor (who fits your target audience, obviously) and meets you for the first time.
“I like this company!”