So what does website design look like as we approach 2018? There have been huge changes in website designs, as well as user’s preferences, since 2016 alone. Web development is important in keeping your site functional, but web design is crucial to attracting visitors and keeping them interested. We are visual creatures, so you want to design a website that pops. There are several trends that are especially popular in web design, and we are excited to share with you what we think are the most important trends emerging in 2018.
- Make your homepage minimalistic. Heavy homepage styles used to be popular, but we are steadily moving away from that in favor of a more simple design. Usually there is only one of two big words on the first screen, which, when chosen carefully, is a more effective way to draw the user’s attention to your message. In this design method, the information is usually packed below the scroll, further down the page, and not the first thing visitors see. You don’t want to bombard your visitors with information right off the bat, so a minimalistic approach is your best bet.
- Simplify the navigation on your site. As always, our goal is to simplify the user experience (UX) as much as possible. It might seem like a good idea to link as many things as possible on your site to increase your exposure - on the navigation, in the sidebar, links to blogs - but it can actually have the opposite effect that you want. Put fewer items in navigation and eliminate sidebars to reduce clutter. And link your logo with your homepage - it’s a common practice that visitors are used to now.
- For an artistic flair, incorporate parallax scrolling. Parallax scrolling is a technique that many websites are incorporating into their visual development. An image is comprised of several different layers with different scroll speeds. The result is a more 3-D effect when the user scrolls down the image. This trend in graphics development has quickly become a user favorite and it isn’t going anywhere. Consider incorporating it into your graphics. Check out the following website for some great examples: http://www.creativebloq.com/web-design/parallax-scrolling-1131762
- Invest in high-quality images. In a world of increasingly involved technological advances and breathtaking photo and video quality, people are looking for high quality images when they peruse your site. “High quality” equates to “professional” for users today. If you can, use your own pictures. Stock photos aren’t as appealing to users as they once were, but if you have to use stock photos, make sure to invest in premium ones.
- Incorporate custom typography into your design. Big, bold lettering is one of those trends that never goes out of style. As designers play around more with how they use the space in their fonts, it’s a trend that only gets better and better. The modern, retro aesthetic is very appealing to users, so you should consider designing an innovative font to use for your logo or your mission!
- GIFs, GIFs everywhere! On the web, that is. GIFs are a popular new way to engage with your audience and decorate your web page with dynamic imagery. GIFs have been built into social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter for quite some time and are now available to be used on your website! Be careful not to overdo it though - they can be a great way to engage your audience, but you don’t want to distract from your message.
- Videos. Videos are a huge trend in the web industry. In fact, they are quickly emerging as the most popular media tool on the web today. Videos have the power to not only convey a message, but also tell the story behind the message. The instant gratification that users get from watching a well-executed video can do wonders for your engagement efforts and can be an important part of your content strategy. Be careful though - if you do include a video on your website, be sure to include a toggle on/off for the sound. Not all site visitors will appreciate if a video is on autoplay and having the option to turn the sound off will have them thanking you.
These are just a few of the many options that your business may explore for your website. Some are new and innovative, while others are tried and true. Play around and see what works for you—after all, the new year is a great time to try new things, right?
While you’re at it, feel free to reach out to us for a free site audit. We’d be more than happy to provide you with some tips and insight from our team of professionals.