The richness of the web is no longer compromised by misused technologies and limited bandwidth. Photography websites are not oblivious to the overall impact these trends can have. And to successfully navigate this space, photographers can look to the future optimistically by paying close attention to current photography website design trends.
1. Huge photographs
Images are the main content on photography websites. More and more photographers prefer not to waste the space on featured background and big layout elements making the photos dominate on the screen, in some cases website is loaded full screen automatically.
2. No Music Please
We’re seeing less audio in photography websites. Why? Because a lot of people are simply annoyed by music blasting through their speakers unexpectedly. After all, they’re visiting a photography site to look at images, not listen to music. Audio files also increase a website’s download time substantially. Ultimately all these factors have a negative impact on the user experience. If for nostalgic purposes music can still be utilized, and if done tastefully it can add ambiance to the presentation. A smart way of adding music to a site could be accomplished by removing the auto-play functionality and letting the user choose when to listen. This is the new approach to implementing audio on the web, and we expect to find more photography sites without music.
3. Search Engines are Important
Many photographers are beginning to understand the power of SEO. Search engines are the nexus between users and a website, or translated, between clients and a business. Implementing a smart SEO strategy is always beneficial. This is achieved by using smart copy and relevant HTML tag structures that will get a site noticed in search engines. And as the web continues to grow in competing information and noise, hyper local search will be the main driver of targeted traffic. This occurs when information about a service on a website is made relevant to a specific local region. An example of this search trend would be creating a SEO strategy for photography services in San Mateo, California, in an effort to rank first on searches for this service in the region. Keyword search will continue to play an important role and should always be part of any web strategy.
4. Mobile and Tablet Readiness
With the explosion of smartphones, iPhones, and iPads you can expect that an increasing number of visitors to any website will be using some sort of mobile device. To take advantage of the new digital channels a site must be created with these viewing devices in mind, fully conversant in a variety of screen resolutions. By making a photography website mobile and tablet ready viewership will not be affected and will actually increase in the coming years.
5. Big & Elegant typography
Big type rocks modern web design. It is everywhere, and photography websites are not an exception. The days of generic and boring fonts on the web are over. Font embedding technologies like Typekit and Cufon have allowed for creative uses of typography in web design. The variety and options are almost limitless. Special typography enhances the overall effect and experience of a site, adding to the aesthetic appeal of a site’s photography. Much like the rest of the web design landscape we imagine better and more elegant applications of typography across photography websites.
6. More text
Naturally, photos are the main content filling on photography websites, but we noticed that more photographers now use verbal form along with visual to communicate with the visitors. Blogs, tutorials, comprehensive descriptions of photo categories and single shots became quite popular in photo portfolio design. The more text on the website, the better it is for SEO and profile building, probably these are the main reasons for this trend.
7. Innovative Layouts
As web technologies allow for more space to maneuver, designers are getting creative and breaking away from the traditional box layout. It is not uncommon to see websites with long horizontal scroll or fixed vertical navigation. The fold, that imaginary line at the bottom edge of your screen, is no longer sacred as designers move past it to extend their designs south of the border. Unusual grid layouts are allowing for more creative ways of displaying photography on a webpage, and some clear examples are the multiple column magazine layouts and scrapbook style galleries that started springing up in photography sites. Design and photography, both creative arenas, will continue to complement each other by pushing the limits of web design layouts.
8. Social Media Integration
It goes without saying that social media has transformed how we communicate as a society. Facebook and Twitter are growing at breakneck pace and websites along all spectrums and industries are factoring this huge social component into their web design and marketing decisions. Facebook integration and apps add social proof and power to any website and they are part of the design strategy for any web project. As photographers learn to appreciate the value of communicating effectively on the web we’ll see this social component pick up in massive numbers.
Hopefully, this article will inspire you for your own creative projects. By the way, if you have any suggestions falling into categories listed below or we missed any recent photo portfolio design technique, let us know in comments!