A trend by definition is the general direction by which something is developing or changing. In relation to web activity and functionality, it seems we’re always in a state of change and/or development. So as we dip into the summer months of 2015, with the new year quietly getting closer, let’s look at some of the hotel website design trends that will continue to be prominent in the foreseeable future.
It’s been said, you’ve heard it and although the importance of responsive web design has been repeatedly expressed, it bears another mention. Mobile devices now exceed PC usage and will continue their dominance into the future. This shift must modify the philosophy of the responsive web design. Gone are the days of creating traditional sites and secondarily tweaking and retrofitting them for mobile usage. Designing primarily for mobile while supporting desktop applications has become the standard.
Storytelling and Customer Interaction
We will continue to see hospitality sites inviting consumers in with content and pages that are experiential. Rather than traditionally laying out info buried within top or side nav bars, allow guests to choose their own adventure. Ask questions as to where they want to go and what they want to do. Good site designs will continue to find out what a particular user is interested in on the first click and tailor their remaining experience around these interests. Joie de Vivre (below) does a great job at this. It gives the user a choice on the first page—know exactly where you want to go, click left. Not quite sure, click right and let the voyage begin.
Go Big Or Go Home
In hospitality, selling experiences through imagery is key. One of the most popular links on a hotel’s website is the photo album or videos page. Consumers want and need to see what they are potentially buying. The traditional 3-second homepage slideshow headers will continue to give way to full image takeovers, cinemagraphs and video.
Nassau Paradise Island (below) has a great homepage experience. The short video takeover gives the consumer activities and offerings before a single word is read.
Scrolling (In Moderation)
While it may make the SEM crowd cringe, scrolling pages are efficient and more user-friendly in offering up information…especially on mobile devices that require lots of swiping. But, having all your information on one infinite scrolling page will damage organic search results and site rankings. So what’s more important—a more fluid and better user experience once you’ve landed or getting there in the first place? Well, Both. Compromises will continue to be key between the Creatives and SEM gurus, and it becomes advantageous to have all involved from project start to finish.
Not so much a trend, but a staple for all good hotel web designs—and all design—is simplicity. Web designers by nature are problem solvers and organizers. Visual relationships of elements through structured levels of info create successful websites. Web traffic and competition will undoubtedly continue to expand, so sites must make their consumer experiences as pleasant and easy to navigate as possible. Easy to read and follow copy, well-organized info with no hint of confusion and a seamless bookings page are a must. Good sites will continue to guide consumers from initial view through checkout with little user effort.
To learn more about hotel website design trends and how to implement them into your own projects, reach out to Lynn Kaniper at email@example.com or 609.466.9187 ext. 117.