Many businesses don’t understand the importance of website redesigns. The North Carolina State Fair however, is one of those businesses, and annually updates their website with latest trends. In honor of the State Fair’s arrival this weekend, we’ve compared the 2004 and 2014 versions of their website to show not only the evolution of web design but also technology.
NC State Fair – 2004
Going back 10 years, the 2004 NC State Fair’s website was a lot simpler in design and features. The logo and banner at the top are very straightforward, with minimal detail, text, and colors. The information on the home page is displayed with mostly text and very few images. The links on the right are not displayed in any kind of designated menu or sidebar, the links are just text.
The 2004 site is not mobile-friendly, as responsive web design technology was not around. People did not have tablets and mobile devices to browse the text, call or browse the internet. The site does not use any special features such as a custom slideshow, parallax scrolling, or large images.
The ticket section shows a chart of ticket prices by age, but there is no e-commerce functionality to buy tickets online.
The site has links to informational pages, but no links to social media platforms. Very few social media platforms existed in 2004, but most were for personal use, not for businesses.
NC State Fair – 2014
Just by looking at the 2014 NC State Fair site, you can see a major advance in both web design and technology. The colors, the logo detail, the special features are much more advanced. The current website’s logo and banner is full of colors and detailed design. On the home page, you see a designated menu for special links, and big, colorful boxes, each leading to a new page of information.
The current site has a lot of custom additions that make the site engaging and appealing for visitors. The live countdown clock is an awesome feature that allows viewers to follow, down to the minute, when the fair gates open. A slide show of the 2014 state fair performers with performance date and time information is right in the middle of the home page, making it easy for fair goers to access the information.
Some of the most modern features of the 2014 NC State Fair website are the responsive web design and ecommerce options. Awareness of responsive web design has been increasing over the last 2-3 years, but is now almost critical for businesses who want to truly maximize their audience reach. Not only is the fair’s website accessible on tablet mobile devices, it now even has its own mobile app available to download.
Fair goers can now purchase their tickets online, before the gates even open. Tickets can be purchased at any time, whether you’re using a desktop or mobile device, making this a convenient feature that allows you to spend more time enjoying the fair, rather than waiting in ticket lines.
Social media marketing is one of the most popular forms of internet marketing. The current website features 6 social media pages and a blog. The social media icons encourage fair goers to follow each page not only for fair information, but also photos, fair food, reminders, and other fun things to increase engagement and awareness of the fair.
Website redesign has evolved in plenty of ways over the last 10 years, and continues to rapidly change with advances in technology. Website visitors can quickly tell if a website is out-of-date, or keeping up with the latest web design and technology trends – and it can make or break a sale if a potential client is searching for your goods or services.
Want to see additional examples of how website design advances in the last 10 years? Take a look at previous NC State Fair website versions to see how design, typography, and technology has evolved.