7 Must Use Luxury Web Design Techniques for 2021
Luxury Web Design techniques are constantly evolving. New technologies provide new methods of digital presence and creativity, and these in turn lead to a whole new world of opportunities for success, whether that be increasing sales, getting more views, or taking your brand to a whole new level of service. If you are a luxury brand re-designing your website then these 7 must use luxury web design techniques for 2021 are essential.
The necessity for a strong digital presence has intensified following on from the global struggles of 2020. Now is the time to build the future for your brand, one brilliantly executed strategy at a time, and in this article we’re going to set you on the right track to do just that; we’re going to look at the what and the why of 8 trends you need to employ if you want to elevate your website design and strategy to create a luxury website that will position your brand for ongoing success.
Why do you think consumers are also called an ‘audience’? It’s because brands are not only selling a product; they’re selling something that can change a life.
A captivating story can last the test of time. The famous Grimm brothers first published their stories in the 1800’s, and children the world over are still lulled to sleep by the timeless tales of Snow White and Sleeping Beauty. The magic of storytelling is an incredible marketing tool, and those brands that can hook their audience into a journey of discovery make not only sales, but lifelong allies too.
Luxury brands like Burberry, Dior, and Gucci are masters at creating content that develops their brand name and maintains a storyline throughout. They work to not only promote their brand as a product and lifestyle, but also something with sentience and meaning.
In 2016 Burberry launched their ‘Tale of Thomas Burberry’, a prime example of this strategy. Starring Domhnall Gleeson, Sienna Miller, Dominic West and Lily James, the 3 minute film brilliantly shows the heritage of this iconic brand and gives the audience a glimpse into the meaning behind their most iconic designs, materials, and of course the characteristic Burberry check. Throughout their site are references to the history of the brand and emphasis on the meaningful creation of each item, a touch of genius that reminds their audience they are not merely buying a piece of clothing, but rather investing in an iconic and ‘quintessential’ piece that will never go out of fashion.
When it comes to web design, the user experience (UX) is of paramount importance. High-end brands rely on the quality of their product and their carefully crafted reputation to similar degrees when it comes to customer loyalty. These qualities are enhanced when an emotive and visceral reaction is associated with the brand; it is key to ensure users are taken on a journey where information flows and is highlighted in uniquely engaging ways to promote this.
Showing, not just telling
A list of ‘features and benefits’ will no longer do to win a consumer’s trust; actions speak louder than words, and with competition being fiercer than ever consumers want to see that brands aren’t simply talking the talk.
Copy will forever be an important part of your website, but the impact (and credibility) of words has unfortunately diminished. Especially with the rise of social media we live in an increasingly visual world, and in the 8 second window of attention marketers are currently working with images and videos are a much more effective way to capture an audiences’ attention and win their trust.
Using a variety of mediums such as video, images, testimonials, infographics, and AR is a surefire way to show your audience that you’re more than just bold claims. ‘Seeing is believing’, and your audience wants to see for themselves the reality of what you have on offer.
Immersive and Emotive experiences
A 2016 study by the Harvard Business Review highlighted that the best way to win customers is to go above and beyond simple customer satisfaction and instead engage on an emotional level. Therefore, creating experiences that immerse consumers and evoke emotion are important to make an impactful marketing experience
Research has shown that emotionally connected consumers are more than twice as valuable as ‘highly satisfied customers’ – they buy more of your products and services, exhibit less price sensitivity, visit you more often, pay more attention to your communication, and recommend you more.
This technique is the step before storytelling, for it is only through implementing these tactics that effective storytelling can be achieved.
The layout and design of your website must be carefully considered when implementing this strategy; designers have to be conscious of the emotion and experience they wish to stimulate, and from that point work on creating an effective atmosphere. For instance, seeing azure waves lapping against golden sands with the soothing sounds of a gentle oceanic crescendo in the background would be effective to bring up feelings of relaxation, and would therefore be ideal to feature on a luxury hotel’s website. The design would work to sell viewers the relaxing holiday they deserve, and hopefully trigger memories of positive past experiences to further enhance the effectiveness of this tactic.
The careful use of images, videos, and sounds to create an immersive and emotive user experience are invaluable when correctly implemented in your website design and campaign.
Unique and beautiful Typography
As we’ve explored thus far, it isn’t simply what you’re presenting, but the way in which you present it, and this also applies to written copy. The information presented on your website is at the core of the site from its conception to execution, but words alone aren’t enough to take your online presence into the luxury arena.
The effect of typefaces is often overlooked, but once you’re aware of their power it’s hard to ever look at a webpage in the same way again! For example:
How does this make you feel?
Does this bring up another connotation?
And how about this, what springs to mind now?
Probably a different feeling to this!
Every typeface and font brings with it a separate feeling and story, and they are therefore an important thing to consider in the creation of your website. Just as everyone’s handwriting is different, a font says many things about a brand, and it is for this reason that luxury brands are so particular about their typography- luxury brands won’t use common, standard typography because the brands themselves are anything but ordinary.
“One of the key tools and techniques of storytelling is written copy. Therefore typefaces are very important and they are usually one of the first things a user will see. A font can set the overall feeling for the brand and you will notice how the biggest brands are very particular about their typography.
The effect of typefaces could be considered subliminal but once it’s pointed out it’s hard to not see it. If you think about some of the most famous brands in the world, you would probably recognise the typeface even without the logo, such is the power of typography.”
- Jordan Thompson, KIJO Creative Director
The way your copy is presented is as important as the copy itself, and to make your words something special, unique and beautiful typography is an essential investment.
Motion and Animation
In contrast to the ever changing landscape of effective website design, there are some things that are hardwired into humanity and have not changed for centuries. One of these is our brain’s sensitivity stimuli, and what is one way we are alerted to stimuli in our environment? Movement.
Movement catches our attention because on a biological level we are designed to react to stimuli that may have an impact upon us – intrigue, threat, opportunity, and so on- and this wiring is useful to bear in mind when tapping into the potential of UX and design.
There are 2 benefits of harnessing the power of motion and animation in this way:
- It allows you to direct your users’ attention towards specific elements that are essential to your overall storytelling by highlighting specific information
- It brings your design to life, adding something that develops your brand’s sense of personification and uniqueness
The issue with motion and animation is that it’s so effective it can easily be overused- you don’t want to give your users a headache by bombarding them with flashing lights and garish cartoons! Employing a tasteful, yet effective, use of animation and motion is a fine line, but when that line is walked correctly the results are breathtaking.
The goal of effective luxury web design is to encourage user interaction, which in turn increases your chances of reaching your website’s goals. As the abilities of web design grow, so does the opportunity to try new and exciting ways to encourage user interaction.
Something as simple as having horizontal rather than just vertical scrolling leaves an impression on your audience as it is still a new and exciting way to interact with a website. Adding different dimensions to a page such as more scrolling opportunities, timed entry, dropdown information, simple tools, and device optimisation all enhance your users’ experience.
“Interaction methods in luxury web design are changing; the speed at which things enter the page and how information is presented can now be affected by the speed at which you scroll. Rather than a user scrolling quickly and scanning a page they now stop to interact and engage with the information.”
- Jordan Thompson, KIJO Creative Director
According to a Salesforce survey, 64% of people said they want personalised brand experiences, and making your website unique through individualised interaction methods meets this desire. With so many ‘copy and paste’ websites out there it is these little quirks that encourage users to stop, interact, and engage with your site and make it stand out.
One thing that luxury brands are masters of is elegance. From Chanel to Valentino, the Brooks Brothers to Jean Paul Gaultier, many famous designers have been quoted on the importance of elegance on successful design. When it comes to web design, colour and space are major factors to consider in order to achieve a sense of timelessness and elegance.
‘Simplicity is the keynote of all true elegance’
- Coco Chanel
Colour psychology is ‘the study of hues as a determinant of human behaviour’, and 84.7% of consumers claim that colour is a key factor in their decisions. To achieve an aura of luxuriance, brands must employ a measured and balanced approach to their colour schemes, one that maintains consistency and adheres to brand guidelines throughout. For this reason high-class brands should pick a scheme that complements their product and services, using colour psychology to stimulate an emotive experience that does not overwhelm users and is easily adaptable to maintain an aura of simple elegance.
Similarly, the use of empty space to contrast such colours in a tasteful way must be considered. Elegance is synonymous with simplicity and so colour is not the only factor in creating an alluring web design. Removing unnecessary distractions, using colour variations to highlight areas of the page, and creating a light and enticing experience provides users with the space to observe and digest what your pages are showing to optimise the effectiveness of your design.
All of these tools have one result in mind; impact. We can’t overstate how competitive the current climate is for brands, and so the goal isn’t just to sell your product but to leave an impression. Impact doesn’t have to be aggressive – less is more in many cases. Channeling elegance through large text with abstract layouts can do the job as well as any complicated, scientifically researched technique that dives into the psyche and forgets the humanity of your audience.
Your website should encapsulate the very core of your brand. It should tell the story of who you are, what you want to do, what you can offer, and leave users wanting more. It’s a way to inspire and entice on a page, and it should leave a lasting impression that keeps your audience hooked. These 7 luxury web design techniques for 2021 work in harmony to achieve that goal.
In order to stand out and be ahead of the curve it’s essential to strategically build a platform that is as easy to manage as it is to use. Investing in experienced website design is no longer an option- it’s a necessity.
These techniques need to be executed with skill and experience in order to be optimally effective, and with over 15 years of experience in the luxury web-design field, the KIJO team have both of these. A digital design agency in London, we have created bespoke solutions for our clients for the past decade. Get in touch with the KIJO team to find out more about how we can execute these techniques with flawless precision to help you leave a lasting impression.
Posted on by Kirk Thompson