What are B2B marketers doing this year with website design that they weren’t before? Well, it’s actually a lot of the same.
In this episode, Alex Burdine, Director, Marketing Technology, Adam Smartschan, Chief Strategy Officer, and Drew Frantzen, VP, Creative and Web, discuss three website design trends they’re seeing so far this year.
Discover website design trends in 2022 and how these trends impact B2B marketers by listening (and reading along!) to the full podcast episode below.
Alex: I’m Alex Burdine, Director of Marketing Technology at Altitude Marketing. Welcome to Marketing Trends 2022, a view from 30,000 feet.
This is a mini-series on the top marketing trends we think will define 2022. Each episode I’ll interview a different member of our team. We’ll talk about the topics facing B2B companies, as well as provide valuable insights to move your marketing efforts forward.
I’m back with Adam Smartschan, Chief Strategy Officer of Altitude Marketing, and Drew Frantzen, VP of Creative and Web. Thanks for joining us, guys. Let’s start off our conversation about web in 2022 with Adam.
Alex: Beautiful. Thanks, Alex. They don’t call me First Take Smartschan for nothing. See, this time I’m far enough away from the microphone that you can’t actually hear my teeth coming together.
So anyway, Alex threw it to me on the websites. I would just kind of rant for a while because I really like websites. I also have bad opinions about them. You have good opinions about them, especially in 2022. Like what’s going on? What are people doing this year that they weren’t before?
Trend #1: Simple, Clean & Low-Weight Experiences
Drew: It’s a lot of the same stuff as they were doing before, frankly. You know. There is a trend that is moving more and more towards simpler, cleaner design that’s been going for years and years now. And frankly, I love it. You know as well as anybody else that speed and performance need to be top of mind when it comes to the web. You and Alex and the rest of your team have basically drilled that into my head for a very long time now. And the real trick there is how to square that circle when it comes to being creative within those confines of speed and performance. And so there are really some great ways of doing that now.
SVG animations. You’re going to see more and more of those because they’re very low weight. They add a level of micro interaction that is eye catching.
Attention spans are smaller than ever. So you need to give the user what they need as quickly as humanly possible. Tell people what they need to know and where they need to go to do it.
One of the things that we’ve been leaning on here at altitude is the idea of dynamic content. Offering our partners and our clients the ability to podcast or video podcast, gated content, interactive content. “Scrolly telling” is one of the new big buzzwords out there, and I can’t wait to sink my teeth into it once I get the chance. But you see that more and more, it’s very low weight, high movement abilities to tell stories and really curate that experience for the person scrolling through the website.
Lots of parallax items. Things moving at different speeds. Big, bold typography mixed with really good use of readable, accessible body copy. Micro interactions and links. Things like that that can really make very clean, very low weight experiences come to life in a way that they couldn’t years ago.
Adam: And you had mentioned NFTs before, right? NFTs on every website for no good reason.
Drew: Absolutely. If we could turn pictures of the individuals at Altitude into NFTs, especially on the social media side. Anything that Ziera is coming up with on the social media side can be turned into an NFT and sold on the dark web.
Adam: Well, there’s only one Ziera, so she would be an NFZ or a nonfungible Ziera?
Drew: Oh… yeah.
Adam: Seriously, though, don’t put NFTs on B2B websites?
Drew: No, never put – [laughs]. What are you doing? That’s like putting a QR code on a billboard. What are you doing?
Adam: Seen it done. Not the best idea.
Drew: Hey, route 57.
Trend #2: Native Services Are Better Than Plug-Ins
Adam: Back to the actual thing here, though. One of the things you and your team are so keen on is really rendering on to Caesar. What is Caesar’s? Which is to say, if there’s a good way to do something, do it. Don’t try to reinvent the wheel, right? We’ve talked about this with video hosting an audio hosting. Tell me a little bit about that in the context of WordPress and the other platforms we work in.
Drew: Well, I’ve said it with Ecommerce for years and years and years. Throwing a plug-in on a WordPress website is never going to be as effective as going through a service that does that natively.
I feel the same way about forums. If you have an existing marketing automation tool or you’re a HubSpot user or Pardot user, something like that, allowing that form to be embedded on your website is always a preferable experience for a myriad of reasons, and we see them on a day-to-day basis. We were just talking about one earlier. You want to leave that stuff to the experts and you want to cut out the middleman as much as humanly possible when it comes to those interactions on a website.
Trend #3: WordPress Is Still On Top
Adam: Awesome. I mentioned WordPress before. You mentioned WordPress. WordPress is top of the heap, right? 60% of the web is that still the number?
Drew: Yes, something around that.
Adam: How long is that going to last?
Drew: For the foreseeable future. I thought we would be having this conversation five years ago where I’d be saying, you know what, the tolls are – the bells are tolling for the end of WordPress as we know it. But the simple fact of the matter is we’ve seen a number of enterprise-level CMS either completely fall apart or fall by the wayside. But we’ve always seen WordPress just continue to adapt and to grow and to get better and better and better. And it’s because WordPress is a community and not a conglomerate. There is a vested interest for that community to stay top of the game, and it’s, you know, it’s for a number of reasons.
One, people know the WordPress core at this point. It’s second nature. It’s like a dictionary, you know, and as WordPress and the community of WordPress developers continually build and grow onto what used to be a blogging platform, they’re getting much more nimble and working in the lower weight way with some new editors, some new page builders, things like that. Bloated page builders from years past, your visual composers, have made way and made strides for things like the WP Bakery, which is visual composer but a little lighter weight. You know, not as many Java Scripts running. But even on, you know, beyond that, there are new builders that are coming out that utilize the native Gutenberg functionality in the new way that use advanced custom fields in the way that it should be used. So it’s really about – it’s adapt or die, right? We’ve seen this with so many in vogue, you know, CMS that have come out in the past, you know, ten, twenty years, your Jekyll’s, your Ghosts, you know, adoption becomes an issue and then upkeep becomes an issue. And WordPress you don’t see that. And that’s why they’re blowing Drupal out of the water, Joomla out of the water. The DotNetNuke, which is something I literally haven’t heard of in years now. Obviously, it blew that out of the water.
Adam: So in the context of the early 2000s, WordPress beat out blogger.
Drew: [laughs] Yes. Yes. In its own way it did. And I remember having a conversation with a good friend of mine who’s an app developer, years ago, and he said, you’re going to build WordPress themes from the ground up. I said, I can’t do that. It’s just a blogging platform. And, you know, here we are years and years later. And 60% of the usable web.
Adam: There you go. All right. Well, Drew, thank you so much. Alex, thank you as always for putting this together. I know we have to jump for some client work, so I appreciate it and we’ll be back next week, right?
Alex: Thanks for listening and we’ll see you next week.