Whether it's your homepage, a microsite, a landing page, or any other piece of virtual real estate you own on the web, design, development, functionality, and user experience are paramount. Plain-Jane HTML just isn't going to cut it. And it shouldn't. There have been many advances in web design technology, and brands have no excuse for not spending the time and effort required to create a truly wonderful web experience.
But before we delve into the lessons we've learned over this past year, it's important to cover what a website should accomplish. Web properties are no longer judged solely on the number of unique visitors or impressions they receive. Now, web design is judged on engagement and the length of time an audience spends interacting with a site.
Whenever you decide to undertake a design or development project, ask yourself what the web property should accomplish. At minimum, web properties should:
- Capture the visitor's attention
- Be relevant
- Be memorable
- Be user-friendly
- Make the visitor want to tell friends about it
- Make the visitor want to return again and again
Below are seven design lessons for 2013. Not every one will apply to every web design project, but it's good for all marketers to know what's new in the palette.