Website design is constantly evolving, which makes it an exciting area to work in. Each year brings a new crop of trends which allow designers to get innovative with their work and produce some incredible websites. For businesses, keeping up with the latest web design trends can help attract and retain customers and outshine the competition. Take a look at 10 of the latest trends in website design to consider for your business.
1. Mobile first
More and more people are using smartphones, including the older generation who may choose to own a smart device over a computer. As web browsing on the move becomes more popular, particularly in the world of retail – it’s important that you consider mobile viewing when designing your website. If it’s been a few years since you’ve upgraded the layout and design of your website, it’s time to think about making your ecommerce store mobile friendly to appeal to the growing popularity of mobile browsing. Make mobile browsing a key part of your design strategy to appeal to the widest range of customers.
2. Conversational interaction
Websites are beginning to become more and more interactive, keeping the user on the website to get answers to questions rather than picking up the phone or heading over to social media pages. It takes a lot of careful thought and planning to design a conversational interface for your website – but if you can nail your ideas, you will be light years ahead of your competitors. Being able to ask your customers what they want and deliver the information they need quickly and easily will improve their user experience and make them more likely to make a purchase.
3. 360°/ Virtual Reality video
There has been a steady increase in the number of business and organizations using 360° and VR to their advantage. Last year, research forecast that over 200 million VR headsets would be sold by 2020, while 360° is becoming the must-have tool for online marketing campaigns. The technology involved in these innovations can be costly, but when used correctly can yield some strong results for businesses. If the budget is there and you have some ideas on how these technologies can be used to your advantage, you should strike while the iron’s hot.
4. Bolder colors and patterns
Businesses, particularly startups, are starting to break away from the norm and embrace more colorful, bolder designs. Unleashing a fun side through eye-catching and playful web design is appealing to a mass range of web users and can help businesses shed pre-existing conceptions to attract new customers. The advances in website design make it easier to bring life to the screen and can help make a good first impression on a potential customer. Taking a look at the latest typography trends can help generate inspiration for how your business can try out new ideas and produce a stand-out website with the right designer.
5. Innovative layouts
Web users have become accustomed to seeing familiar website layouts for years, particularly when it comes to ecommerce websites. The limitations of CSS have largely been to blame for this, but that looks set to change with the launch of CSS grid and other tools that make it easier to create some innovative layouts for web. Some consideration will need to be given to how these new layouts will work in relation to mobile design, but at least there will be some new and exciting visuals to enjoy in the near future.
6. Joined-up browsing experiences
While mobile usage is on the rise, people are still using other devices to access the internet, including tablets and computers. Users want to experience a fluid, cohesive experience when browsing the internet where their details and recent browsing history are recognized when moving from one device to the next. Being able to offer visitors a joined-up experience will boost perceptions of a business or brand, making it easier for them to carry out online activities and benefit from the same services across all devices. If you’re not already doing so, start thinking of ways you can adapt your digital offering to offer an overall better user experience.
7. Creative use of animation
Animation itself is not a new innovation and has been giving life to websites for many years. What is new, however, is the way they are being used to produce a narrative for websites that makes them more engaging and visually appealing. Rather than simply offering random effects to a web page, they can make the browsing experience much more beautiful and has a range of possibilities to suit different needs. Using animations to seamlessly change content while scrolling or while inspecting different elements of a page add interest and creativity, which can propel an existing web layout to a new dimension. Building a narrative around your website improves the visitor experience and can be an excellent way to showcase your products and services.
8. Unique, high-quality photography
When it comes to website design, the use of tired photography could soon become a thing of the past. Stock photography website Depositphoto conducted research into current visual design trends that showed that there was a strong appetite for more authentic imagery, as opposed to the polished, super-edited photos currently found online. This is where user-generated content can become a key selling tool for retailers and other businesses looking to have a creative edge over competitors. Photography that represents ‘real-life’ is important to consumers and could give your website a whole new design concept to appeal to customers.
9. Credible, authoritative content
The rise of fake news is alarming for many industries, particularly businesses who may be unaware that they too are guilty of participating in the growing trend. With content being created online at a rate of millions each minute, it can be difficult for web users to know who or what to trust when they consume information online. Businesses, therefore, need to be savvy when it comes to projecting themselves as an authority on a topic, which is where great design can help. Giving proper accreditation and using original graphic content can demonstrate a business’ commitment to transparency and earn the trust of consumers.
10. More secure data approaches
There are concerns within the digital sphere that outages and service disruptions witnessed by big names such as Twitter and Spotify will continue to happen and cause serious issues for businesses. Building better security measures can help prevent outages, as well as protect user data and keep services running as smooth as possible. While not suitable for all businesses, offline capabilities can help to minimize disruption to online services and ensure customers have an uninterrupted browsing experience.
Embracing the latest design trends can help you set your business’ website apart and keep your visitors engaged and excited about what you have to offer. However, before you start planning how you can use VR or what new layouts you can create for your website, you need to make sure that all of the basics are there. Focusing on creating the best user experience for your website should be the first thing in your considerations, before seeking out new trends to adopt.
While many of the above trends will help boost user experience greatly, you’ll find that they aren’t worth anything if the foundations aren’t there. With some exciting new web design trends to look forward to over the coming year, it’s the ideal time to start thinking about your business’ website and how you can become one of the early adopters.