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Increased Visual Stimulation in Websites

By Heshy Friedman

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Website standards are constantly evolving. Perhaps the most significant transformation in this field in the last several years has been the changeover to responsive design as a new standard. With the increase of resolution on the newest large monitors, and the explosive usage of mobile web browsing, the necessity to create websites to effectively adapt the many screen sizes and device types has become a priority. Responsive Web Design (RWD) addresses this by providing the tooling to have the web content adapt and resize to an ideal browsing width in all scenarios.

The essence of the transformation of websites to responsive design lies within the coding of the HTML and CSS. However, another almost equally important design component has been a critical player in this transformation. This is the change in design to larger graphics, larger text, and less content. This trend is responsible for leaner content and a more graphical structure in websites.

As the attention span of people browsing seems to be on the decrease, it is more important than ever to impress by visual stimulation rather than just long text scrolling. Aside from research and content-driven websites, corporate and organizational websites are providing more visual stimulation to keep those browsing interested. While in the past people were generally looking for content to read on these websites, today they are looking to be impressed. Only longer article pages such as informational blogs (like this one) and research pages should be text heavy, and even those pages should have a graphical component with associated images.

Old websites are easily identifiable as being fixed into their position, and often associated with that is lots of text on the pages, with long pages that have lots of scrolling. However, new sites need to be created with a design-first approach, to ensure the text and pictures used have proper sizing, emphasis, color, and positioning to be effective. While graphics have always played an imperative role in websites, a smart and effective design plan and structure is more critical today than ever before.

An additional trend along these lines is the use of images associated with articles and pages that are generated when sharing a link. If you ever copy in a link and paste it in a social media site such as Facebook, you will notice that the image associated with the page is brought in as well so that the link is more visual and doesn’t get lost as a text link. This trend has now been extended to links on messaging apps and SMS messages on cell phones, and to many other platforms where website links are shared. It is therefore very important for web designers to set the web page so that it properly shares the correct graphic one wants associated with the page.

While virtually all websites created in the past five years have been designed in a responsive design format, many developers are not adept at properly creating a visually stimulating browsing experience. It’s important to use a professional company that understands marketing trends and browsing priorities rather than a company that knows only how to code in a responsive design.

 

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