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Seasonal Website Design

Whether you love or hate the holiday season, it's an influential part of public life, observed not only in homes, but offices and public spaces as well— so it's common these days to see companies decorate their websites to connect with users. A seasonal or holiday theme on your website can create a welcoming environment and signal to visitors that your site contains up-to-date information.

When including seasonal accents to the website, consider the impact on the user experience. Making a positive emotional connection with seasonal design elements can strengthen brand loyalty. It can also encourage the user to come back to your site to see what’s “inside” for that time of year. Furthermore, changing things up each season encourages better search engine ranking, referred to as SEO. So in addition to seasonal decor, it helps to have fresh content with relevant keywords to the season.

Low-Key vs. Extensive Decorations

Depending on your audience and the type of site you have, seasonal decor can range from fairly simple placement of ornaments to specialized e-commerce stores or seasonal marketing campaigns. Whichever you choose, the treatment should not reduce usability or distract users.

On the low end, a design can be a simple as adding key placement of a small ornament, such as adding a small Santa cap on the company logo. For most sites, such low-key holiday design will add holiday flair without disrupting the user experience.

Corporate sites and informational services tend to be more modest in recognizing holidays, whereas sites geared toward children sites or e-commerce tend to have lavish holiday celebrations.

For e-commerce sites, usability is often improved by designing a special holiday themed sub-store that pulls relevant merchandise from across the site to a single location. Such themed areas reduce the need to navigate and increase the visibility of specialized products. A holiday theme store can also provide inspiration for harried, last-minute shoppers.

Conclusion

The seasons and holidays are an integral part of our lives, and the decor we use to acknowledge them can be extended into the online experience. Using seasonal design increases the user experience and strengthens brand loyalty by creating a fresh, welcoming tone for visitors. Decoration can be as simple as key placement of simple ornaments or as complex as a full-fledged seasonal campaign. The key is keep the design relevant to the user without disrupting usability.

Learn More

Nielson Norman Group Report
Design Gallery: Celebrating Holidays and Special Occasions on Websites

Image Credit: http://tinyurl.com/zbhncp3
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