Get creative and think how you can adopt some of the ideas to make small improvements that can make a great impact on your website visitors and help them make the next step and meet your church in person. Most of the examples below are not church websites and the ones that are from the Christian world bring great joy. Who knows, maybe your church website will be listed here next year and set new standards. Why not?
Now, let’s see what will be going on this year in web design.
1. Rich Animations
Aren’t you tired of same looking static websites. What often happens is that because of ubiquitous monotony on the websites we remember less of what we see. You might have experienced a situation when you associated the look of the website with the information you found there.
If we want to help people get engaged with our church websites and provide greatest user experience we need to implement animations to our websites. While doing that we need to bear in mind that we want to be engaging not cheese. In our work we meet more and more clients who ask about implementing (or improving) the animation on their sites rather than a complete redesign. The great news is that is can be easily achieved without a total makeover.
Even little things like adding subtle animation to your call to action (CTA) can help people do what you would like them to do and created more engagement. Resizing the button every few seconds or slowly changing its color can be eye-catching and help to get attention of the visitor.
Transitions while moving to different pages are also easy to implement and beneficial for the overall experience.
2. Dynamic and Big Typography
With growing attention to the content the text plays a great part of web design nowadays. Google Fonts and Adobe Typekit play a major role in implementing great typography to our websites. The benefits it brings are non-negotiable. You don’t need to worry about the sharpness of text elements on retina displays any more. Wise use of textual elements can give a enhance a minimalistic look of your website. A great advantage it creates is the ability to play with size and colors to get more attention and the same time it can be perfectly utilized on mobile devices where typography plays a major role.
3. The Use of Video
It is not something you haven’t heard of or seen. The videos on the websites have been around for quite some time but usually worked as a background. The other problem were the mobile devices which didn’t always display web embed videos properly but this isn’t the case anymore.
The videos start taking over the top of the homepage and they create way more engagement there than usual sliders. A great video of your church can help your visitor feel the atmosphere of your congregation. A great addition here would be cinemagraph where your video consists of a still image and moving background. Neither an image nor a video but it plays a really crucial role – grabs attention! You can also try using interviews on your website with questions and objections people can have and get your church members respond to the concerns people interested in your church can have.
4. Increased Use of SVG
We already mentioned retina displays that might benefit your church website experience if you are ready for them. High resolutions screen don’t play well with low res content and when it comes to images Scalable Vector Graphics are way to go. For the visitors they are just regular shaped graphics but they actually are a description of the object’s shape in a mathematical way. Not only are they scalable and vector, you can also animate them which brings back the point about animations.
“When I was first looking for the solution that lead me to the SVG, I didn’t know how much it would change how I make websites. I am still surprised how often SVG has become the solution to more and more problems. Looking forward, I am very excited to see how SVG will be used next.” – Philip Zastorw (source)
5. Unconventional Layouts
The unified way of creating websites has led to sticking to the most popular column layouts which are intuitive for the users. The problem is that every site utilizing standard layouts is simply boring and visiting new sites reminds of hundreds others. What the future will most likely bring is more creativity to the way websites are organized which will be supported by the latest tools and those that will be presented in 2017.
6. Use Scrolling to Tell Stories
There is still so much going on with above the fold and navigation but we need to realize that people are used to scrolling. The know how to do is, they can figure out how much content is there below the fold so we can use it. The goal is to tell a compelling story while they do scroll. Take them on a journey that will be gripping and make them want to meet you in person. Tell them about who you are, what they can expect. Use videos and animations mentioned above. Get them to interact with you. It doesn’t have to be really difficult and might highly improve engagement on your website.
7. Bright and Vibrant Colors
If your brand palette doesn’t have a pop color yet it’s high time you get one. Don’t be boring. Colorful accents will bring more life to your website and help you stay relevant. Feel free to experiment and if you need help check samples available here.
I hope the list have helped you understand the direction contemporary web design is taking. As already mentioned, you don’t need to try to apply every single idea into your church website project but hopefully there is a few elements that might be easily improved and make your church website stand out.
Do you have any question or want to add something to the discussion? Leave a comment below.