Why Flat Design Works So Well

Have you ever visited a website that makes you leave as soon as you see it? We all have. The scary thing is that your website could be one of them. Many people, especially the newest generation of consumers, are starting to dislike the look and functionality of well-built websites from just a couple years ago. Why? Because there is too much “going on”, making the browsing experience too difficult.

If your website looks dated, then it probably has more issues than just appearance; it probably hasn’t been optimized for mobile devices, for example. Considering that mobile devices make up roughly 30% of web traffic in the U.S., it is generally considered a good idea to make sure your website is accessible to those users. If your website is too difficult for them to use, they will find another. Those people were your potential customers, gone because they didn’t like using your website.

Mobile versions of websites have solved the issue for many people, but they’ve almost worked too well. Websites created for mobile devices are convenient to use, and that is why web viewers are starting to dislike many full-size websites. This has created a new style of web design, called “flat design”.

Google Logo | Flat Logo

Google is a good example of a subtle flat design. Check out their newest logo and website.

This trending style isn’t only a result of personal preferences, though. There are reasons it is so popular this year.

Flat Design is the result of logical choices

Flat websites are easier to use.

Content is blocked out in easily understandable sections. Gradients, shadows, embossed and beveled buttons, and large amounts of text are all “going out-of-style”. “CLICK HERE” buttons, for example, are being replaced with buttons that the user can tell are clickable by their appearance and placement. Convenience for the user is one of the main focus points of the design.

Simple-color images are smaller

Flat Icons | Increasing load speed

These icons load quickly, while remaining visually appealing and recognizable to the user.

The fewer the colors in an image, the smaller the file-size. Huge, high quality images load reasonably quickly on a high-speed connection, but many people don’t have fast connections. Mobile devices often times don’t have enough “service” to take full advantage of their mobile networks, and the “free high-speed wi-fi” options available to travelers is usually mediocre at best. Flat design combined with well-written Sass CSS, could help your website load significantly faster, which increases your favor with Google’s ranking algorithm.

Navigation is difficult on phone and tablets.

Devices that use a touch screen instead of a mouse don’t have the ability to hover, which many websites utilize in their menus. This makes it difficult for mobile users to navigate. Flat design solves this issue by avoiding complex navigation and website “depth”, making the website easily navigatable for both mobile and desktop users.

Large blocks of text aren’t useful.

Flat design uses less text than a run-of-the-mill website, because more isn’t always better. Although plentiful textual information looks good to Google’s bots, your viewers aren’t reading most of it. Studies show that readers scan large amounts of text to find what they are looking for in a pattern that resembles an “F”. The first couple headings are scanned over, then the rest of the content in glanced at vertically in an attempt to find something interesting. Knowing this, your website should deliver what your business has to offer before your viewers get bored with reading about it (it happens fast). Your first two headings (remember that “F” pattern) should display your most important information. Flat design gets rid of the  low-value content to make space for high-value content, or give the design some empty space, or breathing room, if there is “too much going on”. That means you shouldn’t have have more than a couple headings for any subject on a main page.

Flat Design | Flat Website | Responsive Design

No compromises here. SpellTower’s website looks and functions the same across all devices.

Flat Design retains your website appearance across devices.

The blocked out and straight-to-the-point content of a flat design can be scaled easily without losing the core of your website’s design. The result is a website that is visually and functionally similar across all devices, making flat design an appealing choice when developing a “responsive” website.

Of course, flat design isn’t the only way to go. There are many styles of web design that also work well, but flat design solves a lot of problems that are difficult to work around otherwise. Not everyone likes the look or functionality of flat design, but you still need to make sure your website is accessible for everyone. If you have a live website already, try clearing your cache and loading it with you have a slow connection, or navigating through the site with a touch-screen.

What Will a Website do for My Business?

As a Dawsonville web development company we often get asked, “Why do I need a website for my business? What will it do for me?”  The answer is actually simple, and having a great website is crucial in the expanding world of technology that we live in today.

Your Business Needs a WebsiteSo, what will a website do for your business?

  • When is the last time you looked for a phone number in a printed phone book?  Odds are it’s been a while.  Search engines like Google and Yahoo are now the main vessels of information.  Having a great Dawsonville web development team strategically build and optimize a website for your company will put you at the top of the list when consumers are looking for the products or services that you offer.
  • Once you have a website, it opens a whole new market.  It will allow customers, and potential customers or investors, to learn more about your business via web search.  That said, you can’t just throw together a website and hope for the best.  There is more to it than that.  The site needs to look professional and be optimized for search engines so that your company develops a great web presence.
  • Potential customers are looking for your services or products.  If you don’t have a website, it’s guaranteed that they will find your competitor’s site instead.  Meaning that one of your customers is now lost.
  • Having a great website will allow you to keep customers engaged in your business by allowing you to post new things about your company.  You can let customers know about sales and specials, or that you’re moving or opening a new location.

It is important to remember, however, that having no website at all is better than a poor one.  Make sure you hire a great professional Dawsonville web development team to design and maintain a great web presence for your growing business.  Don’t miss out on another customer.

Top 6 Google Updates that Positively Affect SEO

Google has a way of making SEO companies squirm with new updates and changes to their search algorithms.  This year’s updates have really made an impact on the world of SEO.  However, it’s not what you think.  Any good SEO team that creates great content that is relevant to readers will still have great rankings in Google’s search results.

Google PandaHere are six of the 50 changes that Google made in March that are the most important to SEO and marketing:

  • Update Codename: Blackboard will process autocomplete queries that include math symbols. (+, -, %, $, @, etc.)
  • Update Codename: Prof-2 allows for betting indexing of profile pages from more than 200 social network sites.
  • Update Codename: ShieldsUp allows for better handling of local intent and navigational queries, where it looks as if the user is trying to navigate to a specific site, or within a specific site that is near their current location.
  • Update Codename: Curlup is the big one that has some “black hat SEO companies” shaking.  This allows Google to crawl a webpage and rank a website based on quality, and what it brings to the user, instead of ranking for SEO alone.  This is what I mentioned before, using keywords is still best practice.  However, don’t just shove them into sentences and content that don’t fit.
  • Update Codename: Fibyen improves the algorithm that determines dates for blogs, ensuring that the newest and most relevant results are brought to users.
  • Update Codename: Lice updates the signals that Google uses related to the landing page that quality images are located on.  This means that users will find higher quality images, even if the images are on lower quality pages.

Google’s updates always seem to scare everyone on the web. Though Google isn’t setting us up for a SEOpocolypse, and as long as you have great tactics there’s nothing to worry about.  If you own a business that has a website just make sure that you have a great Atlanta SEO and web development team taking care of your web presence.  This will ensure the best rankings in Google and greater traffic overall.