The latest website design trends offer wonderful options for redesigning your art website for maximum impact and sales.
Changing the look of your artist website can create a better experience for visitors and lead to you selling more art.
(NOTE! Although I wrote this in 2015, almost everything I say still stands. I'm still seeing Artist's websites that aren't mobile friendly or don't really show off the art. Read this post and make sure you're getting the most out of having a website!)
Return of Scrolling Websites
Back in the early days of the internet all websites were an endless scroll. Then designers began to realise that scrolling with a mouse was hard work and people didn't do it, so content 'beneath the fold' (i.e. falling beneath the bottom edge of the computer screen) didn't get seen. Clicking with a mouse was easier so the menu-driven websites that have become so familiar were born.
But fashion is circular right? So it's not surprising that the scrolling website has returned. This time the motivating factor is touch-screen devices: its easier to whizz your finger down your phone or tablet screen than it is to click on fiddly links - especially if you have big fingers!
Goodbye Click Click Art Portfolios
I for one am cheering at the thought of more artist's websites using scrolling designs as it will mean the demise of those fiddly click, click, click portfolios where you never know whether you want to see the next image until it comes or all those tiny thumbnails which look enticing in miniature but often prove disappointing blown up full size.
Scrolling designs give artist the chance to show their best work on the landing page of their site - whether in a series of different size boxes or as intriguing horizontal slices of images laid down one after the next.
Visiting Art Websites on a Smart Phone
But surely no-one is looking at your art portfolio on their mobile phone? Well, I'm sorry to tell you that lots of people probably are. This means that not only will a scrolling website design keep your audience engaged for longer but that your website must be 'responsive' i.e. work as seamlessly on mobile devices such as phones and tablets as it does on a desktop.
Importance of Responsive Design for Artist Websites
Older website templates are not responsive. Instead they display cut-down versions for mobile devices. This means that the browsing experience of a mobile device user is not the one your original design aimed for. Not good since 38% of all daily media interactions are done on smartphones.
Potential clients will often ask for your website address at your show (or when you get chatting at someone else's exhibition) and then log right in to look at your work. This is a golden opportunity to engage a potential buyer, so don't lose it because your website doesn't display properly on mobile devices.
Flat Design to Focus Attention on Your Art
Another trend in website design is 'flat' design. This takes its design cue from the new flat, graphical user-interfaces that have become popular on mobile operating systems. Whilst having a non-flat design won't impact users ability to view your work, the clean, simple look of flat design website can really help to focus attention on your artwork. This focus is enhanced by yet another trend, Big Photos.
Show Your Art Bigger!
Probably originating in image-centric Tumblr blogs, this trend has grown hugely - once again because of the popularity of mobile devices.
Large-format photos look powerful on new retina screens! As artists we're crazy if we don't take advantage of this trend as it gives us the opportunity to show off our work to the max.
What's more the bounce rate on websites is reduced by 27% on sites using larger-format images and, whilst there, users are 63% more likely to click on associated links.
Make Your Art-Speak Sexy
No, I'm not talking about putting provocative content on your site but interesting fonts are now available free from the Google open type project so there is no excuse to use the same old.
And while your at it, increase the size of your text: Like bigger images, large text has been shown to increase website visit times and engagement.
More on Artist's Websites
For constantly updated ideas about artist website design, follow my Pinterest Board: Pimp Your Art Website.