Raincastle's Web Design & Marketing Blog

DrivingRain

Posted by Paul Regensburg on Feb 9, 2016 8:30:00 AM

Web Design Trends: Personalization, Illustration and Explainer Videos Rock!

Are you struck by the homogeneity of today's long, scrolling web pages with full-bleed stock images and bold headlines?  While this mobile-driven trend is here to stay, there is good news for marketers looking for the next new thing. There's a growing trend of using illustration and hand drawn imagery in addition to, and in some cases, instead of stock photography.

Why is illustration poised for a comeback? Because the web is in the age of Personalization. Consumer brands have been utilizing personalization for a long time.The latest and greatest being Coca-Cola, who last year introduced the familiar silver and red cans and bottles emblazoned with people's names and now is introducing millions of custom, hand-painted bottle designs; for several months, no two bottles will look the same. Coca-Cola hired artists to create a small number of unique bottle designs and then utilized a computer algorithm to create virtually unlimited variations of these designs.

Personalized design is not relegated to the consumer world. B2B web visitors today have also reached the point where they expect information tailored to their needs, presented visually in a non-generic way that makes them feel like the brand understands them --- not only on an analytical level, but in a more intuitive, emotional way.

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Tags: web design / B2B / video / trends
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Posted by Paul Regensburg on Jun 2, 2015 8:25:00 AM

Is Removing Top Navigation a Web Trend to Avoid?

For the most part, I'd answer yes, but at the same time, it may be inevitable.

By the time a web design trend is recognized as such, it is a fait accompli, and practically all new sites begin to look the same. Take a look at the most recent web trends such as Parallax scrolling, long scrolling pages, use of icons, full bleed images, infographics and the list goes on.

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Tags: information architecture / SEO / user experience / mobile / design / design trends / responsive design / navigation / trends / mobile web / analytics
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Posted by Paul Regensburg on Mar 16, 2015 7:55:00 AM

The Five Most Relevant B2B Website Trends in 2015

Watching "Seinfeld" and then "Curb your Enthusiasm," has taught me to look for the universal truths, if not humor, in the mundanity of everyday life. Web design has as much mundanity as any other profession, but if you look carefully, there are patterns or trends (in addition to Responsive Design) worth noting that can help you transform your website from mundane to magnificent.

Content Now Drives Design
This may sound obvious today, but for most of the history of the web, we (web designers) designed the site first and fit the content in later. This is how it went:

  • Define your information architecture (site map) and navigation;
  • Layout the various design templates, which represent the different standard page types, i.e., About, Products and / or Services, Solutions, Contact Us with a form, etc;
  • Write copy;
  • Define visual assets;
  • Drop lengthy copy and images into template.

With this process, design could sometimes be a formulaic exercise.

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Tags: web design / B2B / trends
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Posted by Paul Regensburg on Jan 21, 2015 1:31:00 PM

How to Build B2B Websites That Serve Multiple Audiences, Part II

In "How to Build a B2B Website That Serves Multiple Audiences, Part I," I discussed the B2B branding and website design implications of how to create a website that effectively speaks to two or more disparate audiences. In this second part, I will adress this "multi-audience" web problem from the perspectives of information architecture, content creation and SEO.

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Tags: B2B / information architecture / SEO / content creation / website / trends
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Posted by Paul Regensburg on Jan 6, 2015 4:46:00 PM

How to Build B2B Websites That Serve Multiple Audiences, Part I

Maybe it is the function of the multi-product, multi-tasking, multi messaged nature of businesses these days but it seems that practically all of our clients share a common problem, which is how to create B2B websites that effectively speak to two or more disparate audiences — without diluting the user experience for each of those audiences. In this two-part blog post, I will address this "multi-audience" web problem, which spans brand, design, information architecture, content creation, and SEO.

B2B Branding for Multiple Web Audiences

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Tags: web design / B2B / content creation / design / responsive design / website / brand / trends / branding for websites
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