Back in the day, all your web backgrounds were block colours and all your webpages had one column of text filling it all out. There just weren’t any tools available for doing anything different, so if you wanted something unique, your only option back then was a time-consuming and not always stable hack.
These days, there is a wide selection of tools available for page layouts, so the only limits left are really the ones in your imagination. Here are three common web layout myths that are holdovers from the pre-tool age.
- Rectangles, rectangles everywhere
Just about everything on a webpage starts off as a rectangle. Today, there are tools that let you break up those boxes instead of keeping everything that same old rectangle shape. You can have diamonds, triangles, even trapezoids—content can now be cut into all sorts of silhouettes.
You can float one element to the side and flow the content that follows it in a shape other than a rectangle. Tilts, tips and other rotation functions let you get away from everything being square on the page and into something that is more unique and eye-catching.
- Whatever is important must be above the fold
The fold myth goes back to the days when print media, namely newspapers, had an actual fold. This meant only the top part of the paper was visible when it was folded, making it a critical area for people passing by the newsstand to see. As print media went to the web, this idea persisted and was reinforced by that fact that early Internet users generally had either a 15-inch or 17-inch screen on their computers. Back then, the same portion of the webpage would be visible across just about every device that accessed it.
With the diverse television, tablet, laptop and mobile device selection of today, this is no longer true. Different portions of a webpage become visible across the different devices and screen sizes, so the idea of the fold is no longer relevant to web design in Toronto and other places.
- The homepage is number one
While this can depend on your website, in general terms, the home page is no longer the primary point for users because the way people find and search for content on the web has changed a great deal over the last decade. The algorithms of Google and other search engines are sophisticated enough to rank content in relevance to the search term, so pages within a site may come up before the home page in the results. All webpages on a website must be designed with marketing and the user in mind because they’re not just reaching the home page first anymore.
With so many websites out there clamoring for people’s attention these days, web design is more important than ever when it comes to reaching and keeping your audience. Make sure your website’s designs don’t fade into the background by giving into the myths of yesterday.