Has 2014 found you looking anew at your b2b website, itching for a refresh? If so, you’re not alone. In the last two months we’ve witnessed a great deal of website-update itchy feet – both within the Bc camp and among our clients.
If you’ve found yourself with a yen to replace or refresh your website, here are some hot web trends that can - and should - be carried into the b2b websites of 2014 and beyond. Check out our wishlist below of this year's must-have website features.
1. Smart transitions
With so much of this year’s focus on user experience, it makes sense to give some thought to updating your typical anchor links to animated transitions that slide seamlessly across the menu. This gives the user, if only for a split second, a glimpse of the other page’s content. (Check this out in practice here.) This type of animation gives users an unbroken experience, with fluidly-moving content and navigation.
2. Out of the box typography
Typography is part of a brand and has a huge role to play in bringing your online brand - especially b2b brands - to life. Not only does great typography set the tone for a brand, it can also lift a site where images or graphics are not appropriate or practical. We love how fellow b2b-ers Rule of Three use typography so powerfully it becomes the key feature of the site.
3. Cross device experience (aka responsive design)
B2b marketers stand up and take note! Mobile for b2b is here to stay. If you haven’t at the very least got a mobile site, you’re missing a big opportunity. What’s more, the mobile sites of 2012 have morphed into responsive design which responsively adjusts to desktop, tablet and mobile devices.
No matter how small the segment accessing your site via mobile, this audience is only set to grow. A good cross-device experience ensures a smooth, unbroken brand experience for your users.
4. Flat design
Apple - arguably the design innovators of our time - turned digital design on its head late last year with the release of the iOS7 update. With it came the design aesthetic most commonly known as “flat design.” Apple went back to basics and dropped pretty much every design frill possible, along with drop shadows and gradients. Which left us with a clean, fresh and modern look and feel. We believe this simple and understated design trend will translate perfectly into b2b’s clean, no-fuss approach.
A final note: Fitting the trends within your brand (not the other way round)
Unlike fluoro, mullets and 80s perms, these trends are certainly here to stay – and the trick now is to understand how they fit in with your brand. Perhaps a wholesale “out with the old, in with the new” is what your brand needs: or perhaps it’s as simple as incorporating choice elements of these trends into what you already have. The choice is yours.
Anything to say?
Will these latest website trends play a role in your 2014 web strategy? We’d love to know! Share your thoughts in the comments below.
And don't forget that at the heart of every website refresh should be a clear and consistent brand image and message. Do you know which archetype is your brand?