Websites have undergone a swift evolution the past 25 years. The internet is a relatively new invention, so it’s pretty amazing to think about where the world stands currently, and it’s dependency on an invention that wasn’t recognizable as what it is today until the year 1990.
Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web in 1990, which allowed individuals to use hypertext links to connect from one document to another. Today, the entire system is founded on these hypertext links, called HTML (Hypertext Markup Language). The world has been completely transformed since then, and websites have become a mode of international commerce.
Even the Internet Evolves
Evolution is not limited to the animal kingdom; evolution speaks for a development in pretty much anything. With the growth and evolution of the internet itself, there have been many different ways of doing things. Each change has been for the purpose of streamlining the user’s experience, as well as increasing profitability for businesses.
In time, people learn what works best, and the best companies are great at adapting with the times, as well as creating cultures and models for others to follow. Sites like Google, Yahoo, and Facebook are great examples of this. What started off as a limited display of information has transformed into artistic expression.
To be relevant on the internet today, website entities have to stand out from the masses and prove that they evolve with the times. There are almost 1 billion websites on the internet! On that note, here are some essential website features, that if incorporated into your design, can help you stay in the game.
A Hero Image is a Good Place to Start
A huge trend in websites as of late is the use of a hero image. This is not to be confused with a giant picture of your favorite super hero, although, your favorite super hero can be the image of choice. A hero image, in simple terms, is a large background image strategically placed to invoke intrigue, wow, and inspiration out of a visitor.
Usually a hero image is accompanied by a succinct phrase that is a call to action. For example, subscribe now, share, like, donate, etc. Or it may tell the user what your site is about, and gives them a taste, without giving them the whole dessert. The user can then decide whether they want to continue down the hypothetical rabbit hole.
Leading With Bread Crumbs
People usually like a little bit of intrigue in their lives, and they don’t necessarily like being shown all of the puzzle pieces at once. It’s the reason movies are so popular, especially suspense and action-packed ones that are unpredictable. People generally categorize a good movie based on whether or not it surprised them…the same can be true for websites.
A crucial part of modern web design is taking the user on a journey. It’s more complex than that, however, because the interface has to be easy to follow, as to not scare away the viewer with intricate passageways or checkout pages. You’re still selling a product, so it’s important to leave bread crumbs for your audience that tell them exactly where to go, while keeping them intrigued.
If your website has a lot of pages, a breadcrumb trail is the way to guide your viewer to the right place. If you have a simple site, it’s not necessary. To learn more, you can read about breadcrumb trails here.
There are many other aspects of a modern website and the two mentioned above only scratch the surface. If you want to remain relevant in a modern world, follow these examples and do your research to learn even more.
Hansel and Gretel can’t wait to follow your breadcrumb trail and would love it if you used an illustration of them as your hero image.