Web Design Predictions for 2016: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

In the dynamic web design industry things always stay in motion. New and exciting concepts, techniques and tools are constantly being introduced. Original minds keep the industry fresh by challenging norms and coming up with innovative styles. For anyone interested in web design, marketing and online business, this means always keeping your finger on the pulse of the industry.

As part of our mission to make professional website building easy, Wix is always on the lookout for new trends and styles in web design. We want to make sure that our platform offers the most cutting edge designs and modes, and that our users have everything they need to create beautiful websites.

With a new year coming up, we decided to share some of our insights on where web design is headed in 2016. Now, it might seem a bit early for a new year predictions list, but think about it this way: 2016 is one business quarter away. If you want to make sure your website is ready for it, why not start now?

On that note, we are happy to share our the Wix experts’ web design predictions for 2016.  By the time you finish reading this you’ll be mostly excited, but also a tiny bit terrified.

Web Design Predictions for 2016: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

The Good

Graphic Text: Get ready to see a lot of creative use of text that is comprised of images, textures and patterns. Typography has always been a significant part of web design, but with the integration of texts and other graphic elements, it will now gain even more importance in the overall site look.

Customer-Centric Web Design: The idea that web design should be guided by the customers’ needs sounds self-explanatory, and yet it is only now starting to emerge as a serious consideration in the design process. Customer-centric web designpromotes designers and site owners to envision the customers’ journey through your website and to optimize the site in order to make the journey better.

Centered Content: A powerful style that will become ever more prevalent on homepage designs is centered content, which places the main message of the page right at the center of the screen, surrounded by a striking visual or a smooth texture that creates a dramatic effect. This layout works brilliantly on pages that want to emphasize a minimal amount of content.

Split Content: With centered layouts rocking content-light pages, pages that carry more substance will also get a facelift with split content layout. Split content divides the screen into wide sections, not Pinterest-style boxes. Significantly, the look of each different section can vary, not being dictated by a single aesthetic tone. This gives designers a huge space for creativity without threatening the clarity of content hierarchies.

new

The Bad

Too-Long Scrolling: Mobile design and the hegemony of Facebook made long scrolling a common trend in web design. This type of page layout certainly has a lot of advantages and it generated many fantastically designed websites. However, we are now discovering that there is such a thing as too long. Exhausting scrolling, unclear division of content into section, heavily-animated scrolling effects – these are just some of the risks in designing a page with no end in sight.

Hidden Navigation: Another element that emerged due to the success of mobile design is hidden navigation, which compresses the entire menu into one icon (also known as the Hamburger Menu) that expands once clicked on. This makes perfect sense on a mobile device, where every bit of space is extremely valuable, but the increasing presence of hidden navigation on full-size websites can really harm the site’s usability. A golden rule in web design is to avoid unnecessary complications. Hiding the navigation menu and adding an extra click in the visitors experience is pretty much a textbook definition of a complication.

Overlapping Elements: A text on an image, which is placed on a shape, which is placed on an image, which is placed on a pattern background with a conflicting color palette  – who can make sense of all of this chaos? Let’s agree to keep things clear, and one way to do that is to avoid excessive and offensive layering.

Website Intro Page: Society is facing a serious problem. Websites are gaining too much weight. Instead of addressing this issue by trying to reduce the content load (and thus improve the loading time!), more and more people choose to disguise the problem by adding an introduction page to their site, where visitors are greeted while the chubby site slowly loads. The outcome? Instead of bringing your visitors closer, you push them away by adding an extra page to their viewing experience. Sometimes it’s easier to just go on a content diet.

Website Intro Page

The Ugly

App Overload: It’s truly awesome that site owners can integrate 3rd-party tools and apps to their sites, but surely there is a limit. It’s tempting to add more functionalities, true, but remember that these tools were all designed separately by completely different people. They often have totally different styles, and, especially if you add multiple apps per page, an aesthetic conflict is inevitable.

Google Deep Dream: The creepy psychedelic universe that Google unleashed is inspiring people to create scary things. For now, it’s only your social feeds that are filled with bizarre images of dogs, eyes and limbs, but we fear that soon enough we will start seeing these twisted visuals on websites as well.

 

Don’t worry, Wix is here to fight for web design goodness. Create your beautiful website today!

What Facebook’s Targeting Changes Mean For Brands

Facebook, a company not necessarily known for transparency regarding data privacy issues, announced on Thursday it was giving users more insight to and control over how their personal information is used by advertisers. But also included in that announcement were details of how Facebook was increasing interest-based targeting capabilities.

That is, Facebook simultaneously made its ad targeting capabilities more robust, yet easier for users to opt-out of.

Agency executives welcomed the move for being both pro-consumer and as way for brands to waste less time and money advertising to consumers whose interests were incorrectly marked.

“If Facebook can educate consumers more about advertising, consumers are going to be in a far better position to reward good advertising and object to bad advertising,” David Berkowitz, CMO of digital agency MRY, said.

Chris Bowler, head of social media at digital agency Razorfish, echoed that sentiment.

“If you don’t want to hear about my brand, I have a bigger issue than advertising, and an ad on Facebook won’t overcome that,” he said. “Perhaps some users will use these ad preferences and I won’t reach them and maybe that’s a good thing.”

Every ad in a user’s news feed will now come adorned with a drop down menu allowing users to give feedback — such as liking the advertiser’s Facebook page in order to receive more messages from them, or opting out of receiving ads from that company entirely.

The drop down menu will also feature an “About this Ad” tab marked with the Digital Advertising Alliance’s (DAA) blue AdChoices icon. The tab leads users to a separate page which explains to them why they received that particular ad, and to opt out of the targeting practices used to serve it to them.

The “Why am I seeing this?” option will send users to a page showing them the interest the advertiser used to serve them that ad. If a user selects the “Why am I seeing this?” option on a World Cup-related ad from Nike, for instance, she might see that Nike served her that ad because she had expressed an interest in soccer. From that page she can customize which interests she’d like to be used for ad targeting purposes.

Opting out of soccer would not make her completely ineligible for Nike’s World Cup ad, however. If Nike decided to target a broad demographic that included her, she could see that same ad again, albeit based on different ad targeting criteria.

It’s the first time Facebook has honored the DAA’s suggested opt-out practices for platforms, and the changes will be rolled out within the U.S. over the next several weeks.

Facebook users who visited the site on Thursday received a notification from Facebook itself informing them of the change via this blog post. But included in that blog post was the announcement that Facebook is also going to be expanding its ad targeting capabilities for advertisers.

The message then, seems a way for Facebook to try to head off any criticism over what it does with user data. The company has come under fire from consumers and online privacy advocates in the past for being too cavalier with its users’ data.

“They’re definitely getting out in front of privacy and communications better than they have in the past,” Jason Stein, president of social media agency Laundry Service, said.

Stein added that the new targeting capabilities will also be a major benefit to Facebook and performance-driven ad partners.

“Being able to target users based on activity off Facebook, in other apps and on websites, is very valuable, especially to direct response advertisers,” he said.

Facebook says it is not collecting more data on its users. Rather, it’s expanding the use of existing ad tracking capabilities. Previously, Facebook’s conversion pixel and remarketing pixel were only available for advertisers to measure and target their own campaigns. The conversion pixel tracked whether a Facebook ad resulted in a conversion on a different site, and the remarketing pixel allowed companies to retarget people who visited their websites when they were on Facebook.

The change turns that first party data into aggregated third party data, according to Stein, allowing advertisers a fuller picture into Facebook users’ browsing histories. Pampers, for instance, can now retarget people who visited Gerber’s website, whereas previously Pampers could only retarget visitors to its own site.

The pinpointed nature of this targeting pits Facebook against Google, which seems a departure from Facebook’s “social advertising” ptich, according to Fahad Khan, CEO at One Public, a Facebook preferred marketing developer.

“Facebook has found, the hard way, that there is no better way to mint ad-dollars than Google’s way, which is to use all of user data to make ad targeting better,” he said. “It is no longer about social advertising, it is now all about targeted display and native ads.”

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5 Data-Driven Decisions You Can Make Today

ImageMarketers have heard plenty about the tremendous promise of data-driven marketing, but when it’s time to make decisions about campaigns, budget, and offers, where do you start?

Trends and statistics akin to a crystal ball reside within that massive pile of existing customer information that can predict the future, improve response rates of campaigns, and increase retention and revenue from current customers. Here are five places to start leveraging customer data, alongside your own instincts, to improve campaigns.

1. Decide When To Consider A Customer ‘Lost’

One way to know exactly when to identify a customer as lost or defected is to look at all the transactions for customers who have made more than one purchase. Find the time after which 90 percent of those customers have made their next purchase, and call that the activity period. In other words, the active file includes customers who made their last purchases within the time span that it takes 90 percent of customers to make their next purchase. Some customers will purchase outside of this time span, and others will be marked as inactive and then put back in the active file when they return to purchasing. Setting the activity period this way ensures almost all customers who repurchase will stay active.

2.  Decide How To Divide Your Marketing Budget Between Acquisition And Retention
Often times, e-commerce companies find themselves addicted to acquisition–spending too much time attracting first-time buyers for their sales.  If the bulk of your revenue comes from existing customers, then it’s folly to undermarket to them while allocating most of your budget to acquisition. Acquisition needs a disproportionate share, but not so much that will restrict the lifeblood of sales from your current customers.

Here’s one formula for adjusting your revenue distribution with the assumption that revenue from a group of contacts is roughly proportional to the budget allocated to them: Existing customers should get R/(R+P) of the marketing budget. P represents your penalty–how much more it costs to acquire a new customer compared to making a sale from an existing customer. If you don’t know this number, pick one in the commonly accepted 5x to 8x range. R represents the ratio of revenue that comes from new customers compared to existing customers. For example, if R equals three, this means that three times as much revenue comes from existing customers, a healthy ratio. The result of this formula is the percentage of your budget that should go toward marketing to existing customers. For example, for R=3 and P=5, 3/(3+5) = .375, or 37.5% of your budget should go to existing customers for them to contribute 75 percent to your total revenue.

3.  Which Customers Are Most Worth Keeping
Usually, marketers use total revenue or an RFM score to decide which contacts to include in reactivation campaigns, rewards programs, and direct market campaigns with expensive collateral. Often, every customer in the active file is considered to be valuable. Customer lifetime value is used often on a segment basis, not per individual customer.

To understand your most valuable customers, you should develop and use a value metric that considers variables other than total revenue and recency.  An important and common omission is breadth of purchasing. Other useful components of a value metric are the future lifetime value of a customer and changes in the time between orders.  A good value metric will correlate predicted purchases in the next quarter with number of items purchased and inversely, with recency. While revenue is one component, it is not the only component. Revenue often contributes less than 40 percent to a true value metric.

4. Which Customers To Call When You Absolutely Need A Sale
When needing to reach short-term a revenue goal, knowing which customer to call and expect a positive response is critical. Instead of targeting the customers who spend most, use other metrics that can identify a likely near-term buyer. For example, who represents the greatest up-sell opportunity? Focus on customers with high up-sell probabilities, pitching the right products to those with a high likelihood to make another purchase.

Another approach is to look at customer buying patterns, such as a purchase delay metric measuring how many purchases a customer has missed based on their buying patterns. Each customer has his own unique pattern. A purchase delay of two means that a customer has missed two purchases off his usual cycle and may not be a good target for a near-term sale. Customers with purchase delays less than one are accelerating their buying rates and could be excellent prospects for that sale you need.

5. When To Campaign To A Customer
Wouldn’t it be great if every customer were ready to buy every time you were ready to send out a campaign? Most companies make a calendar-based decision as to when to send campaigns. Typically companies e-mail everyone in their active files from once a month to every day, send postcards monthly, and send catalogs seasonally or more.

Your data can help make a more informed decision about when to press “send.”  Calculate a likely buyer score–the probability that a customer will make a purchase in some predetermined time period covered by your communication, typically one month. Then send your more costly pieces only to those customers whose likely buyer score is greater than 1 percent or 2 percent.

A marketer’s instincts are powerful when it comes to some of these decisions, and relying on your gut is sometimes the way to go. Still, at least look at what the data says. When your instincts match the data, your confidence level is boosted. When they don’t, at least you understand the alternatives. Give your data the chance to help.

 

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