Practical Ecommerce

Web Design Tips: Three Ecommerce Web Design Trends

Like fashion and architecture, web design enjoys an ever changing ebb and flow as trends become popular, become mainstream, and then become passé. To maintain a modern and aesthetically-pleasing look, web designers should examine current trends, estimate their staying power, and implement those techniques that will have the best and longest effects.

In this edition of “Web Design Tips,” I am going to share some trends that I think are worth following.

Video: Three Ecommerce Web Design Trends to Follow

Content Sliders

Content sliders, which are also called slideshows or carousels, have been around in ecommerce for a few years (i.e., box store behemoth Walmart has had a slider on its website since 2007, if memory serves). Content sliders are great for at least three reasons.

First, content sliders provide interaction. Adjusting a slider gives customers an opportunity to interact with the site.

Next, content sliders convey professionalism. As simple as content sliders are to implement, they demonstrate a level technical prowess, which many online shoppers equate with professionalism.

Finally, content sliders are a very functional way to manage content. A slider allows site designers to put a lot of good content on a page, without consuming a lot of on-page real estate.

Borders Magic Shelf slides both horizontally and vertically to view books, music and more.

Borders Magic Shelf slides both horizontally and vertically to view books, music and more.

You can find examples of ecommerce content sliders at:

  • Walmart – this one is even labeled “slide”
  • Borders – the Magic Shelf slides both horizontally and vertically
  • Cabela’s – this slider shows off deals and specials
  • Blooming Bods – fun designs slide by at this site
  • Nordstrom – this slider features stylish controls and great images

Adobe Flash

Rich Internet applications are the future of ecommerce, and Adobe Flash is the technology platform that is most likely to succeed. Integrating Flash or Flex into your ecommerce site can significantly improve user experience and represent a competitive advantage.

Creative Advertising USA's Creative Canvas is a a great example of Flex in action, allowing users to customize garment orders.

Creative Advertising USA’s Creative Canvas is a a great example of Flex in action, allowing users to customize garment orders.

Good examples of Flash or Flex on ecommerce sites include:

Big

It may seem strange to describe “big” as a design trend, but it is indeed the case. Modern web designers are using big fonts, big logos, and big images to make big impressions. Tiny fonts and mini-thumbnails are out; ecommerce is ready for the big time.

37signals uses large font sizes on its home page.

37signals uses large font sizes on its home page.

Big examples include:

  • 37signals – check out the font sizes on this page
  • Hula Hangout – has a big logo
  • Zumiez – not bashful about offering 25 percent off in big letters

Resources

Armando Roggio
Armando Roggio
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Comments ( 3 )

  1. algozone May 20, 2010 Reply

    This is very helpful information for ecommerce designers and developers.

    We have been using this techniques for couple yeas now.

  2. Denver_Branding June 7, 2010 Reply

    I love the shelf slider on Borders.com. I agree with you, that the trends that many e-commerce sites are using these days should be emulated. They look great and are obviously working.

    I feel that "Big" works because not just for the fact that it’s large, but because it provides the consumer with the call to action. It tells them what you want them to do and without distraction.

  3. Michael Lomenzo January 9, 2011 Reply

    As a web developer who is starting my own business, I found your content very informative. I hope you don’t mind if I link to your site from mine. Thank you for this great content.
    Mike Lomenzo
    http://www.thewebdesignworld.com

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