Lately, I’ve come to realize that there are plenty of lessons hiding in the world today, especially from the internet and social media. But like I’ll always tell networks I meet, you get to find answers to your needs if only you know where to look.
The biggest drivers of this shift have undoubtedly been Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Youtube, as over the last decade they’ve essentially changed how web traffic is funnelled, building entirely new user journeys. That’s ultimately a path we’re still on – as it continues to evolve around us now – but there are already some clear lessons that we, as graphics/motion designers, web designers/developers, can learn and factor into business.
- Keep your websites, brand and social media consistent
Font consistency builds brand awareness and helps to become an icon for the client or company. Continuity is key, so we would either follow on from or directly replicate it using the font and message so it has brand consistency across all channels, be it social or website. For a list of the best web fonts to use online. Kindly subscribe to our newsletter where we keep you updated with latest design trend or wait to see our post on web fonts to use.
- Tailor your content to fit your audience
If you look at Instagram, the platform has typically attracted a younger audience, but today there’s an older demographic that’s getting involved. That has in turn had an impact on how we use it, as often now the image to copy ratio per post is tailored to each specific audience, which are older versus younger audiences.
For example, you sometimes find some post on Instagram has a very long caption aimed at a more mature audience who will read all of it, whereas, brands like Nike, Adidas few to mention focus more on the visual and less on the copy when releasing the new. Like the “Adidas Solar Boost range”, which is aimed at younger consumers.
The lesson here for web design is to tailor the image to text ratio of your design to each specific audience. Adapting and introducing this level of audience understanding helps a user from social media smoothly transit to when they arrive on the website, company, brand, thus helping to set the content hierarchy as a whole.
- Your online presence and the colour scheme establish matters
Learn to define your colour scheme. These little colour choices can connect with the targeted audience, and in turn make the overall theme synonymous with the content creator. It’s a brand guideline but not as we typically know it and these are lessons I think brands, graphic designers, web designers etc needs to practice or put to consideration.
There is a single flat colour trend on social media at the moment that sees influencers and celebrities build and stick to a specific colour scheme for their profiles or a specific colour grading for their YouTube or Instagram Stories footage.
Taking this trend of subtle colour changes or consistent background colour to the front end of a website/brand helps connect to the specific audience that is coming from social media. This system is perfect for a campaign, for example, as the colour theme enables a campaign to stand out on its own while still not straying too far from the core branding.
- Get recognized through your patterns.
Burberry recently had a huge brand design overhaul and used the same monogram pattern across all of its social media channels and on its website. As designers, it’s common to hide such patterns in the background and lower the opacity so that they’re nearly non-existent but Burberry did the complete opposite of this, featuring the patterns in its imagery and thus drawing the viewers and customers attention to it.
It’s a fashion-focused way of using patterns on clothing and accessories, but this tactic instantly changed the way people recognised the pattern and proved that less isn’t always more.
It’s an easy way to build brand recognition across social media, online and in physical spaces, which is something I’d expect to see more of progress.
- Create social-specific landing pages
Most social media platforms have a mobile-first way of thinking, which means we design with the heart of simplicity, responsive on all devices when it come to the web. But it’s not always the case.
Some clients, brands, designer have multiple campaigns across three different social channels, which thus something turns once a one-size-fits- website turns into three sizes then back into one.
As the case maybe, web designers should look at designing different landing pages or sub-pages that connect better with the audience or content from each social channel a user is being directed from.
This responsiveness, alongside repetition and consistency, are key design lessons from social media. However, if you wander too far from the few suggestions mentioned, I see the risk of losing the fresh pickings, so my advice would be to not get too hooked up on social media. Use the lessons here but don’t let them define your design.
It’s my own suggestion and understanding which I feel needs to be shared.