5 Design Elements To Incorporate Updates Into Your Web Development Plan

Current successful web design and development plans are all about movement. They are all about staying current. They are all about having viable, visible updates. But it can seem impossible to add to your web content every single day. That would take up an unreasonable amount of time.

So what are some elements that you can add to the mix where updates would happen automatically, or at least seem current and relevant because of visual movement? A few examples of possibilities to integrate into your current format might include latest and featured column, links to related material, shifting visual elements, Twitter feeds, and scrolling text. Each of these is a way to make sure that every time someone comes back to your page, there’s something ‘new’ highlighted.

Latest and Featured Columns

One of the best automated ways to keep your website fresh is by adding latest and featured columns, for example for exercise and health. There are a number of ways to do this, including incorporating plugins into content management systems, or even using Javascript if that’s your weapon of choice. The idea is that every time a new submission is in the system, it goes to the top of this column, or every time you decide to select an article as featured, it moves that to the top of its column as well. With a minimum of effort, your front page is constantly fresh.

Links To Related Material

If you know of a site that constantly updates itself and is relevant to your site or industry (but not competitive), simply linking to their front page is a great way to give people an option to go to new material regularly. For instance, if you’re associated with the graphic design industry, by pointing to a Lynda.com category for educational purposes, people know that they can visit your site first and simply hop over to the newest, most relevant updated material there. That kind of synergistic relationship is a win-win for everyone.

Changing Visual Elements

There are great ways to incorporate moving and changing visual elements onto your webpage as well. This is sometimes referred to as a carousel, and it can do wonders for showing people that your site is dynamic and fresh every time they visit. Even if you only change one part of the carousel every once in a while, the whole thing seems new if you work with it regularly.

Twitter Feeds

And if you literally want updates on your page every few seconds, you can add a Twitter feed box on your page. You can have it point to your own Twitter account, your favorites, or even someone else’s list of tweets. Since it changes in real time, that makes a great impression on potentially viewers and clients.

Scrolling Text

And finally, if you’re thinking for journalistically or news-oriented, you can add scrolling text (sort of like headlines) to different parts of your pages as well. Having a set of text that catches the eye on the bottom of a page is very appealing to certain people (consider breaking news for sports events as an example).