There has been a lot of talk about how to market to Millennials, but the generation leading behind them has begun coming of age, too. If you want to truly target the younger generation or to target them in addition to other generations, then it’s important to understand what drives Generation Z.
The nomer refers to those born between the mid-1990s to the mid-2000s. The key element to remember about Z is that they have grown up with technology and the Internet. Most of them don’t remember a time when they didn’t use a cell phone, tablets, computers and have access to information at their fingertips. This makes this generation highly unique in a number of ways.
Look at Web Design Trends of 2019
Generation Z makes up about 25 percent of the total United States population. Just like their millennial counterparts, Z likes quality products, but they want them at a good price. They also look for brands that engage on social media or via apps. If you want to design your web to speak to this generation, there are some specific things you’ll want to keep in mind.
1. Social Share Buttons
Forty-four percent of Gen Z checks their social media at least once an hour, which means they want to know they can engage with you there. They use different social media platforms for different purposes, so it pays for you to be on more than one platform. They engage a lot with Snapchat and information that is only available for a limited time. If you want to design your website to speak to this generation, add social media buttons and sharing options to your site.
Forever 21 is a clothing store that aims their selections at a younger generation. Note how they include links to share on social media to the right of the product image. Or, you can add an item to your wish list or send an email to a friend or to yourself to remind you to buy it later. Adding social media sharing is smart when targeting a generation that engages so often with their social media accounts.
Remember that Gen Z has grown up with technology and the Internet. They’ve seen all the tricks in the book when it comes to web design, and it isn’t to impress them anymore. It is best to focus on creating a website that functions well. Teens are heavy users of the Internet and skip over any site that doesn’t render quickly. A slow loading page is not something they’re willing to wait around for. Take the time to invest in premium hosting that loads quickly and to optimize your site loading speeds. Keep your format simple, streamlined and loading quickly.
3. Font Type
When you think about designing a site for the younger generation, you might think you should use some unique, new font. However, the truth is that when it comes to fonts, there are some timeless standards that you probably shouldn’t stray too far from. The font needs to be readable on different size screens. It shouldn’t distract from the overall message of your website. It is probably best to stick with tried and true fonts. If you want to mix things up a little for your logo or a heading, you can do this with color or by making the font larger or three-dimensional.
4. Color Scheme
This age group actually loves bright colors and vivid design palettes. Don’t be scared to add splashes of bold colors where it makes sense. You can even add in neon gradients, ombre, and combine colors you normally wouldn’t. They love anything that is different and bold. Another idea is to use a more neutral color palette and then bring in splashes of color where you want to grab the user’s attention, such as with an offer for a discount or new arrivals to your online store.
Note how REI doesn’t change the entire theme of their site. They still use dark, outdoorsy colors and a vivid image of people experiencing the great outdoors. However, they pull in a bit of color with their text. That really grabs the user’s attention and pulls it to the button to take the site visitor shopping. This is a smart way to cater to both Millennials and Gen Z-ers.
5. Mobile Responsiveness
Around 40 percent of generation Z has indicated they’d rather have working Wi-Fi than a working bathroom. Think about that for a minute. Their mobile devices are more important to nearly half of them than a functioning bathroom. You better believe they are going to use their smartphones to access the Internet. Your site needs to prepare for this. At a minimum, your site should be mobile responsive. However, you should consider going with a mobile first design based on the trends of more and more people of all generations accessing the Internet from their mobile devices. Mobile is no longer something you can ignore in your designs.
The Perfect Design for Gen Z
There is honestly never a design so perfect you won’t have to revisit it on a regular basis. Preferences change and trends come and go. The key to creating a site that the up and coming generation will like is to remain aware of overall trends, continue to study the data, and be ready to change what isn’t working. In many ways, selling to Gen Z is like selling to any other generation.