GIFs & Animations:

If a picture is worth a thousand words, a GIF is worth… well it depends, but according to Giphy’s CEO, upwards of 60,000. GIFs, or for Graphics Interchange Format are shared more than JPEG and PNG format images. Beyond their amazing entertainment value, GIFs have great application in the business space. Compared to static images, GIFs are more eye catching and are more capable of showing functionality, especially useful for digital products. Here at Agentpoint we have started using GIFs more and more to showcase the dynamic interaction of our sites. Compared to videos, GIFs are more time and cost effective and GIFs don’t require any special software to run and are small file size that can be embedded anywhere.

Less stock, More authentic:

Day by day, year by year, we are creating digital content at a faster rate, and, as you would expect, our need for quality photos and images is also increasing at a faster rate. These days, most people can pick out an overused stock photo easily. So many images are cliche and overused, they are filler space that don’t add any value to your brand or product. On the other hand, original photos build confidence in your brand and drive leads. A case study of Harrington Moving and Storage proved the impact authenticity can have. They A/B tested using a control page with stock imagery and two alternate pages containing identical content but with original photos of their crew and equipment.When asked about the impact on revenue, Brian McKenzie of Spectrum Mind Inc said “Assuming a constant value per lead, this test has added about $10,000 / month in interstate moves so far.”

Can’t get away from stock photos?
– Do a reverse image search with Google or a tool like TinEye to see who else and where else the photo is being used. Make sure it isn’t over used or used by competitors.
– Get creative with cropping, zooming, filters, background manipulations and typographic pairings to make it your own. No graphic design skills? Hop on canva.com. Its easy to learn and gives anyone the capability to create better social media posts, watermark their work, and manipulate images.

UX & UI:

Clicks require a conscious decision to be taken away into another space based on seeing bite sized teaser content… When scrolling, the user doesn’t have to make that conscious decision to change their behavior, they just keep doing what they are doing.The internet is still fairly new, and the way that humans engage with it is constantly changing and is studied on a huge scale. You may or may not have heard the terms UX (user experience) and UI (user interface). These terms describe how a person experiences a website and by what means they interact with the software. So in a multi page web site a user would need to find the correct button or text link to catch their eye and/ or direct them to the content they are looking for. This opens up the possibility of error. Let’s say you are looking to learn more about an agencies covered suburbs. You click on the link “More about us” but are taken a company description so you click back, look around and then click on “Our Products” but that page doesn’t have the information either. At this point, most people would close page and go back to google search to find a company that has more user-centric design.

In a single scroll page style website there is less chance of a user getting frustrated trying to find the right button and loosing them as a client, instead they just keep scrolling. At Agentpoint we urge our clients to incorporate this design strategy into their web page. Especially the homepage should be long enough to cover all the basic information your key demographic would be seeking. Creating a better user experience means designing with empathy, stepping into the mindset of the people you want to access your website.

Material Design:

Google created the Material Design as a design language in 2014 to create more enjoyable browsing by showcasing content in a neat and digestible way. Simple, organized, flexible and responsive. As it sounds it’s concept comes from treating the digital space like paper. It expands on the use of “cards”, grid based layouts, responsive animations & transitions and lighting effects & shadows. Google’s Vice President of Design, Matías Duarte explained that, “unlike real paper, our digital material can expand and reform intelligently. Material has physical surfaces and edges. Seams and shadows provide meaning about what you can touch.”The design style identifies content types with intuitive interaction. It relies heavily on “cards” and broad gesture controls instead of buttons. The concept is simple: click on the card to interact with content. This creates more clickable area than a button or linked text.

Some major web players have already started adapting the style like Pinterest, Tumblr & Dribble. Check out Google’s full guide (HERE) to and see how you can implement the concepts into your social media and website design.

Ryan O'Grady

About Ryan O'Grady

Founding and operating digital web services businesses, Ryan has a passion for technology and over 10 years experience delivering online services to the classifieds verticals in Australia, New Zealand and Asia.

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