How Web Design Has Been Transformed by Social Media

In the early days of the Internet, users didn’t know much about what made a website good.Businesses were the ones who decided how to organize content, design the site, and create navigation menus.

However, social media platforms changed everything by offering a seamless, immersive, and intuitive user experience. As a result, users now expect the same kind of experience from the websites they visit.

Social media platforms also serve as a powerful referral source. Although social media only accounts for around 5% of a website’s total traffic, visitors who come from social media are more likely to interact with your content and make a purchase than those who come from search engines.

Despite the relatively low percentage of overall traffic, social media referrals can still generate up to one million website visits per month for a brand. Therefore, designing a website that aligns with social media trends can be a lucrative business idea.

To keep pace with these evolving expectations, website design practices and trends have changed dramatically since the advent of social media.

So, let’s delve into the evolving role of social media in website development. We’ll explore how social media influences various aspects of designing and developing today’s websites.

#1 Responsive Web Design

According to the 2024 social media usage predictions, a staggering 99% of people worldwide will access social media via mobile.

Thus, it’s unsurprising that social media platforms prioritize optimizing their apps for mobile users and customize the social platform’s content to fit any device without compromising the user experience.

This has been achieved thanks to responsive web design—a web design and development technique that uses flexible grid systems to detect the screen size of the device the site is being viewed on and automatically adjust the size and content accordingly. This ensures that users get a seamless experience across devices—be it a smartphone, a tablet, or a laptop.

So, Internet users now expect websites to be responsive and adapt to their device’s screen size—just like social platforms do.

#2 Greater User Interaction

Social media platforms—whether they’re focused on visual content, like YouTube, Instagram, and Pinterest, or written content like X (Twitter)—are pretty standardized in their designs, features, layout, options, etc.

In contrast to early websites, which had unique content organization and page and navigation designs, social media platforms have established a standardized sense of user experience and interaction.

The confusion while navigating different websites, which was a common issue back in the day, has been resolved by the standardization of the website user interface. Nowadays, users are no longer required to learn how each different site works or where its options are located.

Websites now strive to achieve what social media already has, making access to information very easy. Simpler menus, content cards, intuitive interaction with content, and ready availability of multiple forms of content have made seamless interaction with content a core expectation on any other website.

Now web design has to focus more on the presentation of not just content but the features that can be used to access the content available on the site.

#3 Non-Intrusive Ads

Millennials and Gen X remember the times when website pages were cluttered with intrusive and distracting advertisements that were difficult to ignore. However, social media made website design evolve, and ad placement has thus become less invasive.

If you look at social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest, you will notice that they are designed to present content in an easily accessible manner.

To reduce bounce rates, website designers needed to eliminate intrusive ads and focus more on content. This meant that the display of ads on websites has shifted, and content now takes precedence over ads.

#4 Navigating Websites Using Swipe & Scroll

Social media platforms have revolutionized the way users navigate websites.

Before socials made an impact on website design, websites usually had long-form content.

However, this form of presenting content often led to a poor user experience as users had to

consume or skip over a lot of content before getting to the main point.

Moreover, scrolling is considered a sign of a website’s inability to communicate its message effectively to visitors.

However, with the rise of social media and responsive website design that adjusts content and font size to make it viewable on different devices, scrolling and swiping have become an integral part of the user experience.

Additionally, parallax design has enabled websites to keep their audience engaged for longer periods of time. Feel free to read more on web design trends such as parallax, micro-interactions, and micro animations, that foster a better understanding of and navigation through websites.

#5 Social Sharing-Friendly

In the past, online directories, forums, lead magnets, paid strategies, and direct blogging were used for brand visibility and link building.

However, with the rise of social media, it has become one of the primary platforms for increasing brand awareness, generating qualified traffic, and consumer engagement.

As a result, the placement and design of social share icons have become crucial in website design. Properly placing social icons and designing social shares can significantly impact engagement and drive more qualified traffic to your social media pages.

Beyond just the means to share a website, people expect a consistent experience across different online platforms, including websites and social media pages. Therefore, it’s important to focus on creating high-quality designs for your social media profiles.

To sum up, websites should engage users with captivating content presented in a straightforward and digestible manner, just like social media platforms do.

About Andrew

Hey Folks! Myself Andrew Emerson I'm from Houston. I'm a blogger and writer who writes about Technology, Arts & Design, Gadgets, Movies, and Gaming etc. Hope you join me in this journey and make it a lot of fun.

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