Your header is the second most important design element of your blog, #1 being your logo. You want to catch your readers attention and tell them something about your site within the first few seconds of loading. Your header is the best area to do this. What kind of header do you have? What kind of header should you have?
I have talked before about how header trends are changing. Headers used to be large and take up at least half of the screen, but now you will find all kinds of styles. Everything from the traditional to just the simple logo. These changes started because people started using the Above the Fold Theory.
Above the Fold
This is a theory from the newspaper age: that the top half of the paper that is visible when folded should hold your most important story and photography. When this started transferring into web design people started squishing as much stuff as possible in the top of their site. All this did was to make things cluttered and destroy the beauty of the design.
Current thought has started changing. Designers realized people are getting used to scrolling and will look at the whole site. Why should we not start spreading out the elements of the design to make them easier to see and make them eye catching.
From this evolution of design we have gotten tons of new header trends. Let’s take a look at the seven I found.
The traditional header is still in use, it may not be half a page anymore but it’s still here. This is a great way to either tell a story, showcase your style, show off photography talent, or as above display an artistic ability.
The Small Header
The small header is a hybrid of the traditional header. People loved the space to showcase their photos and personality, but they wanted their visitors to be able to get straight to the content. Creating a smaller, half-sized, header will give you the best of both worlds. This is also a very popular style.
The extreme opposite of the large headers is just placing a logo at the top of your site. This gives lots of space for ads, call to action and content. The content is right at the top so visitors can jump right in and read. One nice feature of the logo only header is that it creates a clean and simple feel.
With all the added space that web designers got from loosing the large headers they realized they could create new elements. One of these elements was a section to feature the newest blog posts, favorite article, or a product (as Darren is doing on his site).
Another element created to fill up the space from the age old headers was j Query sliders. Sliders are very similar to feature sections but more dynamic and interactive. Usually you will find three to six slides that either slide automatically or by the press of a button. A slider can feature the same posts, articles, and products as a feature section, but adds more content in the same amount of space.
Instant Call to Action
One of the newer trends is to create an instant call to action area. You can use this section to invite your visitors to learn more about you, to buy your book, or to try out a product. You don’t see call to action sectionss on blogs as much as you do on basic web sites.
The amazing things you are now able to do with fonts in web design has created a new trend: typography. The art of typography is a big trend this year and it will be interesting to see if it continues as more fonts become available. This is also not something you see as much on blogs.
Those are the 7 trends I have seen in web design for headers. Do you have any good examples of headers that fall into these categories? Or do you have a trend that I missed?
What is your favorite header style as a reader? What is your favorite style as a web site owner?