The Hero Web Design Trend

Nicole Krosnowski

Senior Designer

Hero images have become a lot more popular over the past few years because they have the remarkable ability to aesthetically impress visitors. While these images may not be donning a cape and a mask, they do possess true hero qualities.

Hero images fill the screen to delight the user, and usually only include a heading or sentence and a simple call to action. Through these large-scale images, the personality of the brand is beautifully executed without the need for complicated text or multiple images.

Are you currently utilizing the hero web design trend in your website? If so, what is your experience with it? If not, what are you waiting for? Is it possible that hero images could wow your audience and increase conversion rates? Of course it is.

Let’s explore the hero design trend a bit further before deciding how and why you may want to integrate it into your website.

Bold Statement

If you want to use a hero image, you need a long, clever headline to go with it. Large, attractive headers are a staple of hero images, and you can’t have one without the other. As you think about the type of photo you want to use, also consider the text and how it will fit in with the image.

Some brands place just their company name and motto or saying onto the image. Others have a statement about what their brand does or why they are different. You can even include a simple call to action on the image, such as “Shop Our 2016 Spring Collection.”

Single-Page Design

Simple, minimal web pages is what people crave these days. They want the ability to browse the internet and explore different websites without being bombarded by a ton of information.

This is why more companies are opting for single-page web designs that are intuitive, stunning and informative. And do you know what goes good with a single-page design? Hero images.

Companies that don’t have a lot of information to share are finding it easiest to work with this type of design. Rather than filling up their website space with repetitive or nonsensical information, they can use a beautiful hero image with a simple, bold statement to convey trust, reliability and innovation.

Full Screen Backgrounds

Although you may think that a full screen background and a hero image are the same, they are actually different. That said, both are excellent partners that can complement each other.

Consider using full screen background images to showcase your work or your products. With this approach, you don’t have to worry about adding a ton of content. The images will speak for your brand while adding personality and color.

If you don’t sell physical products, use your own work for your background images. A digital media agency can put their creations directly into the design and demonstrate their value without having to do any explaining. A restaurant can feature their top dishes using background images.

Homepage Content

There’s no doubt that online content has increased significantly over the years. This makes it a lot harder to get noticed. To draw more people to your website, feature different photos from your content on the homepage of your website.

WordPress first came out with the idea of featured images, which essentially pulls recent blog posts to the home page, accompanied by a photo. This way, users are more encouraged to click on the content.

The featured look certainly draws more attention than a standard “blog” tab would. Plus, it brightens up the home page and gives it fresh, new content on a regular basis. This in itself is enough to keep people coming back for more.

Rotate Galleries

Another way that you can make the most out of hero images is to include a rotating gallery. These galleries include a slideshow of hero images that the visitor is able to control through the use of arrows or small dots.

You’ve probably seen this a handful of times in your own research, particularly on ecommerce channels that want to showcase a lot of their products or services without being overwhelming. You may also add new content to each photo, giving you more flexibility on sharing information about your products.

Tips for Using Hero Images

If you feel that hero images could be a nice addition to your website, there’s no reason why you have to wait. Here are a few key tips to follow when selecting images.

  • Hero images are designed to be simple and subtle. Don’t let them stand in the way of images or text on the rest of the page.

  • Include a brand mark or logo on the hero image to keep it consistent with the other visual content on your page.

  • Use bold typography in your titles.

  • Be mindful of the colors you select, as you don’t want to be distracting.

  • Know where you are going to put your text. You don’t want it to interfere with the visual flow or cover anything important in the header.

  • Choose large, thin text that is easy to read. Ghost buttons are subtle ways to encourage people to convert.

  • Use fixed navigation so that users can get around the page easily.

Conclusion

Headers are very important to your overall design scheme. To bring your header to life, opt for large, crisp hero images that pop off the page. This design trend is a great way to connect with your visitors and give them a positive first impression of your brand. Also, there are so many ways to use hero images, it’s exciting to see them come to life and transform a dull website into something brilliant and beautiful.

 
About the Author: Nicole Krosnowski

Nicole is a Designer at SEMGeeks. She is a Jersey girl who loves to “go down the shore” and spend her time at the beach. Nicole is a creative thinker, fueled by iced coffee and innovation. She loves to stay up to date with the latest trends in fashion and technology and uses this as design inspiration. With experience in web design, digital design and advertising, she approaches each project with a designer’s careful eye and a marketer’s strategic thought process.

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