Diagonal lines is a repeated element recognizable on many national Agricultural websites. The lines may be used as background images, behind titles or just as subtle shadows.
The agricultural color pallet is set. Most all sites use some variation and combination of green, yellow, beige, grey and black. Some throw in a few warm colors for emphasis and good measure, blue and orange are popular choices. The color pallet is not surprising and is fairly variable from site to site, those with a more modern design tend to be a bit on the brighter green side and those more dated tend to use more dark forest green and black.
It seems like very site has a slider on the home page. This doesn’t mean that every site should have one, just that they all do. There’s no standard size or image treatment. Many sites treat images with a text overlay to add interest and meaning. The slideshows including text are often showcased on recently remodeled sites. Many sliders include original imagery which is a great step up from so many other industries featuring stock photography.
A trend in all websites that carries over to agricultural sites are large macro style background images. This is seen on more of the national websites and less in regional and local sites.
Many websites feature a very horizontal feeling layout. The content is usually centered on the screen with “white space” on the right and left giving the viewer a feeling of openness. These designs seldom are “in a box”, the edges of the page are implied rather than defined by an outline or different background color.
New and existing sites alike in agriculture often showcase realistic earthy textures. In more recent designs textures are likely to be placed in the background of the site. In older sites realistic paper, wood and other rustic textures are worked in and around as design elements within the site to add interest.
Just like interior design and fashion trends the Mid-West tends to run a bit behind, picking up the latest design trends only after they’ve already been worn out on the coasts. This trend is both good and bad for those of us in the midwest designing for any industry. It may cause even new sites to seem require a design refresh faster if they use styles that are quickly becoming outdated. This can wreak havoc on a company’s marketing budget just maintaining status quo.
As homepages in other industries tend to simplify the ag industry websites are holding on to more elaborate homepage designs. This may work well for the moment, especially for sites that entertain a majority of their viewers on desktop operating systems and for those who adapt their designs for mobile viewers. Much of the agricultural website viewership resides in rural America, limiting their mobile and home internet speeds. However as internet speeds increase in rural areas we may see a trending of agricultural websites towards the simpler home pages that cater towards mobile users.
Social media icons are often spotted on headers and footers of agricultural websites, especially for regional and national businesses and organizations. Many sites, regardless of company size, use icons as a navigational element paired with text adding visual interest to the site.
Tall footers is an internet wide design trend also shared by the ag industry. The oversized footers conveniently house contact information, social sharing icons, recent blog posts, tweets, and footer navigation.